Wigtownshire Pages: Glasserton parish info
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Glasserton is an irregularly shaped parish with an Irish Sea shoreline from close to Point of Lag near Monreith in Mochrum to Carghidown where Physgill's policies meet Whithorn. It extends north to near Sorbie and while eight miles long is but one or two miles broad. There are clear signs of Norse settlement in place names from the Fells or hills of Barhullion and Carleton, to Appleby farm, while others clearly speak of the Gaelic and Anglian people who have all made of Galloway such a fascinating historical tapestry. The shore area is agriculturally poor, despite a very mild climate, but the moors inland are highly improved arable lands and some of the finest Galloway pastures. Few sheep were raised here and black Galloway cattle, by the mid 1800s, were giving way to modern Ayrshire dairy herds.

There is no port, and almost no fishery, there are no towns. Whithorn is the commercial center, and the one village of Glasserton, today little more than a couple of houses on the main south coast road, is easy to miss. The parish early combined Glasserton and the medieval Kirkmaiden, not to be confused with the Rhinns parish. The church, built in 1732 and later extended, replaced the old, beautiful but inconvenient Kirkmaiden church on the shore by Point of Lag, almost at the boundary of neighboring Mochrum. St. Ninian's Cave on the shore near Physgill, has some of the earliest Christian inscriptions in Scotland.

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1845

"The 'Old' (1791) and 'New' (1834-45) Statistical Accounts of Scotland provide detailed parish reports - and in the case of the 'New' county reports - for the whole of Scotland, covering a wide spectrum of subjects including agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs." (EDINA, hosted by Edinburgh University Data Library).


This is a must read, as it contains excellent physical and social descriptions of the parish, Use the link below to access the scanned extracts. You may choose to read county reports which give a more general view of Wigton(Wigtown), or go directly to the pages devoted to your parish of interest.

Parish Info

Batch Numbers

Recently a new site has been published, which considerably cuts the time involved searching the International Genealogy Index (IGI) with batch numbers.

Click here to view the entrance page, and read about the site, and batch numbers.

Click here to go directly to the IGI Batch numbers for Wigtown parishes.

1855-1875 C118851 or M118851
1700-1819 C118852 or M118852
1819-1854 C118854 or M118854


General information on all Wigtownshire census is more fully explained on Wigtownshire Census Records.

The 1851 Census is today available, as a full transcription, on the Dumfries and Galloway local government's library system web site, for Dumfries and for the two Galloway counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbright, and we are pleased to cite their URL where you can browse it as you wish. To access the census directly, enter:

But please do remember that these are transcriptions, and therefore, despite best efforts of the volunteers who worked on them, they are liable to introduced errors. The information should therefore always be backed up by reference to original data, using for example the LDS film of the original census.

This 1851 census has also been indexed by John Roy, by Heads of Households, and we are very happy that we are able to include his invaluable key on these pages. In a rather compact manner, it offers both an index and an overview for those who need a more rapid feel for the location of entire groups of families by surname, for instance. Also, if you intend to use the D&G census you may find it useful to refer to John Roy's index to obtain the page number, as the noted URL reference doesn't give that information..

Census references are by parish number / enumeration district number / page number, for example the first entry of the first district on the Leswalt film will be 891/1/1. The exception to this was in 1851 where the page numbers were abandoned and replaced by 'entry numbers'. Therefore, the first entry in Leswalt will have the same number as other years but the second entry, which will normally be on the same page, will read 891/1/2.

The on-line 1851 census developed by the Friends of the Dumfries Archives does not use parish numbers in the search fields, instead, you need to type in the parish name (be careful with the spelling) if you are narrowing the search down to an individual parish. Once you find a likely candidate for the family you are searching for you can start a new search by typing in the parish name and the reference number in district / household number format That will bring up all of that entry only.

LDS Film Numbers

1841 1042846 and 101940
1851 1042554 and 103774
1861 103921
1871 104112
1881 224060
1891 220459
Church Records, 1700-1854
Baptisms 1700-1854,
Marriages 1700-1819, 1849-1854
1068036 Items 5-6,
addt'l filming 102347 Item 1
Church indexes
Births and christenings,
A thru Z 1700-1854
A thru Z, 1700-1854

Lookups for Parish Records

The following volunteers from the Sct. Wigtownshire mailing list have kindly offered to share their resources and time with other researchers.

When asking for a lookup please be specific. Provide surname, forename, and other details that would make the lookup easier to perform. Blanket searches for one surname, i.e. "Please supply all Brown information", must be avoided. To view all parish lookups available, please click here.

1841 census Bruce McDowall and Carrie Gulline
OPRs Bruce McDowall

Map Sources

Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684

Published in 1916, Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684 contains nominal rolls recorded in 1684 of all persons, male or female, over the age of 12, by parish, and domocile. To read more about this index, and to find a link to the Glasserton parish roll, click here.

Old Parish Registers

O.P.R.s refer to Old Parish Records which prior to civil registration in 1855 were ledgers in which the parish cleric entered vital information such as marriage, birth/christening, and in some cases deaths. Parish registers were kept only as well as the cleric had time and inclination to do so. In some parishes, within a particular time, the records are exact, precise and a joy to read, in other periods of time, the same parish records could have sporadic, or barely legible, entries. To read more about Old Parish Records, and see image samples, please view Old Parish Records (OPR)for Wigtownshire

Covers period between 1700 - 1854.


To view our photogallery of Glasserton, click here


1801 860
1811 1,047
1821 1,057
1831 1,194