Old Luce, Wigtownshire, Scotland

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Parish #894

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


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 Old Luce. 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.

Click here[low quality link] to go to the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Old Luce.  The Family History Library also has a surname index for the 1841 census of Old Luce as well as a surname index for the 1881 census of the whole of Wigtonshire. 

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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1731-1854 1068039 items 4-6
Marriages: 1731-1854 1068039 items 4-6
Deaths: 1732-1830, 1812-1841 1068039 items 4-6

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library under and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed in the FamilySearch.org
Births: This record has been carefully kept. The pages throughout are subscribed by the session–clerk.
Marriages: This record has also been carefully kept. The entries contain both proclamation and marriage with the name of the officiating minister and, prior to 1780 the names of two witnesses to the marriage are given. Pages have been certified by session clerk.
Deaths: The record is titled Bills of Mortality. The entries state the age of the deceased. There is a separate record of deaths of children 1732–December 1729 and 1840–1841.
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 he 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 1724–61, 1821–1962
Accounts 1822–1960
Poors’ Fund Accounts 1724–79
Heritors’ Minutes 1740
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1417.

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 List.

Glen Luce Free Church

From July 1843 supply was arranged for Old and New Luce. The charge was sanctioned in 1847. The church was built in 1844, the school about 1849, and the manse in 1897. In 1877, the school, no longer needed for educational purposes, was converted into three dwelling houses.
Membership: 1848, 100; 1900, 168.
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

Minutes 1845–1911
Communion Roll 1849–1866
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1849–1911
Collections 1844–1860
Accounts 1846–1854
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1407.

Glen Luce Associate Congregation

This congregation originated in the dissatisfaction felt by a number of the parishioners with the doctrine taught by the parochial incumbent. They applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Kilmarnock, 1808. Church built 1818.
Source: Amma;s 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

Minutes 1823–1962
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1408.

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

Old Luce was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Wigtown until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Wigtown. 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 Wigtown and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Wigtown.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Wigtown. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Wigtown and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Return to the Wigtonshire parish list