Durrisdeer, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Dumfriesshire, Scotland Gotoarrow.png Durrisdeer

Parish  #823

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



DURISDEER, a parish, in the county of Dumfries; containing part of the village of Carronbridge, 6 miles (N. by E.) from Thornhill. This district, which in ancient times was covered with wood, is supposed to derive its name from duris, signifying a door, and deer, a forest. The church, erected in 1720, contains a handsome marble monument, representing James, second duke of Queensberry, weeping over the form of his deceased duchess: a vault attached to the church is the burial-place of the family.[1] Kirkburn is also a section of Durisdeer.

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 edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Durrisdeer.  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.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Durrisdeer. 

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1758-1854 1067961 item 3-5
Marriages: No entries
Deaths: No entries
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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: No entries, except one, December 1784–January 1788.
Marriages: It does not appear that any registers of marriages or of deaths or burials were kept prior to 1855. However, the Statistical Account of Scotland for 1791 states that between 1770 and 1790, 155 couples had been married and 323 persons had died. And in 1833, the average number of marriages per year was 10 and of deaths12. 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 1771–1782, 1818–1848, 1855–1903
Treasurer's Accounts - including proclamation fees, 1764–1770
Accounts 1770–1786, 1816–1839
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/436.

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.

Durrisdeer Station, Free Church

This rural mission or preaching station was connected at first with Penpont congregation, but in 1847 it became a Presbyterial mission. It supplied ordinances to scattered Free Church families in the parishes of Durrisdeer and Crawford.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

No pre–1855 records.

Note: In 1791, there were within the parish 27 Seceders including 7 who belonged to the Reformed church. By 1833 there were 85 families of Dissenters and Seceders.

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

Durrisdeer was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dumfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($)  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 Dumfries and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dumfries.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Dumfries. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Dumfries and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 320-349. Adapted. Date accessed: 14 March 2014.

Return to the Dumfriesshire parish list.