Dalrymple, Ayr, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #588

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


     The name of this parish applies to the situation of the village, where the Church of Dalrymple stands, at a bend or the turn of the river Doon.  Dalrymple is the nearest town.  The river Doon runs along the south and west boundaries of the parish. There are Roman ruins to be found in the parish.  Marquis of Ailsa; and R.A. Oswald, Esq. of Auchencruive; Mrs. Leslie Cumming; and Andrew Hunter, Esq. of Bonnieton are the major landowners.  The land was primarily used for, parley, bear, potato, turnip, beans, peas, wheat, oats, and cheese.  The population in 1791 was 380.  The population in 1831 was 964.  The registers of births and marriages begins in 1699, The register of death begins in 1739, and ends in 1793, but begins again in 1816.  There is no other place of worship but the parish church, and with the exception of 4 or 5 Dissenters the worshippers are all of the Established Church.

This account was written in 1837.

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 dalrymple. 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 census records.

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

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index         
1841 1042733 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042402
1861 103801
1871 103960
1881 203596 6086514 (10 fiche)
1891 220212

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 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: 1699-1854 1041338 item 4-6
Marriages: 1699-1854 1041338 item 4-6
Deaths: 1739-1854 1041338 item 4-6

Condition of Original Registers

Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may be indexed in FamilySearch Records.[1]

Births:Pages are blank, except two entries for 1714, October 1713–July 1716 and four entries 1718–1719, August 1717–February 1720. There are four irregular entries, 1775–1783, after December 1794. Record from January 1796 is tabulated. Mothers' names are not recorded March 1705–July 1716.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births until December 1736. No entries June 1705–January 1707. Pages are blank, except two entries for 1727, October 1713–February 1730. After December 1736, marriages are recorded on occasional pages of the register of births. Pages are blank December 1747–July 1750 and, except one entry, January 1752–November 1754; also December 1759–August 1771 and, except two entries, July 1779–October 1783. There are no marriages for July 1792–1796.
Deaths:Records for January 1737–September1738 are among the births for that same time period. Lower portion of page at February 1746 is cut off. No records for July 1762–November 1771, June 1774–October 1778, and December 1779–January 1783. Records after October 1783 are burials. No entries January–February 1787, from which date until August 1793, the record is kept on alternate pages of the register of births. There are no entries for August 1793–November 1816.
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:

Minutes 1700–1950
Accounts 1725–1933
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/87.

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.

=Dalrymple Free Church

In June 1843 supply was given to the adherents of the Free Church here. From 1845 to 1849 Dalrymple and Crosshill were worked jointly. In the latter year they were separated. The charge was sanctioned in 1861. The people worshiped for a time in the open air, then in Kirkton Inn, and then in a Smithy. No site for a permanent building could be obtained. Land was leased for nineteen years from a farmer, and a wooden building erected in 1846, known as the "Spale Kirk." The church was built in 1864, and the manse in 1865. A hall and porch were added to the church in 1893, when the manse also was enlarged. The manse stands on the site of the school which Robert Burns attended for one winter, with his brother Gilbert, when the family was at Mount Oliphant farm.
Membership: 1866, 82; 1900, 116.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572.

Minutes 1846–1936
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/72.

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.

Probate Records

Dalrymple 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