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Penninghame parish abuts Minnigaff in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright to the east, and Ayrshire to the north. It once centered on the old clachan or village, but today it looks to Newton Stewart, three miles farther north at the crossing of the River Cree. This small town of some 2000 inhabitants was laid out as a planned village in 1677. Briefly known as Newton Douglas, and one of the most successful such communities, it is a thriving little commercial center, with a small museum. It became the site of the parish church in 1777 and thereafter the clachan faded away, with just eleven houses in 1841 and only two at the beginning of the 1900s, though the old kirkyard still has a fine array of memorial stones.
The parish name reflects an Anglian or Anglo-Norman presence, but the place names in the hills of the north are often Gaelic or Norse, while the shores where the River Cree [in Gaelic, Crioch] flows into Wigtown Bay appear to have been settled by Norsemen in the 900s. These carse lands around the Moss of Cree south toward Wigtown as far as the Bishop Burn, are among the most fertile in Scotland, while the upland areas beyond Challoch, once sheep farming country, are today mainly reforested. The 1765 military road passes through the parish from Creebridge toward Stranraer and Portpatrick, while railways, since the 1960s only abandoned trackways, joined Newton Stewart to Dumfries and Stranraer from 1861, and to Wigtown and Whithorn from 1877
"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||C118951 or M118951|
|1695-1819||C118952 or M118952|
|1820-1854||C118954 or M118954|
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 101941|
|1851||1042556 and 103775|
|1861||1067737 Item 1 and 103921|
|Parish Registers, 1695-1855|
|1068040 Items 1-2
Another filming 102354
|Marriages, A-Z, 1696-1854||6901693|
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||Mary Richardson and Carrie Gulline and Darlene Vernon|
|1841 census/Newton St. only||Lorna McCubbin|
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
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 Penninghame parish roll, [click here].
To view pictures of Penninghame, please click here.