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COLVEND, Kirkcudbrightshire

The united parishes of Colvend and Southwick, now known as Colvend, though the ancient boundaries of the two are still preserved by the inhabitants, are situated on the western shore of the Solway Firth....

It is about eight miles in length and five in breadth, and is bounded on the east by the Solway Frith and the parish of Kirkbean; on the west by the parish of Buittle and the estuary of the Urr; on the north by the parishes of Urr, Kirkgunzeon, and New Abbey; and on the south by the Solway Firth.....

The industry of the parish is almost entirely connected with agriculture, the most of the population being farmers. The tradesmen are chiefly employed in making and repairing agricultural implements. Formerly there was a considerable amount of shipbuilding and mending at Kippford, but this has declined to very small proportions with the decline of the coastal trade, caused by the construction of railways in Galloway....

The Rev. James Little wrote in 1794 - "that the great staple of the fisheries were cod, of which large quantities, and some of excellent quality, are taken here and carried to Dumfries and neighboring smaller towns....

Of shell-fish large quantities of cockles and mussels are found on the coast; also shrimps, whelks, and other smaller kinds of little value."

Handbook of The United Parishes of Colvend and Southwick, W.R. M'Diarmid, 2nd Edition, 1895, Reprinted 1992.

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History, Handbook of The United Parishes of Colvend and Southwick, W.R. M'Diarmid, 2nd Edition, Published by James Maxwell & Son, 1895: Republished, 1992, Castlepoint Press, Barlay Cottage, Colvend, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, DG5 4QB, ISBN 1 897604 00 9

Kirkcudbright,New Statistical Account of Scotland, 2nd Series, W. Blackwood, 1845.


The Church Yards of Colvend and Southwick has had pre-1855 monumental inscriptions transcribed and indexed. The index and transcribed inscriptions are included in a series of volumes that cover all of Kirkcudbrightshire. Colvend and Southwick are in volume 2. There are almost 250 pre 1855 stones that have been indexed between the two cemeteries. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Church History

Colvend and Southwick were separate parishes until 1612. "The parish church is extremely ill situated for the united parishes. The nearest part of Southwick is four miles, and some farms are distance seven miles. It was built in 1771 and is too small for the present population.

There is a meeting house belonging to the Secession, about seven miles from the parish church. It is ill attended, and would be still more so, if the parish church were centrically placed."

New Statistical Account, Blackwood.

Church Records

Church of Scotland records are held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Copies of the pairsh register on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Records Available Baptism Marriage Burial Reference
Church of Scotland 1715-1854 (gaps) 1715-1854 (gaps) 1838-1854 OPR 861
Free Church CH3 1139

The Kirkbean and Southwick Free Church records contain some court minutes and miscellaneous papers.

Kirk Session Notes: The Kirk Session records for the parish start in 1715. (CH2 1018) Refer to the county page for additional details.

"The chief other offences are Sabbath-breaking, and smuggling, if committed on Sunday.... These records bear out the traditions of the parish as to the prevalence of smuggling, which was carried on by coasters from the Isle of Man, which is within a few hours sail of Colvend."

United Parishes,M'Diarimid.



Year Persons
1755 898
1801 1106
1821 1322
1841 1495
1851 1398

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