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Old Luce separated from New Luce in the early 1600s, its one sizeable village of Glenluce set amid the steep little hills of its rectangular eighty square miles. A harbor for small ships once existed at Burnfoot near the village, hard to imagine today on the River Luce. That small river rises in Ayrshire, and Piltanton Burn, the only other of any note, rises in Leswalt parish in the Rhinns beyond Stranraer. Old Luce straddles an important narrow plain controlling passage to the Rhinns at Dunragit, whose name may well derive from an outlying fort of the British Kingdom of Rheged to the east. Dalrymples, Earls of Stair, the Hays and Adairs and Hannays were heritors, and three castles were here; Park of the Hays, Synniness commanding the shore, and Carsecreuch, once home to Dalrymples, related by marriage to Dunbars of Mochrum, the next parish.
The farms raised black Galloway cattle, moving into dairying and other improvements by the mid 1800s, as black faced sheep replaced older grey and white face breeds. A greywacke quarry, four small textile mills and two for flour and meal completed the picture, but 20,000 rabbits were caught each year too. A weekly cattle market was held and a May hiring fair. The 1814 church was convenient to the village, the Manse adjoining ruined Luce Abbey, founded by Cistercians in 1190, and the minister made no objection to three inns!
"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.
|1855-1875||C118841 or M118841|
|1769-1819||C118842 or M118842|
|1819-1854||C118844 or M118844|
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.
To view a sampling of those recorded living in Old Luce, go to Mike's Genealogy Site.
|1841||1042847 and 101941|
|1851||1042556 and 103774|
|Parish Registers (Church of Scotland),1731-1854|
|1068039 Items 4-6.
Addt'l filming, Vault 102353
A-Z,1731-1854, 2 fiche
A-Z, 1731-1854,1 fiche
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, Glenluce village||Carrie Gulline|
|1851 census||Wayne Hannay|
|OPRs, birth/marriages only||Meg Greenwood|
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 1731-1854.
Wayne Hannay has transcribed Sep 1793 - Mar 1797. To go to Wayne's homepage, [click here].
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 Old Luce/Glenluce parish roll, click here.
Click here to view more Old Luce photos.