This article was kindly sent to me by Judi Graham who is researching a HAINING family from Penpont. It might help explain why people searching for ancestors in this area can't find the records they are seeking.

Note from Judi - I've put words that I was not sure of in square brackets and left a blank for words that I could not decipher. As best as I was able to decipher it, I've also left the spelling as it was in the original.

Penpont, 9 January 1801

It is here to be observed that since the death of the Rev. Mr. William Heyden late Minister of this Parish which happened upon the 21st October 1796 the Practice of Registring the Births and Baptisms of the Children in this parish hath been almost totally neglected. The Parents in [general?] making no application for that purpose and it was altogether impossible for me to find out the date of Births of so many Children baptized by a variety of different Clergymen.

The reason why such scarcity numbers of Births etc appear upon the Parish Register during the incumbancy of the Rev. Wm Heyden may be accounted for that almost one third of the inhabitants were dissenters of various discriptions and seldom any of them made application to have their Childrens names inrolled, [subsiquint?] to the above mentioned Period (viz Wm Heyden's death). The Militia Act taking place in August 1797 which was particularly disagreeable to the inhabitants in this place [has?] almost put an end to further Registrating the Childrens names further _______settlement of the Revd Mr John Nivison as Minister of this Parish in July 1798 The people were mighty prejudiced at the Illegality as they supposed of his settlement and few made application to him for church privileges. And since that period but very few have been registrated.

In consequence of a [Circular?] Letter which I sent [them?] the Parish desiring the Parents to send me Names and date of the birth of their Children which a few have sent me this I proposed to do without any fee for that purpose and have registrated the same faithfully tho' not in that regular [train?] of _____ I would have wished.

William Hewetson [Session Clerk?]

Written sideways on the page beside this statement in the register it says:

"At Mr. Heyden's death 62 families of Discentors"