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Parish  #597

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kilmarnock. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

 

Contents

History

      The name Kilmarnock evidently means the cell of Marnock, who is said to have been a bishop or confessor in Scotland in the beginning of the fourth century.  Kilmarnock is the nearest town.  Sir William Mure of Rowallan, a pious and learned gentleman, the author of several poetical works, and particularly a metrical version of the Psalms of David.  His Grace the Duke of Portland; the Marchioness of Hastings and Moira; William Blane of Grougar, Esq.; and John Parker of Aisloss, Esq. are the major land owners.  The land was primarily used for,  cattle, sheep, oats, bear, barley. white corn, beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips.  The population in 1792 was 6776.  The population in 1831 was 18093.  The registers  were kept irregularly from 1644 to 1687, and have been kept regularly since then.  8957 people belong to the Established Church  6119 connected to other denominations, 174 not belonging to any denominations, and  600 Irish Roman Catholics.

This history was written in1839.

source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol.5)

 

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Kilmarnock. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kilmarnock as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

 

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index           
1841 1042735 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042404
1851 1042405
1861 103803
1871 103962
1881 203601 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1881 203602
1891 220217
1891 220218
1891 220219



The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.

 

Church Records 

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1640-1777 1041385
1777-1820 1041386
1789-1854 1041387
1832-1892  neglected entries 1041388
Marriages 1687-1769, 1780-1820 1041386
1820-1829 1041387
1829-1854 1041388
Deaths: 1728-1764, 1781-1820 1041386

Condition of Original Registers


Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed on theInternational Genealogical Index.  
Births:There are only two entries before January 1643. No entries February 1643–1644. Upper portions of pages at June 1656 and August 1670 are cut off. No entries January 1663–January 1665. Records are incomplete April 1668–August 1670. No entries December 1681–July 1683, except three entries, December 1684–August 1687. There is an imperfect page at June 1778.
Marriages: No entries June 1688–October 1689 or 1770–November 1780. There are two imperfect pages after March 1702.
Source:Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970 British book 941 K23b.



Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Records—
Minutes 1646–1658, 1670–1681, 1689–1925
Accounts 1691–1720, 1734–1860, 1872–1922
List of Poor 1812
Collections at the Sacrament 1699–1876 include a list Offficiating Ministers and Elders.
Baptisms and Marriages 1826–1865
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/140, 391, 572, 1252.


Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.


Seceding Presbyterian


Portland Road Burgher, United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation, formerly known as Wellington Street, originated with members of the Established Church resident in the adjoining parishes of Kilmarnock and Fenwick, who being dissatisfied with the ministrations of the Incumbents of these places, united in a petition to the Associate Burgher, Presbytery of Glasgow, for supply of sermon, which was granted in 1768. A church was built in Wellington Street in 1772 and rebuilt in 1807. A new church was opened in Portland Road, December 1859.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.



Clerk's Lane Anti-burgher, later Evangelical Union Church

History—
This congregation originated with members of the congregation of Kilmaurs, resident in and about Kilmarnock, who thinking themselves sufficiently numerous to support a dispensation of religious ordinances, while there was need for another place of worship in the town, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the General Associate, Anti-burgher, Presbytery of Glasgow, 1774. The first church was built in 1777 and a second built in 1807. In 1841 the minister, Mr. Morrison, was suspended from office by his Presbytery, which sentence was confirmed by the Synod to which he appealed. Refusing to submit to it, he was declared no longer connected with the United Secession Church. A Majority of his people adhered to him notwithstanding, and with them he retained possession of the property belonging to the congregation, allowing the minority who adhered to the Synod and subsequently formed the congregation of Princes Street, a sum equivalent to their interest in it. The congregation of Clerk's Lane is now in connection with the Evangelical Union of Scotland, of which Mr. Morrison was the founder.
Source:Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.


King Street Relief, United Presbyterian Church

History—
The village of Riccarton, from which this congregation took its original name, and where its first place of worship was situated, is a suburb of Kilmarnock included with its parliamentary boundaries and separated from it by the river Irvine, but joined to it by a bridge. When a vacancy occurred in the parish in 1800, and the parishioners were not allowed their choice of pastor, they seceded from the Church. They were followed by a great part of the session, and a considerable number of the people, chiefly the country population. They became a congregation in connection with the Relief Synod. They proceeded to build a place of worship in Riccarton, the only village in the parish, which after occupying it fourteen years, they took down, and rebuilt on King Street, Kilmarnock. It was rebuilt in 1832.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown.


Princes Street United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation originated with the minority of Clerk's Lane congregation, who adhered to the United Associate Synod, when Mr. Morrison and his adherents were cut off in 1841. A church was built in 1842.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
Baptisms 1840–1871
Various Minutes 1841–1896
Communion Roll 1842–1859
Accounts 1841–1851
Other Post–1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1337.


