Tinwald, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Dumfriesshire, Scotland Gotoarrow.png Tinwald

Parish #849

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


TINWALD, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 5 miles (N. E. by N.) from Dumfries containing the villages of Amisfield, Kirkland of Tinwald, and Trailflat. The name of Tinwald is by some considered to be of Gaelic origin, and to signify "the Harbour," in reference to the Tinwald isles, which are said in a Spanish history to have had the best harbour in Scotland. It is by others derived, and perhaps more correctly, from the Saxon word Tin or Ting, the appellation of the ancient courts of the Saxons or Scandinavians, which were held on high mounds in the open air: one of these mounds, of artificial construction, rises adjacent to the church. The church is inconveniently situated nearly upon the western extremity of the parish, and is a long narrow rectangular building without aisle or gallery, containing 400 sittings: it was built in 1763.[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 edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Tinwald.  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 Tinwald.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index         
1841 941.48/T5 X22 1841
1851 941.48/T5 X2m 1851
1881 6086550 ( 3 fiche)

The 1841-1911 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.

The 1841-1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.ancestry.co.uk($)

The 1841-1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.findmypast.co.uk $)

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: 1789-1854 1067971 item 3-4
Marriages: No entries See Kirk Session 1832-1854
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: Form of entry tabulated. It does not appear that any records of marriages or deaths were kept for this parish.
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:

Poors’ Fund Minutes and Accounts 1762–1844
Parochial Board Minutes 1832, 1848–1853
Proclamation Register 1832–1856 Family History Library has a book 1832-1854 British 941.48/T5 K2m from Kirk Session at HM General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh  EH1 3YY

Also marriage transcript book avaiable through infor@maxwellancestry.com and www.maxwellancetry.com/publishing

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1316.

CH2/1316 Records of Tinwald Kirk Session 1762-1978

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.


No known nonconformist groups. However in 1834 there were within the parish 19 families of Dissenters and Seceders, one Independent family, and two Catholic.

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

Tinwald 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. 526-546. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 March 2014.

Return to the Dumfriesshire parish list.