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Caithness - Main Page

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Caithness Main Page,span/>

Historic County of Scotland

This is the Umbrella project for Caithness
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// to People Connected to Caithness

Related Projects

Caithness - Famous People
Historic Buildings of Caithness
Caithness Monumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries and Graveyards
People Connected to Caithness

Still to come

Caithness Burials
Caithness Genealogical Resources
Historical Caithness
  • Administrative centre
  • Chapman County Code - CAI
  • Famous for:
  • Landmarks and Places of Interest
  • John O Groats
  • Mary-Ann’s Cottage: A small homestead with outbuildings, run by Caithness Heritage Trust, situated a few miles from Dunnet Head. The cottage was built in the middle of the 19th century and was occupied by members of one family, the Youngs. It remains as an almost perfect example of the way in which crofters lived and worked before mechanisation. Visitors are given a guided tour and are told about Mary-Ann Calder (née Young) and her family.
  • Laidhay Croft Museum: This charming heritage centre, located in a typical “longhouse” croft building, celebrates rural life in days gone by.
  • Caithness Castle/The Castle and Gardens of Mey
  • Area
  • Population
  • Succeeded by In 1975 the county was abolished and became part of Highland region.
  • County Flower - Scots Primrose

Caithness is a registration county lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (1708 to 1918). Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is now entirely within the Highland council area. In 2007 the Highland Council, which is now the local government authority, created the Caithness ward management area, which has boundaries similar to those of the historic local government area. The area is situated at the north-eastern extremity of Great Britain, and bounded on the N. and E. by the North Sea, and on the S. and W. by Sutherlandshire.

The Parishes of Caithness

Prior to implementation of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, civil administration parishes were also parishes of the Church of Scotland, and one Caithness parish, Reay, straddled the boundary between the county of Caithness and the county of Sutherland, and another, Thurso had a separate fragment bounded by Reay and Halkirk. For civil administration purposes, implementation of the act redefined parish boundaries, transferring part of Reay to the Sutherland parish of Farr and the fragment of Thurso to the parish of Halkirk.[23] In the cases of two of the parishes, Thurso and Wick, each includes a burgh with the same name as the parish. For civil administration purposes each of these parishes was divided between the burgh and the landward area of the parish. Landward, in this context, means rural.

Parishes - The date beside each parish represents the earliest surviving baptism or marriage record.

  • Bower - 1740. Has the Stone Lud near its geographic centre
  • Canisbay - 1652. Includes the village of John O Groats
  • Dunnet -1751. Includes the village of Dunnet and Dunnet Head
  • Halkirk - 1772. Includes the village of Halkirk
  • Latheron - 1740. Includes the village of Latheron
  • Olrig - 1699. Includes the village of Castletown
  • Reay - 1732. Includes the village of Reay. Was, at one time, partly in the county of Sutherland
  • Thurso - 1647. A rural area around the burgh of Thurso
  • Watten - 1714. Includes the village of Watten
  • Wick - 1701. A rural area around the burgh of Wick

See [ GENUKI} for more information on parishes


  1. Reay
  2. Thurso
  3. Olrig
  4. Dunnet
  5. Canisbay
  6. Bower
  7. Halkirk
  8. Watten
  9. Wick
  10. Latheron

Caithness Rivers

  • Thurso - 20 miles
  • Berriedale - 20 miles
  • Wick - 20 miles
  • Dunbeath - 11 miles
  • Forss - 10miles
  • Langwell - 10 miles
  • Torran - 10miles
  • Wester - 8 miles

Caithness Lochs

  • Watten - 3 miles
  • Calder - 2.5 miles
  • Hempriggs - 2 miles

If you have Caithness connections please join the project.

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