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New Luce, ten miles from north to south and about six miles from east to west, is part of the Moors, the northern tier of Wigtownshire bordering Ayrshire. In 1628 it separated as a parish and though the pleasant plain Moor Kirk was built as late as 1821, the kirkyard has good eighteenth century memorials. The attractive village of New Luce, set where the Cross Water falls into the Main Water of Luce, no longer has the three inns reported by its dismayed minister in 1845, when they likely welcomed travelers on the new roads from Stranraer or Glenluce or the desolate moorland routes from Ballantrae or Colmonell in Ayrshire. Today's walkers on the Southern Upland Way, already a fair step from its origin in Portpatrick, still pass between the Norse named fells, while Irish boat trains on Galloway's one remaining railway follow the Main Water of Luce as it descends from the moors almost to the shore at Luce Sands before turning west onto the old Stranraer line's last remnant.
This was a country of upland sheep and cattle farms, thirty two on five estates in 1845, many of which are home to prehistoric cairns, and to the remains of old mine workings. A remembered man of the parish was its minister Alexander Peden, whose prophecies so disturbed the church and authorities that he was sentenced to transportation to Virginia; however the ship's captain declined to take his prisoners and Peden sought refuge in Ireland, eventually dying in Scotland in 1686, "much revered by many simple folk".
"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||C118931 or M118931|
|1695-1854||C118932 or M118932|
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|
|Parish Registers (Church of Scotland),1694-1856|
Marriages, 1694 - 1856
Burials, 1730 - 1854
|1068039 Items 2-3
Addt'l filming, Vault 102352
A - Z, 1695 - 1854,
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||Bob McKerlie|
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
Period covered: 1694 - 1856
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 New Luce parish roll, [click here].
To view pictures of New Luce, please click here.