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Memorial Inscriptions for Strichen and Auchterless

The Kirkyard of Strichen strichen cover image 01 1


The latest addition to the Society’s series of Memorial Inscriptions is “The Kirkyard of Strichen”  An incomplete version (lacking a plan) had long languished among the “Unpublished MIs”, but ANESFHS member Jim Campbell has now produced a fully revised reading, which is accompanied by all-new kirkyard plans.  

The Kirkyard comprises three sections: the original “Old Ground”, a small extension dating from around 1870, and the larger “New Ground” opened in 1906.  These contain a total of 733 stones (as against 549 in the “Unpublished” version) with details of over 2,700 individuals, dating from 1691 to 2019.

The transcription plus index runs to 114 pages, and the plans cover both sides of an A3 sheet.  As this is well beyond the capacity of one of our usual stapled booklets, “The Kirkyard of Strichen” (catalogue number AA068) is offered as a “perfect-bound” A5 volume with the folded plan in a pocket in the rear cover, at a cost of £9.00.  Copies can be obtained at our King Street Research Centre or by contacting our Publications Department (details below)







The Kirkyard of Auchterless


auchterlessAuchterless lies 8 miles South West of Turriff & 30 miles from Aberdeen.  The parish is best known for it being the birthplace of Lewis Grassic Gibbon in 1901. He spent part of his childhood there, before his family headed for the Mearns, south of Stonehaven. 

Little information exists about the church before 1157. St. Donan is the patron saint and local folklore says he threw his staff into the Ythan, which runs close by, and where it came to rest is where they built the original church. The pre reformation church ruins are still to be seen in the graveyard, and the gable wall of a church built around 1780 is still standing. This church was significantly changed in 1832 to seat over 650 parishioners. Today's magnificent church with its tall spire can be seen from miles around. Local people paid for the Mears and Steinbeck bell, which weighs just over 22 cwt. The Wadsworth organ was installed in 1904 at a cost of £300.

It is remarkable that between 1811 & 1946 there were only three ministers in the parish, George Dingwall, Alexander Gray & Alexander Duncan.

Our thanks go to the members of ANESFHS and volunteers who turned up for the outing at Auchterless Kirkyard. The weather was perfect for such a large undertaking and we did it!

Some of you may be wondering why it took so long to come to print, but with such a large and complicated shaped churchyard, which is split into 3 sections (and with further memorials inside the church), this has been a challenge and sometimes a monumental job given that it was the first outing we had ever organised.

We also wish to thank Gavin Bell and John Florence for their invaluable help with the graveyard plan and also the Reverend Potts for giving us permission to use the church facilities whenever necessary.

We have had the very daunting but enjoyable task of putting the whole Monumental Inscription (MI) book together but this book has long been asked for by members of the North-East and abroad so here it is and we hope you enjoy it. 

As we believe in typing what is written on the headstones you will find many strange spellings of surnames and places. You will see that even on the same stone there will be different spellings so please do not think we have made mistakes. 

Heather Mitchell (member no. 10642)
Doreen Florence (member no. 13880)



Note from Gavin Bell (MI Coordinator):  A number of inscriptions which were formerly noted (by Andrew Jervise in the 19th century, and in the “draft” MIs of Auchterless, as recorded by ANESFHS members some years ago) cannot now be found.  These are included as an Appendix, together with inscriptions from some buried stones,

How to Order:
To place your order, please visit:  How to Order Publications
Kirkyard of Strichen, Item Code: AA068        Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
Kirkyard of Auchterless, Item Code: AA085   Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
In addition to the above titles, check out our online Publications List which has a wide range of family and local history titles particularly relating to Aberdeen and the North-East.

Memorial Inscriptions of Keithhall and Kinkell

The Burial Grounds of Keithhall and Kinkellkeithhall cover 01

Revised and Expanded

Kinkell was an ancient parish, but must have proved too small to support a Minister, because in 1754, it was “suppressed” (to use the old terminology), part of its territory being ceded to the parish of Kintore, and the remainder being added to Keithhall. After the amalgamation of the parishes, burials continued around the ancient kirk of Kinkell, and at Monykeggy (site of the original kirk of Keithhall). A new church for the combined parish was opened in 1771, but burials do not seem to have started at this new site until the 1880s, and even then, the two older kirkyards continued in use.

There were two other burial places within the parish. At Kinmuck, there was a Meeting House and burial ground belonging to the Society of Friends (Quakers), and within the grounds of the estate of Keithhall (formerly Caskieben) is what we might call a “funeral grove” - an avenue of yew trees, interspersed with monuments to members of the family of the Earls of Kintore.

In 1984, ANESFHS published “The Kirkyard of Keithhall & Kinkell”, but that booklet covered just two out of the five burial sites - the ancient kirkyard of Kinkell and the new kirkyard of Keithhall. Versions of the inscriptions from Old Keithhall (Monykeggy) and from the Quaker Cemetery at Kinmuck were included among the “unpublished MIs” held at the Library in our King Street Research Centre, and Helen Taylor more recently produced a revised version of Monykeggy.

For this new publication, Heather Mitchell and Gavin Bell have re-visited all these sites, making corrections, noting additions to the original inscriptions, and adding new stones. We have also recorded the inscriptions in the “funeral grove” - possibly just in time, as gales over the winter of 2022-23 have brought down many trees on the Keith Hall Estate.

As ever, we found that the Victorian antiquarian Andrew Jervise had preceded us, at Kinkell, Kinmuck and Monykeggy. He only ever recorded a minority of stones (typically those commemorating what he called “men of mark” or “good and faithful servants”), but we have included his versions where they can fill any gaps.


How to Order:


Ordering Information:  The Burial Grounds of Keithhall and Kinkell Item Code: AA069 - £3.60 plus postage and packing


To place your order, please visit:  How to Order Publications

In addition to the above titles, check out our online Publications List which has a wide range of family and local history titles particularly relating to Aberdeen and the North-East.

Old Deer Memorial Inscriptions

The MIs for Old Deer have been a long time in the making  There had been, for many years, an incomplete version among the “draft MIs”, so, in 2019, the mapping was overhauled, and the “Graveyard Outing” was set for Old Deer.

Much useful work was done, but, as ever, there remained a number of loose ends. A particular problem was the large number of horizontal stones which had become heavily covered with moss or lichen, and progress with checking these was slow - although we had unexpected help from an archaeological working party which had just finished a nearby dig. 

Then came Covid, which halted all further work on-site.  But the last checks were eventually made earlier this year, and “The Kirkyard of Old Deer” (catalogue number AA077) is now available, cost £5.00.

A searchable index to the published MIs of Old Deer, and over 130 other burial grounds in North-East Scotland will be found at:

Memorial Inscription Index


 - Gavin Bell (MI Co-ordinator) No. 4085






Ordering Information


The Kirkyard of Old Deer Item Code: AA077 - £5.00 plus postage and packing

In addition to the above title, check out our online Publications List which has a wide range of family and local history titles particularly relating to Aberdeen and the North-East.

To place your order, please visit:  How to Order Publications