Irongray, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kirkcudbrightshire Gotoarrow.png Irongray

Irongray #867

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


KIRKPATRICK-IRONGRAY, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Dumfries containing the village of Shawhead. This parish derives the adjunct by which it is distinguished from other parishes of the same name in this part of the country, from the lands on which its ancient church was erected. It is bounded on the north by the river Cluden, which separates it from the county of Dumfries. The church, built in 1803, and situated on the bank of the river Cluden, is a neat structure containing 400 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Irongray. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

Refer to the Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records Section on the Kirkcudbrightshire page for further details
Irongray Census in the Catalogue
Years FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841 1042844 941.49 X22 vol 12
1851 1042552
1861 103841
1871 104006
1881 224056 6086610 ( 2 fiche)
1891 220454
1901 ScotlandsPeople Website Indexed
1911 ScotlandsPeople Website Indexed

Church Records

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Refer to the Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records Section on the Kirkcudbrightshire page for further details
Kirkpatrick-Irongray Parish Registers in the Catalogue
OPR 867
Births 1757-1854 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website
  Batches C11867-2 M11867-2
Scottish Church Records Index on computer at Family History Centers
Marriages 1772, 1773, 1797
Deaths No entries
FHL Film 1067975

Condition of Original Registers

  • Births: There is one entry July 1780–May 1782 and one September 1783–January 1794, the latter blank being occasioned by the government tax of three pence on each entry recorded. Three families, however, 1784–1798, are recorded on the page after November 1795. There are no entries May 1818–May 1824, except a few entries without year on a page after 1818.
  • Marriages: There are only six entries in all.
    Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. FHL 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 and Accounts 1691–1700, 1714–1715, 1743–1895
Matters of Poors’ Fund Accounts, Collections, and Discipline 1714–1716
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1343.

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.

Irongray Free Church

Robert Crawford, minister of the parish, and many of his congregation, "came out" at the Disruption. They were joined by members from the parishes of Lochrutton and Terregles. The congregational property consisted of church and manse, at the village of Shawhead, and schools in Shawhead and Lochfoot. Irongray is celebrated for its communion stones on Skeoch Hill, its martyrs; monument, and Covenanting traditions. Sir Walter Scott erected a tombstone in the churchyard over the grave of Helen Walker (Jeanie Deans). Decreasing population depressed the membership of the congregation, which was also adversely affected by the formation of the station at Craig, Dunscore.
Membership: 1848, 219; 1900, 107.
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 lists of ministers.

Extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.

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

Irongray was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkcudbright.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at  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 Kirkcudbright and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunfries.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kirkcudbright.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kirkcudbright 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. 121-137. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 March 2014.