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Update,Hard to read place name on Scottish Baptism

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Blue1 Report 9 Nov 2012 15:52

Hi ,
thought you would be interested to know about some info I found by chance for John Geddes today.

Record of certificates under the Act for providing Relief to the ..

In Oct 1802 his wife Margaret was given relief from the Army for herself and children. Husband John Geddes from Cruden was in the Aberdeenshire Malitia at that time.

May be I will find him on a muster roll with his place of birth!

The PDF is downloadable, could be of interest to any one searching for people in this era



Blue1 Report 8 Nov 2012 15:44

Thank Malcolm,
It's really very kind of you to take so much trouble.

I have been planning to visit the area for about the last three years,but something always happens to stop me!

I shall add Mains of Fortie to my list. I was going to go to all the little local libraries,sometimes they hold info just for their area.
Also graveyards etc.
The one thing I do have, is John seniors wife Margaret's burial and where she is buried along with their son John,who was the infant baptised.
John juniors brother William became a master stone mason,maybe,with luck he has erected a headstone at Cruden and his father is metioned on it.

Thank again for all your help


Malcolm Report 8 Nov 2012 14:53

I spent another hour perusing the area. Confusingly old Fortree is now (OS2010 )shown as "Fortrie" (co-ords 395532 / 839431) Ten kilometers south and just south of Ellon town is the area of Fortree where they are offering properties in the name of Fortrie. It seems that the O.S. may have got their names mixed up, or more probably the local council of Ellon decided to change the spellings finally to avoid confusion.

My money's on the Northern one "Mains of Fortree (up to at least 1899)" close to the Village of Anquhadlie. That one seems to have been in the Parish of Cruden at the time your relation was there.

Spelling variants are common the further back you go.

The nice thing is that Mains of Fortrie is clearly still occupied so you can visit. I love to do that and have located many buildings where my tribe used to live.


Blue1 Report 8 Nov 2012 10:40


I've just looked at the Horse Tax Rolls for Cruden on "Scotlands places"

and the Earl of Eroll seems to be a land owner there.

This is a subscription site,so in order for me to go further I shall have to subscribe.

They have male servant Rolls for 1798 so maybe that's the way forward.

Thanks to all


ps If any one should happen to have a sub for this site,I wouldn't mind a look up.
Not very likely I know.


Blue1 Report 8 Nov 2012 10:11

Thanks Malcolm

I must admit that Fortrie/Fortee/Fortie,seemed the most likely place as nothing else seems to fit at all begining with F.
The name begins with F or a T and I'm assuming ends in ie as I can see a dot above.
The letter after the F/T does look like a small a followed by an r, then we have what looks like a small "l" or a faded small t, in which the crossed bit is faded out.

So, Mains of F/T,? ar, l/t,? ie

The more I look at it the more confused I am.
It does say Mains of, clearly.

I will have to study the whole page I think, understand the Ministers writting,take into account the fading over time and then pick the bones out of it.

His small l's and t's do have the same loop at the top,I've noticed on the entry above for Smith,the small t is very faintly crossed indeed.

I think I'm going to have a very long weekend with it! with maps etc.

Thanks for contributing, I shall look into who the landowner was in the Cruden area,perhaps there is a list of his properties somewhere.



Malcolm Report 7 Nov 2012 17:09

Bear in mind that " Mains" refers to the Main House of an estate which was (the estate) leased out by the major landowner - often the Church. Other farmhouses on the same estate would be named such as "Nether", "lower" etc.

If you have a clear statement Mains of ?, whatever the ? turns out to be, don't get led astray by a similar Non Mains titles.

I thought Mains of Fortree (1858 map) seemed close enough to Cruden to be feasible, bearing in mind that it could have been spelled Fortrie, Fortie etc by the local minister or recorder. Map makers also accept and label according to how they hear the name. You could search other earlier later maps on the NLS website for the same area and compare.


Blue1 Report 7 Nov 2012 11:30

Hi every one who has been helping me.
I have just received an enhanced image of the baptism back from SP
The chap who worked on it says it looks like "Mains of Farlie" on his system.

So some how I need to try and find this place.
A chap who is a member of another Scottish forum says that the baptism place must be in Cruden parish as the minster hasn't specified an alternate parish eg- Ellon for instance.

So, I think I do now have the fathers residence,even though it doesn't appear on any maps of the area.

Can any one suggest any records for the time frame 1790's in Scotland that I should look for please?



KathleenBell Report 7 Nov 2012 10:32

There is a Mains of Fasque in Aberdeen on Memory Map.

Kath. x


Blue1 Report 7 Nov 2012 09:54

Thanks to everyone for adding to my post whilst I have been away.

I have saved all of the links.
I have asked SP for some help and should here back from them in a few days.

The general feeling is that the place, Mains of ? is a defunct farm.
If SP provide me with either a readable image,or,tell me what the place name is.Maybe I will be able to research the farm perhaps finding some records for it.

One of the reason's I want to find some sort of record relating to John Senior,is that my Gran told my Dad that her family originated from the Faroe Islands. I know that family stories should be taken with a pinch of salt,but so far Grans stories etc have proved a gold mine. I'm working through her family lines. I actually think that her Anderson family is the most likely.



mgnv Report 6 Nov 2012 22:19

Go to
There, you can download an 1890s map of any Scottish county, showing parishes.
It's fine at the county scale, but at the parish scale, we need more detail. I think there's a site that overlays parishes on OS maps, but I can't find the one I want.
However, is usable.
Click on a Cruden guess - maybe reset scale at lower left and click again.
You can remove the post code layer, and add the parish layer - the entire parish will fit in at 1:50000.

