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Stoneykirk lies in the middle of the Rhinns of Galloway, that double headed peninsula that forms the westernmost part of the Shire, and since the 1600s this large parish has included Toskerton and Clayshant. The pastures of its hilly green farms run from the Irish Channel where in corners protected from the winds subtropical gardens flourish, to where Freugh flattens out to the sands of Luce Bay, flat enough in this hilly county to have been the home of a Royal Air Force station, and also arable enough that in 1791 it was reported as the premier grain exporting parish of Wigtownshire.
Stranraer, to the north, is the nearest town, while Stoneykirk itself is just a village with its kirk and kirkyard on the main road south to Port Logan, Drummore and finally the Mull of Galloway. Doon Castle with its thirteen foot thick walls is a prehistoric broch or fortification at Ardwell Bay, while in the south of the parish, in Kirkmadrine, are to be seen the oldest Christian monuments in Scotland outside Whithorn, inscribed standing stones dating probably from the 5th century AD. Fishing was once an industry of tiny ports on the rocky west coast, which is also noted for many caves, one of which might have been the retreat of the mythical Scots cannibal rogue Sawney Bean!
"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||C118981 or M118981|
|1744-1820||C118982 or M118982|
|1820-1839||C118984 or M118984|
|1830-1854||C118985 or M118985|
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.
Names mentioned: Elizabeth Weir, Mary Campbell, Mary McMeikan, William McPhail, James Robertson, Margaret Little, Anthony Paterson, Agnes Little, James Conchrane, Joseph Murdock, Mrs. James Cruickshanks, Alexander Shaw, George Smith, Mrs William Torbett, Lizze Morrison, John McCrorie, Mary Allison, Mary Palmer, Thomas Agnew To view more details of these sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting the private url for the Stoneykirk Free Church Kirk Sessions.
|1841||1042848 and 101941|
|1851||1042557 and 103775|
|Parish Registers, 1744-1854|
Burials, 1778-1792, 1839-1854
Neglected Birth Entry, 1830
|1068041 items 4-6 and another filming 102357|
|2 microfiche, 6901372|
|Marriages, A-Z, 1744-1854||6901373|
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||Carrie Gulline and Lorna McCubbin|
|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
A transcription of the Stoneykirk parish Register of the Dead, for the years 1839-1854 is available here. An earlier register, covering the years 1778-1797, has been transcribed. To view it, 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 Stoneykirk parish roll, [click here].
To view pictures of Stoneykirk, please click here.