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Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland - Wigtownshire parishes

The condition of the parish registers was recorded in the New Statistical Account. In 1849 William Turnbull published a book (online at the Open Library) which extracted from the New Statistical Account remarks by the ministers about their individual registers. For the most part the ministers describe their registers as imperfect, defective, and not voluminous. The text of the Wigtownshire remarks is given here. Turnbull showed the "imperative necessity for a national system of regular registration."

The Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland, published 1872, provides information about the content of, and the gaps within, the Old Parish Registers (OPRs) of births / baptisms, marriages / proclamations, and deaths / burials.

It has two pieces of information for each parish in Scotland -

  1. the number of volumes containing the Old Parish Registers and the dates they embraced. This was further broken down into those volumes in the custody of the Registrar-General (covering periods up to 1819), and those then in the custody of the Local Registrar (covering the period 1820 - 1854).
  2. a list of 'Remarks relative to Blanks, Defects, Condition of Registers, etc.'

As an example, for Kirkmaiden parish:

No. Parish No. of Vols. In the custody of the Registrar-General
---------
Dates embraced
No. of Vols. In the custody of the Local Registrar
---------
Dates embraced
890 Kirkmaiden

2

(1) B. 1716-1780; M. 1699-1780; D. 1716-1780; (2) B. 1779-1820; M. 1779-1821; D. 1779-1819.

1

B. and M. 1820-54; D. 1818-1854.

B.  and M.  intermixed 1716 - 1780. Duplicate of portion June 1738 - Oct. 1742. Defective for 1744.
M.  Record prior to 1716 prefixed to Register of B. Blank Jan. 1712 - Jun. 1716, after which date the entries [are] intermixed with the B. till 1780. Separate Record commences April 1779.
D.  Lower portion of leaf at March 1737 cut off. Duplicate of Record May 1738 - Oct. 1742.

Since the publication of the book, all the Old Parish Registers have been taken into the care of the Registrar General in Edinburgh and some more information has been found, particularly in Kirk Session records, which adds to and has been included in the current known OPR records.

The information contained in the Detailed List's tables showing the number of volumes and the embracing dates (1. above) has been superseded by more up-to-date information provided by the Registrar General. This current information is given here. It is also in the 'Church Records' section on each parish page and is available as Coverage of the Old Parish Registers in the "Research Guides" section of the National Records of Scotland website.

The 'Remarks relative to Blanks, Defects, Condition of Registers, etc.' (2. above) for the parishes in Wigtownshire is reproduced here in its entirety. Some later information has been provided by the National Records of Scotland. The later information and my editorial additions are given in [square brackets].

The original records have all been made available on microfilm, and the births / baptisms, marriages / proclamations, and deaths / burials are all available on the internet at the ScotlandsPeople website.

B.  = Baptism / Birth;  M.  = Marriage;  D.  =Death.  p. = page; pp. = pages; col. = column

Glasserton

Glasserton OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
885/1 1700-1819 1700-1825 -
885/2 1819-1854 1849-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank June 1731 - Nov. 1744, and irregular and defective Jan. 1753 - Aug. 1778 inclusive. Blank (except irregular entries) 1778 - 1813. After 1819, five pages of entries 1784 - 1819, and a copy of the Record 1813 - 1819.
M.  Blank Dec. 1727 - Oct. 1736, July 1740 - Jan. 1744, June 1744 - Jan. 1814; and (except for two entries for 1825) Dec. 1819 - Jan. 1849. The Record 1814 - 1819 seems defective, and the entries embrace merely the names of the parties.
D.  One entry, dated 1839.

Inch

Inch OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
886/1 1729-1819 1729-1819 -
886/2 1819-1854 1820-1854 1843-1846
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  The Record prior to 1817 has suffered much from damp and want of care - the margins of nearly the whole of the leaves being imperfect. Entries many years out of the order of time frequent. One page of irregular entries, 1753 - 1783, after M. for March 1809. Duplicate of entries Sept. 1810 - May 1813, the original, which is on one leaf, being much wasted. Mothers' names rarely recorded until Aug. 1802.
M.  The first leaf much injured, and a portion of most of the entries thereon destroyed. Except for period 1737 - 1748 inclusive, unless in the case of irregular Marriages, the fact of M. is seldom added to the entries till 1817.

Kirkcolm

Kirkcolm OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
887/1 1755-1820 1791-1820 1794-1819
887/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 1820-1854
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  The original Record appears to have been commenced about 1790; but prefixed to it are 4 pages of irregular entries, dated 1779 - 1814, with one entry 1775. After 1819 is a copy of the Record. in which the irregular entries seem to be incorporated in chronological order.
M.  Proclamation of Banns. In duplicate.
D.  (Burials.) Only one entry before Jan. 1796. Original blank May 1812 - Jan. 1818, and ends Oct. 1818; but there is a copy, in which the blank is only May 1812 - March 1816, with three entries under 1815, and which is continued as the principal Register.

