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Leswalt is a small parish, formerly belonging to the monks of Tongland. Its eight square miles lie in the Rhinns between Portpatrick and Stranraer to the south and Kirkcolm to the north. Within its hilly terrain it has fine meadows and, especially in the south, pastures which traditionally grazed black Galloway cattle and also sheep of Cheviot, black-faced and mixed breeds. Once famed for goat whey and for fine Loch Ryan oysters, over on the Black Shore, the wild and rocky west coast facing the Irish Sea, Uchtred Agnew's pans produced salt in Leswalt for some 300 years from 1637. On the moor above Salt Pans Bay is an Iron Age fort, while Sir Andrew Agnew's monument on the Tor of Craigoch above Leswalt village tops a prehistoric hill fort and provides a fine view for today's visitor.
The heritors in the 1800s were the Earl of Stair and the Agnews of Lochnaw and of Sheuchan, Lochnaw Castle's spectacularly located rectangular tower dating from around 1500. The island in Lochnaw, a loch which has been drained and refilled in its long lifespan, once held an earlier stronghold, taken and dismantled by Archibald the Grim in 1390. There is no town in the parish and Stranraer is the commercial center, but Creachmore is home to one of the last golf courses by the famous James Braid, laid out in 1951, while Aldouran Glen, east of Leswalt village, can show a fine display of exotic trees and rare plants.
"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||C118911 or M118911|
|1720-1820||C118912 or M118912|
|1820-1854||C118914 or M118914|
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.
|1841||1042847 and 101940 (another filming|
|1851||1042556 and 103774 (another filming)|
|Parish Registers, 1729-1854|
Neglected Birth Entries, 1847-1850.
|1068038 Items 3-4
another filming 102350
A-Z 1729-1854 (1 fiche)
|1841 census||Lorna McCubbin,
and Sam Heron
|OPRs, birth/marriages only||Meg Greenwood|
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 Leswalt parish roll, click here.
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
The registers begin in 1729 and end in 1854.
The WigPages Group have transcribed the death register entries for the period beginning 1815, and ending 1843. To view the Leswalt Parish Death Entries, 1815-1843, click here.
[Click here] to view our photogallery of Leswalt.