Wigtownshire Pages: Kirkmaiden parish info
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Kirkmaiden Parish

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

Kirkmaiden is the southernmost parish in all Scotland, with its twenty square miles in the Rhinns of Galloway. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Stoneykirk, and on its other sides by the sea, and finally it ends in the Mull of Galloway, where earthworks date from 1000 BC. There the lighthouse looks over the Irish Sea to Cumberland, the Isle of Man, Ireland's Mountains of Mourne, and even Argyll's Paps of Jura. The parish once belonged to the monastery of Soulseat, with its oldest church at Kirkmaiden in the south, replaced in 1638 by one at Corsbie. Old fortifications were the round tower at Dunman, and the Gordon's ruined Clanyard Castle. The principal family was the M'Doualls of Logan, Port Logan and Drummore, also a port, being the only large villages.

Agriculture has been the main industry, and black-faced sheep and Galloway cattle were raised, though smuggling was once popular, the west coast caves no doubt providing safe hiding places. Port Logan or Port Nessock, famous for its sub-tropical Logan Botanic Garden and the ancient sea fish ponds with their still tame fish, was once promoted as an alternate to Portpatrick and Stranraer for the Irish steamers. The parishioners were reputed to be the biggest and strongest men of Galloway, and William Todd, the Kirkmaiden parish dominie or school teacher from 1799 to 1845, collected much of the region's liveliest folklore there.

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 C118871 or M118871
1779-1821 C118872 or M118872
1820-1854 C118873 or M118873


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 (another filming
1851 1042555
103774 another filming
1861 103921
1871 104112
1881 224061
1891 220460
Church Records
Parish Registers, 1699-1855
Baptisms,1716 - 1820
Marriages,1699 - 1780
Burials,1716 - 1780
1068037 Items 7-8 and another filming 102349
Baptisms, 1820 - 1854
Marriages,1779 - 1854
Burials, 1779 - 1854
1068038 Items 1-2
Church indexes
A-Z 1716-1855
6901369 2 fiches
6901409 1 fiche

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 Phil Reed or Bob McKerlie
OPRs, birth/marriages only Meg Greenwood

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

We have transcribed the entries from the 'Register of the Dead in Parish of Kirkmaiden' , beginning June 18, April 1779. To view, please click here.

Wayne Hannay has a partial transcription on his site, found here.

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


[click here] to view more Kirkmaiden photos.


1790 1,380
1801 1,613
1811 1,788
1821 2,210
1831 2,051