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URR, Kirkcudbrightshire

As a rule the soil of the parish is fertile and kindly, especially in the lower lands which lie around the valley of the Urr. The portions not amendable to cultivate are a conparatively small proportions of the whole probably not more than one-twelfth, and consists of the higher hills, some moss lands, and the usual granite excrescences and whinstone scaurs characteristics of Galloway. Plantations are plentiful and mostly comprise oak, ask, elm, and Scotch fir, all of which grow rapidly in the district. These not only provide cover for game and shelter for stock, but greatly enhance the appearance of the landscape. The prevailing rock formations are whimstone and granite; and iron ore is said to be plentiful, but the want of coal prevents it from being exploited.

The greater part of the population is concentrated in the town of Dalbeattie, which occupies a fine situation in the lower end of the parish, about five miles from the mouth of the Urr. Being tidal up to the town, the river affords communication with the Solway by vessels of small tonnage. In the upper or landward district, besides several large mansion houses and many comfortable and commodious farm buildings, there are five villages of varying size: Haugh of Urr, about four miles from Dalbeattie, with the parish church and manse standing above it: Hardgate, half a mile further on, containing the United Free church and manse: Springholm, three miles to the north, on the coach road to Dumfries: (part of) Crocketford, two miles beyond Springholm, on the same road: and Milton, about two miles east from Crocketford, on the old military road.

On the east, it is bounded by the parishes of Lochrutton, and Kirkgunzeon; on the south, by Colvend; on the west, by Buittle and Crossmichael; on the northwest and north, by Kirkpatrick Durham and Kirkpatrick Irongray. For a distance of ten miles upon its western side it is skirted by the river Urr....

The Parish of Urr, by David Frew, 1909. Reprinted 1993.

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Archives and Library

There is a museum in Dalbeattie that is open in the summer time. A booklet is available from the museum, entitled, Dalbeattie and District in Bygone Days.

Address - Dalbeattie Museum, 1 Southwick Road, Dalbeattie DG5 4BS

Bibliography

History, The Parish of Urr, David Frew, Published by Thomas Fraser, Dalbeattie, 1909
Republished, 1993, Castlepoint Press, Barlay Cottage, Colvend, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, DG5 4QB, ISBN 1 897604 01 7

Cemeteries

The Church Yards of Urr and Dalbeattie 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. Urr is in volume 5. Dalbeattie is in volume 2. There are over 300 tombstones in the Urr Churchyard. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Church History

There were various churches in Urr. The Church of Scotland and Antiburgher were located in the central part of the parish some miles from Dalbeattie. In the 1840s the Antiburgher church or United Secession combined with the Relief Church to form the United Presbyterian Church. The Free Church and St. Peters Catholic church were located in Dalbeattie.

In 1843 a chapel of Ease was created in Dalbeattie by the Church of Scotland due to the growing population of Dalbeattie. Unfortuately, two months after the Reverend was called the disruption took place and he took sides with the seceding church or Free Church. He reportedly took many of his parishioners with him. It took another 18 months for another Reverend to be called for the Church of Scotland.

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 1769, 1773-1854 1770-1855 none OPR 884
Antiburgher 1817-1842 1817-1842 none CH3 1038 / 1
United Presbyterian 1854-1873 1854-1873 none CH3 1038 / 1
Free Church 1843-1855, 1890-1918 none none CH3 404 / 6
Catholic 1814-1898 1814-1855 1835-1856 RH21/52 1-5

Kirk Session Notes: The Kirk Session records for the parish start in 1772 (CH2 1038) On 21 December 1834 the Male heads of families were recorded in the Kirk Session records. 125 men are listed and where they lived in the parish. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Gazetteers

Military Records

There is a militia ballot list for the parish for the year 1802. A ballot list is also known as a liable list. The list records 168 men of the parish, their occupations, and the place they lived in the parish.

Return of the Urr Company Stewartry Kircudbright Volunteer Infantry who volunteered their Services into the Local Militia 16 July 1808, transcribed by Don Jaggis from National Archives of Scotland reference SC16/71/7. This list has the rank, age, height, residence, parish, whether married and number of children.

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