In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Cairnie like this:
Cairnie (Gael. carnan, 'small cairn'), a hamlet of NW Aberdeenshire, and a parish partly also in Banffshire. The hamlet lies on the left bank of the Burn of Cairnie, a small affluent of the Isla, 4½ miles NW of its post-town Huntly. The parish is bounded N by Grange, NE by Rothiemay, E by Huntly, S by Huntly and Glass, W by Botriphnie, and NW by Keith; and it is traversed, along the NE border, by the Great North of Scotland railway, and contains there Rothiemay station. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 8¼ miles, and its breadth, from N to S, varies between 1¾ and 55/8 miles. ...
The Deveron traces the eastern, the Isia the north-eastern, and the Burn of Davidston the western boundary. Low grounds adjoin these streams, and have a deep fertile soil. The surface sinks at the confluence of the Isla and Deveron to 296 feet above sea-level, but rises southward to the Bin (1027 feet), westward to the Little and Meikle Balloch (913 and 1199) on the Banffshire border, and to the Hill of Shenwall (957). In 1839-40 2258 acres, on and near the Bin, were planted with larch, spruce, and pine. A lime-work is at Ardonald. The entire parish formed part of the lordship of Strathbogie, taken from the Comyns by Robert Bruce, and given to Sir Adam Gordon; it thence onward was the original estate of the Gordon family; and, as now ecclesiastically constituted, it comprises the ancient parishes of Botary and Ruthven, and part of Drumderg. The portrait-painter, Wm. Aikman (1682-1731), was a native. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon and Major Duff Gordon Duff are chief proprietors, 7 others holding a yearly value of less than £100. Cairnie is in the presbytery of Strathbogie and synod of Moray; the living is worth £347. The parish church i-s an old but commodious building, and there is also a Free church; whilst four schools-Cairnie, Ruthven, Windyraw, and Daun's Endowed-with respective accommodation for 127,70,67, and 46 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 92, 51,46, and 37, and grants of £82,16s., £47,2s., £56, 16s., and £18,19s. Valuation of Aberdeenshire portion (1881) £7700,17s. 6d; of Banffshire section (1882) £926,9s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 1561, (1821) 1854, (1841) 1638, (1861) 1490, (1871) 1525, (1881) 1565, of whom 60 were in Banffshire.- Ord. Sur., shs. 85,86,1876. See A Stroll to Cairnie (Keith, 1865), and the Rev. Dr J. F. Gordon's Book of the Chronicles of Keith, Cairnie, etc. (Glas. 1880).
The location is that of Cairnie church.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Cairnie has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Aberdeenshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Cairnie and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cairnie, in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th October 2014
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