Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kirkmabreck. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
KIRKMABRECK, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 3½ miles (E. by N.) from Wigton containing the burgh of Creetown. This place derives its name from the situation of its ancient church in a brake, at that time overgrown with thorns and brambles. The parish, which includes the greater portion of the ancient parish of Kirkdale, is bounded on the west by the river Cree, and on the south-west by Wigton bay. The church, erected in 1834 is a very handsome structure in the later English style; it is near the burgh, and contains 800 sittings. The ruins of the ancient churches of Kirkmabreck and Kirkdale are yet remaining in their respective churchyards, which are still used as places of burial. There is a place of worship for members of the Secession.
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 Kirkmabreck. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Kirkmabreck as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Years||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1841||1042845||941.49 X22 vol 20|
|1881||224057||6086610 ( 2 fiche)|
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|
Condition of Original Registers
Indexed: 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 the FamilySearch.org
Births: There are no entries February 1730–March 1746, but some irregular entries earlier than the latter date follow on the same page. Record is somewhat irregular 1746–1764. Lower portion of leaf at December 1809 is cut off. Interpolated entries are not infrequent in the later portion of the record. Mothers' names are rarely recorded until August 1779.
Marriages and Deaths: It does not appear that any record was kept prior to 1820.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library 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 1703–1739, 1756, 1759–1792, 1811, 1823–1910
Collections 1703–1740, 1767–1777
Scroll Minutes 1851–1859
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/673.
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.
Creetown United Presbyterian Church
The congregation originated in the dissatisfaction felt by a number of persons in the parish with the ministrations of the parochial incumbent. They applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate Presbytery of Annan, 1819. In 1835 they purchased a property consisting of several dwelling houses part of which they fitted up as a place of worship.
Membership: 27 families in 1840–1844.
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 lists of ministers.
Extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.
Note: There were also 27 Roman Catholic families in the parish in 1840–1844. However, they would have attended church elsewhere.
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.
Kirkmabreck was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Kirkcudbright until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkcudbright. 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 Kirkcudbright and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Kirkcudbright.
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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 98-121. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 March 2014.
Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list