Aberdeenshire's Archives

Aberdeenshire's Archives date back to the 14th century.
The collections include: 

  • Aberdeenshire Council (from 1996)
  • Grampian Regional Council (1975 – 1996) and the District Councils of Banff and Buchan, Gordon and Kincardine and Deeside. 

  • 19 Burghs across Aberdeenshire, which were self governing until 1975. The holdings vary from burgh to burgh - our earliest Aberdeenshire record we hold is a charter for Banff dating from 1372. 

  • Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine County Councils (1889 – 1975).

  • Parochial Boards (1845 – 1930), who were responsible for administering the poor relief system.

  • Schools, School Boards (1874 – 1918) and County Education Authorities (1918 – 1930) – the school collections includes over 850 log books & 670 admission registers for schools in the Aberdeenshire area. 

  • Commissioners of Supply (a group of landowners responsible for the administration of counties prior to the formation of County Councils) for Aberdeen County from 1654, Kincardine County from 1762 and Banff County from 1772. 

  • Militia records for Aberdeen County. 

  • Roads - records of the turnpike road trustees & commutation road trustees. These bodies were charged with building and maintaining the north-east's roads from the 1790s to the 1870s. 

We also have a number of deposited collections from other organisations and individuals relating to Aberdeenshire. 

More details about all our Aberdeenshire collections are given below and in our Aberdeenshire Archives Leaflet:


The records of these self-governing towns include Town Council minutes, accounts, letters, plans and harbour records, and are a vital source for local history. The burgh records held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives are as follows:

Catalogue Reference Burgh Period records cover Date founded Type of Burgh
AS/Bahr Aberchirder 1890 - 1964 1889 Police Burgh



1890 - 1975

1891 Police Burgh
AS/Kban Banchory 1844 - 1975 1885 Police Burgh



1372 - 1975

c. 1189-1198 Royal Burgh (William the Lion). Police Burgh 1840.
AS/Aeln Ellon 1873 - 1975 1707 Burgh of Barony - Earls of Buchan. Police Burgh 1893.


1801 - 1975 1546 Burgh of Barony - Frasers of Philorth. Burgh of regality 1601, Police Burgh 1840.
AS/Ahty Huntly 1834 - 1975 1488

Burgh of Barony - Earls of Huntly. Burgh of Regality 1684 - Dukes of Gordon. Police Burgh 1834.



1819 - 1975

1677 Burgh of Barony. 
AS/Kber Inverbervie 1708 - 1975 1341 Royal Burgh (David II).



1793 - 1975 c. 1178-1882

Royal Burgh (William the Lion, confirmed by Mary Queen of Scots 1588). Police Burgh 1866.

AS/Akin Kintore 1747 - 1975 1506-7 Royal Burgh (James IV). Police Burgh 1873.
AS/Klrk Laurencekirk 1780 - 1975 1779

Burgh of Barony - Lord Gardenstone. Police Burgh 1889.

AS/Bmcd Macduff 1783 - 1975 1528

Burgh of Barony - Earls of Buchan. Reerected 1783 - Duff family, Earls Fife. Police Burgh 1853.



1893 - 1975


Burgh of Barony  - Urquharts of Meldrum. Police Burgh 1893.

AS/Aphd Peterhead 1807 - 1975 1587

Burgh of Barony - Keiths, Earls Marischal, later Merchant Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh. Police Burgh 1862.

AS/Bpsy Portsoy 1889 - 1975 1550

Burgh of Barony - Ogilvy of Boyne. Police Burgh 1889.

AS/Arhy Rosehearty 1811 - 1975 1681

Burgh of Barony - Forbes, Lord Pitsligo. Police Burgh 1892.

AS/Kstn Stonehaven 1617 - 1975 1587

Burgh of Barony - Earl Marischal. New and Old Town merge and form Police Burgh 1889.



1858 - 1975


Burgh of Barony - Hay, Earls of Erroll. Police Burgh 1858.

Indexes and transcriptions of Burgh records






    • AS/Kber/2/5/1 Inverbervie Cess Book 1757 - 1765 - Please bear in mind that spellings have been left as the way they were in the original document, so there may be some differences between what was written and what is now the standard spelling.. Abbreviations have been expanded. For information about the different occupations listed, see ScotlandsPeople's Glossary of Occupations





      The county councils of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine, along with their district councils, were established in 1890. They were responsible for discharging many local authority functions up to 1975, including roads, public health, housing, education and planning. Minutes and accounts survive for all the county councils and for some district councils.

      Catalogue Reference County Council
      ASActy Aberdeen County Council
      ASBcty Banff County Council
      ASKcty Kincardine County Council


      From 1845 until the introduction of the welfare state in 1948, responsibility for poor relief was borne by parochial boards, parish councils and county councils. Minutes, applications for relief and registers of poor survive for many parishes, and many have been indexed by the Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society. Please visit our Online Catalogue and Poor Relief pages for further information.

      Please note that these records are subject to the Data Protection Act and that this may place restrictions on the use of material by researchers. Identification will be required to view records under the Data Protection Act.

      Education in the north-east was administered by parish school boards from 1873 to 1919 and by county council education authorities from 1919 to 1929. The minutes of these bodies are a useful source of information on school buildings and the employment of teachers.

      Head Teacher's log books and pupil admission registers survive for several hundred north-east schools. These records mostly post-date the Education (Scotland) Act 1872 which made it compulsory for children to attend school, but some records do survive before this. 

      Please note that these records are subject to the Data Protection Act and that this may place restrictions on the use of material by researchers. Identification will be required to view records under the Data Protection Act.

      For further information please see our guide on Education and School Records or search our Online Catalogue. You can also watch a video showing examples of these records: Aberdeenshire School Records

      The minutes and accounts of the Commissioners of Supply document the administration of counties by landowners until the establishment of county councils in 1890. Records survive for the counties of Aberdeen from 1654, Kincardine from 1762 and Banff from 1772. The records also contain the minutes and accounts of the turnpike road trustees and commutation road trustees. These bodies were charged with building and maintaining the north-east's roads from the 1790s to the 1870s.

      Catalogue Reference Commissioners Date
      AS/Acom Aberdeenshire Commissioners of Supply 1653 - 1950
      AS/Bcom Banffshire Commissioners of Supply 1772 - 1930
      AS/Kcom Kincardineshire Commissioners of Supply 1762 - 1930


      See information about Assessed Tax Rolls 1799-1831 .

      Valuation rolls record the address and use of the property, the owner (proprietor) and occupier (tenant) and the value of the property for the purposes of local taxation. Valuation rolls are extremely useful in finding out the whereabouts of people between the census years. See our Valuation Rolls pages for more information.

      The records of a small number of local businesses, voluntary organisations and individuals have been deposited for permanent preservation alongside the official records of Aberdeenshire Council, including Grampian Police and it's predecessors. Details of some of these records can be found in our online catalogue or by emailing us.

      Records for various Episcopalian and Methodist churches in the North East are held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives. See our Church Records pages for more details. 

      Church of Scotland records for Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardineshire are held at the National Records of Scotland.

      Records for Moray, including some school and poor relief records for areas of historic Banffshire, are held by the Moray Council Heritage Centre. For further information contact:

      Local Heritage Service
      Elgin Library
      Cooper Park
      IV30 1HS

      01343 562639

      Contact Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives

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