GENUKI   BanffshireRathven


"Enzie" is an ancient name for the area covering the western part of Rathven Parish, and the eastern part of Bellie, but its significance for genealogical purposes, and its boundaries, are hard to pin down. A "Chapel of Ease" was built there in 1785, and was made an official quoad sacra parish in 1851. Normally, the congregation of such a "Chapel of Ease" will continue to register its baptisms and marriages with the "mother church" of the parish. However, starting around 1835, Enzie maintained separate registers.

With the start of Civil Registration in 1855, Enzie became a Registration District, and remained one until 1936. Registration Districts were normally also taken as the basis for Enumeration Districts in the Census. In consequence, Enzie has appeared in different places for Census purposes.

In the 1841 Census, Portgordon, and the areas to the south and east, are included in Banffshire, and are described as "Part of Rathven", where they appear as Enumeration Districts 1-4. The area to the southeast of Portgordon was assigned to Bellie, in Moray, but seems to have confused the Enumerators. ED4 and ED5 of Bellie between them completely cover that part of Enzie, but there is also an ED6, which is described as "So much of the quoad sacra parish of Enzie as lies in the parish of Bellie ..." , but which turns out to be a slightly truncated duplicate of ED5!

In 1851, Enzie is divided between Banffshire (as Rathven EDs 9 -12) and Moray (Bellie, District of Enzie, EDs 1 & 2).

In 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 & 1901, the whole of Enzie is enumerated as part of Banffshire.

In 1889, the "Local Government (Scotland) Act" set up a Boundary Commission to rationalise the many oddities which had sprung up in the boundaries of parishes and counties. As part of this tidying up, which took effect in 1891, Rathven (in Banffshire) gave up some territory to Bellie (in Moray) - but while the lands concerned were almost all within the district of Enzie, the Commission's report does not mention the name. Enzie continued, however, as both a Registration District and as a distinct district of Banffshire for Census purposes after 1891.

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[Last updated: 15 Dec 2002 - Gavin Bell]

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