Kirkcowan

Kirkcowan OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
888/1 1788-1819 - -
888/2 1820-1854 1832-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Only 2 entries prior to Jan. 1792. Record tabulated.
M.  It would appear that the early Session Books of this Parish were destroyed by fire. There does not seem to be a record of Marriages extant of a date prior to 1832.

Kirkinner

Kirkinner OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
889/1 1694-1819 1694-1819 -
889/2 1820-1854 1818-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank Feb. 1698 - Sept. 1702, April 1721 - Sept. 1726, Oct. 1728 - Feb. 1730, Dec. 1735 - Jan. 1737. Defective 1744 - 1754 inclusive, also 1766 - 1776 inclusive, and 1784 - 1793 inclusive. Entries out of the order of time occasionally occur.
M.  Blank June 1699 - Dec. 1702, and July 1742 - Nov. 1779. The fact of Marriage is not stated in the entries from 1779 till after 1820.
[At the end of the M. there is an 1831 census of population enquiry form.]

Kirkmaiden

Kirkmaiden OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
890/1 1716-1780 1699-1780 1716-1780
890/2 1779-1820 1779-1821 1779-1819
890/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 1818-1854
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  and M.  intermixed 1716 - 1780. Duplicate of portion June 1738 - Oct. 1742. Defective for 1744.
M.  Record prior to 1716 prefixed to Register of B. Blank Jan. 1712 - Jun. 1716, after which date the entries [are] intermixed with the B. till 1780. Separate Record commences April 1779.
D.  Lower portion of leaf at March 1737 cut off. Duplicate of Record May 1738 - Oct. 1742.

Leswalt

Leswalt OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
891/1 1729-1820 1729-1820 1729-1819
891/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 1820-1843
Register of Neglected Entries 1847-1850    
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  No entries for 1753, and only one entry for 1755, and for 1757. Six entries 1767 - 1782 recorded after March 1783. Only two entries Oct. 1783 - Jan. 1786. Entries 1784 - 1790 on page at March 1789. After May 1804 is a copy of the Record from Feb. 1756, which is continued after 1804 as the principal Register. After 1797, in the copy, two pages of irregular entries 1767 - 1822. The early portion has suffered from damp. Mothers' names are not recordedtill 1798.
M.  No entries Dec. 1739 - March 1741, and blank (except for 5 entries1751 - 1752) April 1748 - Jan. 1790. There are, however, occasional entries of Proclamation Fees between 1729 and 1740, and 1755 - 1777, among the Mortcloth Dues for the same period. Blank also April 1797 - April 1798.
D.  Mortcloth Dues till 1778, but blank 1738 - 1756. Blank also 1778 - 1816, after which deaths are recorded.

Mochrum

Mochrum OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
892/1 1720-1819 (+ index 1720-1743) 1720-1819 (+ index 1720-1743) -
892/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank 1743 - Nov. 1788. After Oct. 1789, the Record becomes extremely irregular, whole families being not unfrequently registered simultaneously. It is also defective. There is a copy of the portion 1788 - 1820.
M.  Blank July 1743 - March 1812, except for two entries for 1809, and one for 1810. No entries Nov. 1814 - Ju;y 1819.
D.  Four entries for 1818, and one entry dated 1828.

New Luce

New Luce OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
893/1 1695-1819 1694-1819 1730-1819
893/2 1817-1854 1820-1854 1822-1854
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Only two entries (1695 - 1698) prior to June 1701. Blank (except for four entries 1711 - 1722) Oct. 1710 - Dec. 1725, and all the leaves of the Record till 1797 are very much wasted - numerous entries being partially, many entirely, destroyed.
M.  Blank Jan. 1711 - Jan. 1726, except for three entries March and April 1725. The leaves from 1775 - 1796 are in a condition similar to those of the B. Register, mere fragments only of some of them being preserved. Blank 1796 - Dec. 1798. No entries for 1816.
D.  The first four leaves are very much wasted, and many entries partially, some entirely, destroyed. Thirty entries prior to Jan. 1730 with dates destroyed. Blank 1738 - 1745, 1747 - 1750, and 1755 - 1766 inclusive; also Sept. 1772 - Aug. 1800, and (except two entries) Nov. 1811 - Feb. 1818. Blank also Nov. 1819 - 1822, and 1829 - 1846.

Old Luce

Old Luce OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
894/1 1731-1820 - -
894/2 - 1731-1819 1732-1819
894/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 1812-1841
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  This Record has been carefully kept. The pages throughout are subscribed by the Session-Clerk.
M.  Record carefully kept. The entries bear both Proclamation and Marriage, with the name of the officiating Minister, and, prior to 1780, the names of two witnesses to the Marriage are given. Pages certified by the Session-Clerk.
D.  Record titled 'Bills of Mortality'. The entries state the age of the deceased. There is a separate Record of Deaths of Children 1732 - Dec. 1829, and 1840 - 1841.

