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New at the searchable1841 Scotland Census  




Bellie - Situation, Soil, Climate. Extracted from "Survey of the Province of Moray". The name is Gaelic : Three etymological explanations have been fuggefted: one suppofes it BEALIDH, fignifying broom; very unlikely to be right, sonfidering that when the names of places were anciently inpofed, the parifh could not have been peculiarly diftinguisfhed by that fhrub : another, which fuppofes the name to be BEULAITH, the ford mouth, is more unfortunate ftill; the hardy inhabitants of ancient times found the river almoft every-where fordable; the parifh on the other bank muft have had an equel claim to this fignificantly figurative epithet; and the chanel of the river, fhifted almoft by every flood, has in every age made the fhallow to-day the whirlpool to-morrow. But as an ancient record concurs with prefent appearance to eftablifh, that the fea once flowed father in upon the fhore, it having retired almoft half a mile on the coast of this parifh, even within the memory of the people ftill alive, it can be hardly doubted that the curvature in the bank where Gordon Caftle ftands was once a bay in the ocean ; it muft be prefumed that the camp near the church of Bellie, was formed by the Romans in connection with their fleet, where under Agricola they made the circuit of the ifle. Such an eftablifhment in the fituation would neaturally be demonimated by the native BALL-LI, of BALLITH - the town of the flood : and the tradition that Fochabers once ftood near the church-yard of Bellie, and the Roman Camp, coroborated this explanation of the name.








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