Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Kirkcudbrightshire Gotoarrow.png Urr

Urr  (#884)

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


URR, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Castle-Douglas containing the villages of Dalbeattie, Hardgate, Haugh, and Springholm, and part of the village of Crocketford. This place, of which the name is of very obscure origin, claims a considerable degree of antiquity. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Urr. The church, erected in 1815 is a neat plain structure containing 815 sittings. A chapel in connexion with the Established Church was erected in the village of Dalbeattie, where, also, are a Free church, a place of worship for the United Christian Congregation, and a Roman Catholic chapel. There are a place of worship for members of the United Secession at Hardgate, and one for Reformed Presbyterians at Springholm.[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 your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Haugh of Urr

Census Records

Refer to the Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records Section on the Kirkcudbrightshire page for further details
Urr Census in the Catalogue
Years FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841 1042846 941.49 X22d v. 33
1851 1042554
1861 103842
1871 104008
1881 224059 6086610( 2 fiche)
1891 220458
1901 ScotlandsPeople Website($) Indexed
1911 ScotlandsPeople Website Indexed
Order Microfilm from Family History Centers

1831 Census

The 1831 census gathered statistical data that allows one to see the economy of the people. It notes that the increase of 238 persons from 1821 was mostly in Dalbeattie from the Public works at Craignair. Urr had more houses than any other parish in Kirkcudbrightshire with Troqueer, Kelton, and Kirkcudbright close behind.

Abstract of the Answers and Returns made pursuant to an Act ... 1831 Census free google ebook
Urr Parish



Church Records

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Refer to the Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records Section on the Kirkcudbrightshire page for further details
Urr Parish Registers in the Catalogue
OPR 884
Births 1760-1854 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website
  Batches C11884-2 C11884-4 M11884-2 M11884-4 M11884-5
Scottish Church Records Index on computer at Family History Centers
Marriages 1770-1776, 1814-1854
Deaths No entries
FHL Film 1068036

Condition of Original Registers

  • Births: There are only six entries, dated prior to 1776. After 1788 there is one page of irregular entries 1782–1804. The record is very defective until 1807, after that date there are numerous irregular entries of earlier dates. On the pages after 1812, entries dated 1795–1835 occur.
  • Marriages: Except for seven entries relating to irregular marriages 1770–1776, there is no record until July 1814. There are gaps in the records.
    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:


Various Minutes 1772–1774, 1806–1904 – with gaps
Poors' Fund Minutes and Accounts 1777–1814 – with gaps
Discipline 1815–1838
Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1038.

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.

Urr Old Associate Secession Church Anti-Burger

Rev. John Hepburn, the minister of the parish from 1680, held beliefs close to those of the later Associate Presbytery. For this cause he was ejected by the General Assembly in 1707. In spite of his ejection, he continued to minister to the parishioners of Urr and numerous adherents in surrounding districts until his death in 1723. The Urr parishioners then either joined the Old Dissenters or stopped going to church altogether. When the Secession occurred in 1733, many were ready to join its cause. However, no minister was available from the Associate Presbytery when requested and supply of sermon was only occasional. Finally a congregation was organized in 1741. At the Breach in 1747, the majority of the congregation adhered to the Anti–Burgher Synod.
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.

Family History Library Call Number
Marriages 1817–1841 941.48 K2mc
Baptisms 1824–1841 941.48 K2mc

Minutes 1840–1846
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1038.

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.

Military Records  1802, 1808

There are militia and volunteer records for the parish online. The orginal records are at the National Archives of Scotland.

Probate Records

Urr 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 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' 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.


In 1832 the law changed which allowed many more men to vote.  An 1835 list of voters for the parish (including Dalbeattie) is online.

See also Dalbeattie.


The Valuation roll, antient and modern, of the Stewartry of Kirkeudbright : with an appendix, shewing the alterations made in the roll, from the commencement of the existing records, till 26th November, 1819 provides both the early (ancient) tax valuations and the current (1819), arranged alphabetically by parish. An appendix details how the valuations were reallocated as the land was divided since 1728. The entry for Urr begins on p.105.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 571-586. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 March 2014.

Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.