Wigtownshire Pages: Inch parish info
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Inch Parish

map photo photo photo photo
To view the entire photogallery, [click here]

Inch, named from the Gaelic "Inis" for an early island site in Castle Kennedy's lochs, is located in a strategic corner of Galloway, where the coast road from Ayr meets the southern route linking Carlisle and Dumfries to Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire. It formerly included Portpatrick - "The Black Inch" - and part of Stranraer, and has taken in the ancient parish of Soulseat. Prehistoric remains are everywhere, from the "Stepping stones of Glenterra" to the many "Auld grey cairns". In Roman times it has been said, the Novantae had their capital, Rerigonium, at Innermessan, but as an inhabited site it declined from former importance to almost complete disappearance by the late 1800s. The Abbey of Soulseat, a twelfth century foundation of Premonstratensian white canons, was superior to both Holyrood and to Whithorn, but it had fallen into ruin before the late 1600s.

Castle Kennedy, now the site of magnificent gardens on a peninsula between the Black and White Lochs, was burned in a disastrous fire in October 1715, nothing being saved except the occupants, three pictures and the solid stone walls. Lochinch Castle was built in 1867 by the Earl of Stair whose family acquired these lands in 1777. Craigcaffie tower house is a compact castle, built before 1580 by John Nelson. Cairnryan village lies north on the coast toward Ballantrae in Ayrshire, as do the former WWII military port and a terminal for Irish ferries to Larne.

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1845

"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.

Parish Info

Batch Numbers

Recently a new site has been published, which considerably cuts the time involved searching the International Genealogy Index (IGI) with batch numbers.

Click here to view the entrance page, and read about the site, and batch numbers.

Click here to go directly to the IGI Batch numbers for Wigtown parishes.

1855-1875 C118841 or M118841
1769-1819 C118842 or M118842
1819-1854 C118844 or M118844


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.

LDS Film Numbers

1841 1042846 and 101940
1851 1042555 and 103774
1861 103921
1871 104112
1881 224060
1891 220459
Church Records
Parish Registers, 1729-1855
1068036 Items 7-8
another filming 102347 Item 2, 1951
Inch Free Church, 1845-1960
Baptisms 1845-1878,
Marriages 1845-1875
Deaths 1845-1878,
Marriages of other congregations
1850-1879, 1880-1893, 1958-1960
889487 Item 5
Church Indexes
A-Z 1729-1855
(2 fiches)
1729-1855 A-Z
Inch Free Church
A-Z 1845-1878
A-X 1845-1893

Lookups for Parish Records

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 Sam Heron
1841 census for Stranraer-Inch only Bob McKerlie, Lorna McCubbin and Sam Heron

Map Sources

Old Parish Registers

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 1729-1855.

Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684

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 domicile. To read more about this index, and to find a link to the Inch parish roll, [click here].


[click here] to view more Inch photos.


1791 1,450
1821 2,386
1831 2,521