The surrounding parishes (anti-clock) are Peterhead, Longside, Old Deer, Ellon, Logie Buchan, Slains.

There are lists of place names (mostly gotten from 1841) at:

Now go to and look up, say, Mains of Fortrie.
It takes me to an OS map - embedded in the URL is x=395500&y=839500 and 395500,839500 are the OS coordinates of the arrow tip.
These locate a point to the nearest metre - the blue grid lines on the map are 1km apart.
There's another system of coords - the Landranger system which replaces the leading digits (3,8) by a magic letter pair (NJ) and runs all the rest together.
So in the Landranger system, it's NJ9550039500 or NJ955395 to nearest 100m or NJ9539 to nearest 1km.
We can check this with the inset map at (and see pics).
A lookup of Cruden Bay gets 409500,836500 and the 4,8 magic letters are NK
From this we can see the Mains of Fortrie are 14 km W of Cruden Bay, but this is well into Ellon.
Ardganty 298500,837400 is abt 300m inside Ellon.


GlasgowLass Report 6 Nov 2012 14:29

I wonder if you could find this place using Freecen for 1841?

I have already looked at a small part but found that Hill of Gask is on Folio1

I worked back to the beginning of Cruden and found that the entire parish record starts with a place called AUCHIRIE. ( folio 1 page 1).
The 1st person on the record is a David Anderson age 50.

You could start here and simply click " next household" and work your way through the entire parish to see if anything resembles what you are looking for.
It's long winded but might be worth a try?

I used this method before for another parish, but I did eventually find what I was looking for!



GlasgowLass Report 6 Nov 2012 13:52

Have you looked at the baptism for their other child to see what it says?
William Geddes 23 Jul 1803

OPR baptisms very rarely contain the words Legitimate or Illegitimate.
Instead, one of two phrases were commonly used used:

"Natural born child of....." means he was born outside of marriage.
If it says " Lawful son of..." means the parents were married prior to his birth


Blue1 Report 6 Nov 2012 12:19

Thanks Potty,

Thanks for the information.

I do have John Geddes senior on the 1841 living at the Hill of Gask with wife Margaret which is in the Cruden area. Unfortunatly on the 1841 place of birth is just the county of Aberdeenshire.



Potty Report 6 Nov 2012 12:04

1841 census puts Mains of Fortrie in the Parish of Ellon:

Name: Leith Hall
Age: 45
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1796
Gender: Male
Where born: Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Civil parish: Ellon
County: Aberdeenshire
Address: Mains Of Fortrie
Occupation: Farmer
Parish Number: 192
Household Members: Name Age
Leith Hall 45
Margret Hall 40
Isabel Hall 20
Robert Johnston 80
Elizabeth Lilly 80
Leith Hale 20
Wm Mitchell 15
Robert Thompson 10
Alexr Simpson 10


Blue1 Report 6 Nov 2012 11:49

looks like i'm writting to my self now lol.

I have looked for Fortree on Google maps and find that the name is now spelt Fortrie in the parish of Ellon,which is next to the parish of Cruden.
This does look very promising Fortrie is only 13 miles by road to Cruden.

Can't wait for SP to get back to me. Will update this post out of interest for those who have been taking the time to help me.



Blue1 Report 6 Nov 2012 11:39

Hi Malcom,
I've found it on the map as you suggested and it does look promising.I'll check it out against the image that I have.
Fingers crossed that when SP get back to me,this will be the place as North Ayreshire doesn't really gell with the family



Blue1 Report 6 Nov 2012 11:34

Thanks Malcolm,
will have a look
some members of Fraserburgh Forum took a look for me yesterday and overnight and have come to the conclusion that the image says Mains Of Farlie.Although I can't find any such place.Only a Mains of Fairlie in North Ayershire.
I've contacted Scotlands People today and have drawn their attention to the bad image quality and have asked them for help. I should get an answer within 3 days.



Malcolm Report 5 Nov 2012 17:19

Theres a Mains of Fortree due West of Cruden bay. It's shown on Alexander Gibbs Map of 1858 which you can view at National LIbraries of Scotlands online maps area. Map is entitled Map of the Northeastern districts of Aberdeenshire. The Mains of Fortree appaers near the bottom of the upper half and as I say due west of Cruden. Can't give a distance as there is no scale. My guess is three miles. Usually the "Mains" was the estate Garden.

I'll try to get a URL and edt it on here.

EDIT: her you go. Choose the upper map, find Cruden then pan left about a third of the way across Near the Hill of Dudwick.

EDIT: Don't be distracted by the other Fortree Farm (not a Mains) by Ellon, some miles to the Southwest.


Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 17:01

Thanks Andysmum

I think that this is just going to be one of those long drawn out missions

I had the thought that as the child was born four years before the couples marriage,maybe the father was just working in the area at the time.Maybe the place mentioned is no where near Cruden at all.
The place name doesn't look like Errol to me



Andysmum Report 5 Nov 2012 15:58

There is Mains-of-Errol, which is near Perth, and near Cruden is Slains Castle.

I can't find anything else that looks likely.