Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy GenealogyEdit This Page
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The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright is a county in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north and north-east by the Dumfriesshire, on the north and north-west by the county of Ayr, on the south and south-east by the Solvay Firth, and on the south-west by the [Wigtonshire,_Scotland|Wigtonshire,_Scotland county and bay of Wigtown.]] It is 48 miles in length, from east to west, and thirty miles in extreme breadth, comprising an acrea of about 882 square miles or 564,480 acres.
This district, which from its ancient tenure is called a stewartry, though for all purposes a county, occupies the eastern portion of the ancient province of Galloway.... The stewartry of Kirkcudbright was for some time included in the county of Dumfries and was under the jurisdiction of the same sheriff, but this ended prior to the time of Charles I, and since then it has formed a distinct and independent county, though still referred to as a stewartry...
It contains 28 parishes. Kirkcudbright is the chief town and is a
The minerals are of no significance, and coal is scarce and brought from Cumberland. The manufacture of linen, cotton, and woolen goods is carried on to a considerable extent in the towns and villages. The principal trade is the export of cattle, sheep, and grain. Salmon-fisheries at the mouths of the various rivers are highly productive...
|Buittle||859||Maxwelltown - town in Troqueer||882|
|Colvend and Southwick||861||New Abbey||877|
|Dalbeattie - town in Urr Parish||864||Southwick -- see Colvend||861|
Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records
Virtually everyone can be found in census and civil registration records and many in the parish registers. ScotlandsPeople website provides indexes and images to all of the census records, civil registration, and pre 1855 Church of Scotland parish registers for Kirkcudbrightshire.
Microfilmed records can be accessed at Family History Centers around the world. There is an advantage to using the microfilm for the Census and Parish records. While ScotlandsPeople website has an index of the records it costs over £1 to view each individual page.
The Scotland Census Records Article provides and indepth view of Scottish Census Records. The 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 census records are available for every parish in the County. The 1901 and 1911 census records can only be accessed at ScotlandsPeople website. The 1841 to 1891 census records are on microfilm. Refer to the Parish Pages for film numbers.
There is statistical data available for the census years 1801 to 1931 that records the number of houses, families, people, and other statistical data for every parish in Kirkcudbrightshire. Refer to the Histpop - Online Historical Population Reports wiki article.
- FREECEN has indexed 65% of the 1841 Kirkcudbrightshire census
- The 1841 has been indexed by the Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society
- The 1881 has been indexed by the Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society
- ancestry.co.uk provides transcription and index for 1841 to 1891 census
- findmypast.com provides enhanced transcript of 1841 to 1901 census
The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Kirkcudbrightshire. Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.
Civil Registration Records
|Births||1855-1910||◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2009|
◊The 1855 to 1875, 1881, 1891 images of births, marriages, and deaths have been microfilmed.
◊Most of the 1855 to 1875 Births and Marriages are indexed at FamilySearch. See Batch Numbers
The Scotland Church Records Article and the Scotland Established (Presbyterian) Church Records Article provides and indepth view of Church Records.
The ScotlandsPeople website provides an index and images of Church of Scotland parish registers. FamilySearch provides a searchable index and access to microfilm copies of the registers through Family History Centers. Refer to the Parish Pages for film and or batch numbers.
"The condition of the Church of Scotland parish registers in Kirkcudbrightshire was recorded in the New Statistical Account. In 1849 William Turnbull published a book which extracted from the New Statistical Account remarks by the ministers about their individual registers. For the most part the ministers describe their registers as imperfect, defective, and not voluminous."
Nonconformist Church Records
A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Church of Scotland.
- Catholic records on the ScotlandsPeople website
- Munches (Buittle Parish) 1745 to 1815
- Dalbeattie 1786 to 1991
- Dumfries 1815 to 1972
- Newton Stewart 1825 to 1915 in Penninghame Parish, Wigtonshire
- Dalry 1848 to 2006
- Refer to the Parish Pages for other known denominations and the records that are available at the National Archives of Scotland.
Court, Probate, Land, Military and Other records
Unlike census, civil registration, and Church of Scotland Parish Records, less then 20% of the people appear in these record classes with few exceptions.
The county of Kircudbright was in the Sheriff's court of Kirkcudbright (SC16). The Registers of Deeds for Sheriffs' courts contain much valuable information for family history research such as marriage contracts and deeds of 'disposal and settlement' (or assignment) of property, which both give names and relationships. The records are deposited at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and are not indexed.
Military Records 1802 to 1808
There is a collection of ballot lists for 1802 and militia volunteer list for 1808 for most of the parishes in the County. They can be found at the National Archives of Scotland. The militia lists for the parish of Urr is online
Probate records are those which deal with the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. In Scotland, until 1868, a person could only pass movable property such as household furniture, farm equipment, livestock, money and clothes through a document known as a 'testament.' Immovable property such as land was passed to the eldest son or heir through a document known as a 'Service of Heir,' which is not a record of probate. Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
Until 1823, the parishes of Kirkcudbrightshire were under the probate jurisdiction of either the Commissariot Court of Dumfries (CC5), the Commissariot Court of Kirkcudbright (CC13), or the Commissariot Court of Wigtown (CC22). For a break-down by parish, click on the parish links above. Since 1823, the county has been under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Court of Kirkcudbright (SC16).
Probate records for 1513-1901 (including inventories of goods) 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' of Kirkcudbright (county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the 'Testaments registers.'
Statistical Accounts of Scotland
The accounts written by the ministers of each parish offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for each parish in Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs.
- Old Statistical Accounts of Kirkcudbrightshire 1791 to 1797 : is available online at the EDINA website (University of Edinburgh), and it is free to browse.
- New Statistical Accounts of Kirkcudbrightshire : account was published in 1845 in volume IV, is available online at the EDINA website (University of Edinburgh). Also a free google ebook
Galloway refers to Kirkcudbrightshire, Wigtownshire, and Dumfrieshire. The history of the region is often combined into single volumes.
- History of Dumfries and Galloway by Herbert Maxwell (1900)
- Rambles in Galloway by Malcolm McLachlan Harper (1876)
- Article - Agriculture in Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire; pages 1 – 69 (1875)
- Galloway by John MacGavin Sloan and James Faed (1908)
- The New Statistical Account of Scotland: Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigton (1845)
Outline map of the parishes of Kirkcudbrightshire.
Gordon, Haig. The Kirkcudbrightshire Companion. Kirkcudbright: Galloway Publishing. 2008. 2 sections: Places - 1-9 pages on each community within shire, describing history, key features and people; Themes and Personalities. Indexed. (218 pp)