Crookedholm and Kilmarnock Reformed Presbyterian Church

History—
In 1775, a petition was presented to the Presbytery craving that the shires of Renfrew and Ayr should be disjoined from the northern congregation and given a separate existence. It was done in 1777. A minister was called and ordained who had to divide his attention among at least three places, one of them being Crookedholm near Kilmarnock. A church and manse were built at Crookedholm in 1785. That same year the two counties were ecclesiastically disjoined. After the minister’s death in 1796, dissensions broke out and another disjunction occurred in 1800. A minister was ordained and assigned to Crookedholm in 1802. Membership at that time stood at 106 drawn from Fenwick, Kilmarnock, Galston, Ayr, Kilmaurs, Tarbolton, Saltcoats, Catrine, and Stewarton. A new church was opened in Kilmarnock in 1825, with services being held in both places for a short time, but they eventually ceased at Crookedholm. In 1830, Ayr was disjoined.
The minister of the Kilmarnock congregation died in 1850 and another was not successfully obtained and ordained until the end of 1856, which weakened the congregation. At that time there were about 90 members and 30 adherents. At the union with the Free Church in 1876, membership stood at 188.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, by W. J. Couper, pub. 1925 Family History Library book 941 K2c.

Records—
Baptisms 1802–1833
Minutes 1803–1849, 1855–1888
Lists of Congregation and Adherents 1801–1860
Congregational Minutes 1791–1858
Other Post–1855 Records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1318.


Henderson Free Church, Formerly Gallowsknowe Associate

History—
This was originally a secession congregation. It joined the Church of Scotland in 1839, and in 1843 adhered to the Free Church. The first church built in 1772, was on the Gallowsknowe. A new church was erected in 1818.
Membership: 1848, 222; 1900, 366.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
Session Minutes 1814–1824, 1843–1868
Managers’ Minutes 1815–1831
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1846–1876
Sestentation Fund Cash Book 1846–1849
Other Post–1855 Records
Note:Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1318.


High Free Church

History—
Dr. Thomas Main, minister of the High Parish, and nearly all his congregation, "came out" in 1843. They were joined by a number from the Laigh Church. From June 1843 until July 1844 they worshiped in the King Street Relief Church. The new church was opened in 1844. A manse was built in 1845, and the church hall in 1849. A new manse was erected in 1863. In 1876 a section of the congregation left to form the Grange Church.
Membership: 1848, 879; 1900, 822.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
Minutes 1843–1909
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1845–1909
Note:Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1003.


Martyrs' Free Church

History—
Originally Reformed Presbyterian, this congregation joined the Free Church in 1876. The Reformed Congregation had been created in 1777 and a church was built in 1785 at Crookedholm. Membership drew from a wide area and other congregations were formed from this one. A new church and manse were built in Mill Lane upon the migration of the congregation from Crookedholm in 1825, which had caused some bitter feelings among members. For a short time services were held in both places. Immediately after the Disruption there was talk of uniting with the Free Church, but the matter was dropped until 1876 when the majority of all Reformed Congregations united with the Free Church.
Membership: 1802, 106; 1877, 188; 1900, 376.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.


St. Andrew's Free Church

History—
Neil Brodie, minister of St. Andrew's quoad sacra church, and the greater part of his congregation "came out" at the Disruption. The church was built in 1844, and the manse in 1849. The church was reconstructed in 1886.
Membership: 1848, 500; 1900, 512.
Source:Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Records—
Minutes 1844–1936
Communion Roll 1853
Baptismal Register 1844–1853
Note:Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1021.


Dissenters


Kilmarnock Congregational and Evangelical Union Churches

History—
A church was formed in 1825 and ceased to meet about 1866.
Another church was formed when the minister of the United Secession Church, James Morison, was excommunicated for his anti–Calvinist views and teachings. The majority of his congregation adhered to him. Morison, along with his father Robert Morison and two other excommunicated ministers, formed the Evangelical Union in 1843. They were joined by a number of ministers and students who had been disassociated from the Congregational Union, so that thirteen churches formed the initial Evangelical Union, four from the United Secession Church and nine from the Congregational Union. The Kilmarnock congregation that met at the Clerk’s Lane location, of which James Morison was the first minister, ceased in the mid 1880's. The congregation that met at the Winton Place location separated from Clerk’s Lane in 1860 and was still functioning in 1960.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. Family History Library British book 941 K2es. This includes a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189, 240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX
Scotland


Kilmarnock Baptist Church

History—
The first Kilmarnock Baptist church, formed in the early 1800's, ceased to function about 1845. The second church was formed in 1865 as the result of a revival movement. The church was built in 1870. The church was still active in 1926.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by George Yuille, pub. 1926. Family Hisotry Library British book 941 K2hi Source contains a list of ministers.

Records—
The extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT
Scotland


Kilmarnock Episcopalian Church

History—
Not available.

Records—
Christenings, Marriages, and Burials, 1851–1854. For information write to the minister at:
The Parsonage
1 Dundonald Road
Kilmarnock KA1 1EQ
Scotland


Kilmarnock, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

History—
In 1834, there were 140 Catholic families in Kilmarnock. A church was founded in 1844 and dedicated in 1847. It has served from Ayr since before 1829.

Records—
Baptisms 1844–1877
Marriages 1845–1915
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, record RH21/56. For earlier records see Ayr.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints

Records—
Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members 1844–1909 104154 item 4

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Directories

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directories available for Ayrshire are:

1846-47, 1868, 1872: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.

Probate Records

Kilmarnock was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glasgow until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ayr. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Ayr and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Glasgow.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ayr. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Ayr and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about  Scotland Probate Records.


Return to the Ayrshire Parish List


 

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  • This page was last modified on 5 April 2012, at 20:40.
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