Penninghame

Penninghame OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
895/1 1695-1819 1696-1819 -
895/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Only two entries prior to Nov. 1696. Blank Feb. 1715 - Feb. 1716, and March 1750 - June 1753. Only one entry Aug. 1773 - June 1774.
M.  Blank July 1713 - Feb. 1716, March 1750 - June 1756, Nov. 1760 - Dec. 1762, Nov. 1763 - Dec. 1791, Nov. 1792 - Nov. 1795. After 1791, chiefly Proclamations.

Portpatrick

Portpatrick OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
896/1 1720-1819 - -
896/2 - 1720-1819 1783-1818
896/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 -
Register of Neglected Entries 1838 - -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank Nov. 1724 - Aug. 1727, April 1730 - June 1733, and (except for one entry) Oct. 1735 - June 1737. Also Dec. 1752 - April 1756, except one entry 1753. Irregular and defective 1756 - 1782 inclusive. Pages of Record 1790 - 1819 subscribed by the Minister.
M.  Blank Feb. 1730 - Oct. 1733. No entries for 1736, 1739, 1742, and blank (except for a few entries 1739) Jan. 1753 - Nov. 1765. Entries somewhat irregular as to dates about 1753 - 1766. Names of witnesses often added to the entries after 1779. Pages after 1773 certified by Minister.
D.  (Deaths and Burials.) Blank Aug. 1785 - Aug. 1817 (except one entry 1813). Ends Aug. 1818, except for one entry for 1841.

Sorbie

Sorbie OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
897/1 1700-1819 1700-1819 1706-1716, and 2 entries 1813 & 1818
897/2 1819-1854 1820-1854 -
Register of Neglected Entries 1836, 1838, 1840    
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank July 1721 - Jan. 1739, and defective 1739 - 1745 inclusive. Portion 1761 - 1771 in form of a small Memorandum Book. Blank (exc. one page of entries April 1773 - Jan. 1774) July 1771 - Sept. 1789, and June 1790 - June 1794, exc. 12 irregular entries 1787 - 1806 which occur at that part.
M.  Blank June 1721 - June 1794, and Nov. 1814 - June 1816.
D.  Mortcloth Dues intermixed with other matters. Two entries of Death, dated 1813 and 1818.

Stoneykirk

Stoneykirk OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
898/1 1744-1819 1744-1819 1778-1797
898/2 1820-1848 1820-1839 -
898/3 1839-1854 1839-1854 1839-1854
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Entries out of the order of time occur occasionally throughout the Record, and are very frequent after 1800. On p. 156 are entries dated 1808 - 1832.
M.  Entries for 1744 twice recorded. After Dec. 1796, the fact of Marriage is seldom stated, the entries usually bearing merely that the parties were 'Booked in order to Marriage'.
D.  (Deaths and Burials) Recorded on pages 157 - 165 inclusive of the Register of Baptisms. Blank (except for one entry for 1797) March 1793 - Nov. 1839.

Stranraer

Stranraer OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
899/1 1695-1819 1712-1819 -
899/2 1820-1854 1819-1853 1847-1850 (2 entries)
899/3 Index 1820-1854 - -
Register of Neglected Entries 1835-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Entries several years out of the order of time occasionally occur, and a number of interpolated entries in the portion after 1836. Mothers' names seldom recorded before 1775.
M.  (Proclamations and Marriages) Only one entry after March 1851. A number of Marriages of parishoners celebrated in Ireland are recorded.

Whithorn

Whithorn OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
900/1 1712-1819 1712-1819 -
900/2 1819-1854 1820-1854 -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  The regular Record does not commence till May 1796. Prefixed to this are four pages containing 96 irregular entries dated between 1763 and 1844. On p. 112 are 33 irregular entries1789 - 1819.
M. One entry for 1788 recorded after Aug. 1811.

Wigtown

Wigtown OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
901/1 1706-1819 1707-1782 -
901/2 1819-1854 1832 (1 entry) -
Register of Neglected Entries 1830  - -
(Data supplied by National Records of Scotland)

B.  Blank Nov. 1751 - Sept. 1753; but at that part are 12 irregular entries 1745 - 1768. Only 20 entries Sept. 1753 - Jan. 1771. Defective Oct. 1772 - Jan. 1779. Regular Record blank Dec. 1782 - Sept. 1799, but there are irregular entries on 5 pages. at that part, dated 1774 - 1798. Irregular entries, 1740 - 1761 (one family), recorded in 1829.
M.  Blank (except one entry 1754) Feb. 1752 - April 1772, and (except for one entry 1775) Dec. 1772 - April 1777. Record terminates June 1782, except 1 entry for 1832.