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Update,Hard to read place name on Scottish Baptism

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 14:16

I have a baptism from 1798 in the Cruden area of Aberdeenshire.The father is from the Mains of ?

Please can any one help me by reading it for me,or perhaps someone from the area would have a better idea of what the name is.
It looks like Mains of Harlie to me,but can't find it on any map.

Many thanks


Reggie Report 5 Nov 2012 14:31

Where is the record to be found?

Have you tried googling the possible place name?


Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 14:37

Hi Reggie,
The image is from Scotlands people.I have tried every combination I can think of and looked at maps of the Cruden area,but no luck. Of course,where ever it is he says he is from might not be in the Cruden area at all.
The child in question was born about four years before the parents married.I have been trying for years to find out where the father was from,and just noticed the place name today.
I would be more than willing to e-mail the image to any one who is willing to read it.

The baptism is for John Geddes bap 16/06/1798 at Cruden. His parents were,John Geddes and Margaret Cruden

Thanks for replying to my post


Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 5 Nov 2012 15:04

(above comes up on google)

Chris :)

edits (should it be Fortrie)


Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 15:09

Thank you so much for taking the time Chris Ho,will look at that right now



Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 15:13

have looked at the post and the William mentioned was the son born after they married,so is relevent to me.

I had just worked out that the first letter might be an F,by looking at the rest of the document,don't know if I would have thought that, what I thought was an L ,might be a T though!

At last some clue as to where my John was living at that time

Thanks you all very much for helping me



Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 15:20

I've just looked at my image again,I have a problem still.The second letter looks like a small a to me.Also,I have googled the place name and nothing comes up,so maybe,the lady might have got it wrong,or she had a better image than me.

It's an old post,but I'll have a go and see if she is still a member of that group.


Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 5 Nov 2012 15:25

Might be worth adding Scotland or Scottish in your title, just in case!...

Chris :)


Blue1 Report 5 Nov 2012 15:39

Thanks Chris,
Will check back later as housework beckons



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.


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



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 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.



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 11:49

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.



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 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.



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


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!



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.