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Kirkcolm, possibly named after St. Columba, forms the twenty square mile northern tip of the Rhinns peninsula, with the Irish Sea beyond Milleur Point to north and west, Loch Ryan to the east, and Leswalt parish to the south. Historic remains are relatively few; forts are at Caspin and Corsewall Point, Corsewall Castle is nearby, and the church and chapel of St. Bride's and Kilmorie. Corsewall lighthouse, on the treacherous north-western coast, looks out to Rathlin Island in Ulster, to Kintyre, Arran and the Cumbraes. It was built in 1815 for the Commisssioners of Northern Lighthouses by Robert Stevenson, engineer father of Robert Louis Stevenson. Formerly named Stewarton, Kirkcolm, with the parish church and cemetery, is the only village. Although there were mills on the burn from Loch Connel, and the women of this district were noted for expertise in the home industry of muslin embroidery, agriculture is the only industry.
Notable for long leases of 21 years to life, there were some forty farms in 1840 on the steep pasture lands, interspersed with some arable. Dairying supplanted cattle raising from about 1820, but Kirkcolm once claimed the best black Galloway cattle in the Rhinns. Commercial fishery was for salmon in the north and herrings and oysters in Loch Ryan, while the Wig's deep water off Marian Port was a base for Sunderland flying boats of RAF Coastal Command providing air cover to WWII convoys.
"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||C118871 or M118871|
|1779-1821||C118872 or M118872|
|1820-1854||C118873 or M118873|
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.
2% Sampling of the 1851 Census, Kirkcolm parish: To view a sampling of those recorded living in Kirkcolm in the 1851 census, go to Mike's Genealogy site.
|1841||1042846 and 101940|
|1851||1042555 and 103774|
|Parish Registers, 1779-1855|
|Baptisms, 1775-1855/Marriages,1791-1854/Promiscuous Birth Entries,1831-1854/Burials,1794-1854.||1068037 Items 1-2, Another filming VAULT,102348 Item 1|
|Free Church registers of Kirkcolm|
|baptisms, 1843-1854||304671 Item 14|
|Session minutes, 1849-1865; baptisms, 1843-1854 (another filming); communion rolls, 1844, 1854-1855. Session minutes, 1865-1892; communion roll, 1879-1889; adherents, 1879-1889; baptisms, 1878-1895. Deacons' minutes, 1850-1886||Vault, 1562923 Items 6-7|
|Births and christenings, A thru Z 1779-1854||6901366|
|Marriages, A thru Z, 1791-1854||6901367|
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||Lorna McCubbin and Sam Heron|
|1851 census||Wayne Hannay|
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 1779-1855.
The Death Register for the period between 1796 and 1854 has been transcribed, and can be viewed by clicking 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 Kirkcolm parish roll, [click here].
[click here] to view more Kirkcolm photos.