"CUMBRAY, a parish in the district and county of Bute, Scotland. It comprises the islands of Great and Little Cumbray, and contains the town of Millport and the village of Newton. The two islands lie in a line, and the larger is to the N. of the smaller. They are situated in the Firth of Clyde, between the island of Bute and the coast of Ayrshire. The total, area of the parish is 5,000 acres, of which 3,000 are arable. The landowners are the Earl of Glasgow and the Marquis of Bute. This parish is in the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Earl of Glasgow. The stipend of the minister is £159. There are Free and Episcopalian churches, and a Baptist chapel; also an Episcopalian collegiate church, built in 1851, near the Priory, a seat of the Earl of Glasgow, and founded for a provost, a canon, and five honorary canons."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003

"CUMBRAY, parish, consisting of Great Cumbray Island, in Buteshire. The island is separated from Ayrshire by a sound 1¼ mile wide; commences opposite Largs; measures 3½ miles in length southwards, with a breadth of about 2 miles; comprises 2841 acres; has a low flat beach, steep banks, and a hilly interior, with extreme altitude of about 450 feet above sea-level; and contains on its south end the town of Millport. Real property in 1880-81 15,947. Pop. 1856. Established, Free and United Presbyterian churches, a Baptist chapel, and a cathedrine Episcopal church are in Millport. There are 2 schools for 389 scholars, and 1 of them for 325 is new."

"CUMBRAY (LITTLE), island in West Kilbride parish, but within Buteshire. It lies fully a mile south-west of Great Cumbray; is about a mile long and ½ mile broad; rises to a height of 420 feet above sea-level; had anciently a culdee cell, succeeded by a Romish chapel; and has now a lighthouse of of 1826, a disused previous lighthous, and a ruined ancient watch tower. Pop. 23."

[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]

Towns and Villages

Millport (town)

Church Records

The parish church records are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world.

Records in the old parish registers (OPRs) for the Cumbraes parish span the following years:

Births or Baptisms ~ 1730-1854
Marriages or Banns ~ 1782-1854
Deaths or Burials ~ no records

Description and Travel

View photographs of Cumbray and the surrounding area.

Historical Geography

Information about boundaries and administrative areas is available from A Vision of Britain through time.


View maps of Cumbray.