Description of the parish in 1846

Map showing the location of the parish "PENNINGHAME, a parish, in the county of Wigtown, 8 miles (N. W.) from Wigtown; containing, with the market-town of Newton Stewart, 3672 inhabitants, of whom 1500 are in the rural districts. The parish is bounded on the north and east by the river Cree, and on the west by the Bladnoch; and is about sixteen miles in extreme length, and from five to six miles and a quarter in extreme breadth; of very irregular form; and comprising nearly 38,000 acres, of which 12,000 are arable, 600 woodland and plantations, 1600 meadow, and the remainder hill pasture, moorland, moss, and waste. ..
The crops are, barley, for which the ground seems peculiarly favourable, oats, potatoes, wheat, and turnips, with the usual grasses. Much of the agricultural produce, and numbers of sheep and cattle, are sent by water to Glasgow and Greenock, and to the Liverpool market, for which the river Cree, always navigable for vessels of forty tons to Carty-Port, about a mile to the south of the town of Newton Stewart, where there is a convenient harbour, affords every opportunity. ..
There are no villages. The post-office at Newton Stewart has a tolerable delivery; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, of which the military road from Dumfries to Portpatrick intersects the parish; and by two good bridges respectively over the Cree and the Bladnoch. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Wigton and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £231. 15. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £22. 17. 2. per annum; patron, the Earl of Galloway. The church, erected in 1777, and enlarged in 1827 by the addition of galleries, contained 700 sittings; but being in a decayed state, and inconveniently situated, a new church was erected at Newton Stewart in 1841. The present church is in the later English style and has 1200 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Relief and Reformed Presbyterians, both in the town, where is also a Roman Catholic chapel. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £15 annually. There are also several endowed schools. ..
There are numerous graves near Killiemore, of which the origin is unknown.There are ruinous vestiges of the chapel of St. Ninian, and also of the old church and burying-ground of Penninghame: near the latter are a few small cottages, called the Clachan." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.


Newton Stewart

Places in Penninghame parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

Please read the main GENUKI Wigtownshire pages if you have not already done so.

Archives and Libraries

The ScotlandsPlaces website lets users search across national databases by geographical location. It includes, amongst other material,

Business and Commerce Records

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Numerous papers concerning businesses in Newton Stewart are to be found in Court of Sesion records. Theycan be found by searching the National Records of Scotland catalogue for "Newton Stewart" and reference starts "CS".

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

At the Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department:


There are 5 cemeteries and 1 ancient church in Penninghame parish:

1. Clachan of Penninghame (Penninghame Old Parish Church Burying Ground), about 3 miles south of Newton Stewart (grid reference NX 412612, GPS: 54.920663, -4.47974, Google map): 2. Newton Stewart Old Churchyard, Church Street (grid reference NX 409653, GPS: 54.9570, -4.4852, Google map): 3. Newton Stewart Cemetery, St Couan's Road (grid reference NX 403648, GPS: 54.95189,-4.49505, Google map): 4. Challoch Episcopal Churchyard, on A714, 3 miles north of Newton Stewart (grid ref. NX 385674, GPS: 54.9757, -4.5246, Google map): 5. Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Ninian Churchyard, Windsor Road (grid ref. NX 409658, GPS: 54.961676,-4.486711, Google map): 6. St. Ninian's Chapel - The Old Kirk of Cruives, on A714, 6 miles north of Newton Stewart (grid ref. NX 377706, GPS: 55.003987,-4.537927, Google map):


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 895

The 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

There is an online index to the 1851 census created by the Friends of the Archives of Dumfries and Galloway.

There are transcripts of the 1851 and 1861 censuses (lacking the birthplace information for Scottish-born people) on the Wigtownshire pages.

Some census records on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family Search Centres around the world.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Penninghame 1042847 1042556 103921 104113, part in 104006 224062, part in 224055 220462, part in 220452
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Church History

In addition to the parish church and the Church of Scotland at Bargrennan, other churches include Free Churches at Creebridge and Newton Stewart, a Reformed Presbyterian Church, a Relief Church, a United Free Church, and a Roman Catholic Church.

A list of all persons over 12 years of age, collected under instructions to the Episcolalian Curates of Galloway and Dumfriesshire, was published as Parish lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684. It is available at the Open Library.

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) gives no information about Dissenters.

The New Statistical Account (written in 1838) gives this information:

The1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, the United Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Free Church.

Details of church history:

The church of Penninghame, which held a dedication to St Ninian, belonged prior to the reformation to the Archdeacon of Galloway. In 1777 the old church was removed to an alternative location at Newton Stewart and this church was later rebuilt in around the year 1850. In 1971 Penninghame united with the congregation of Newton Stewart St John's, under the name of Penninghame St John's, and a link later followed with Bargrennan in 1994. The kirk session, which remains active today, sat within the Presbytery of Wigtown until 1963 when, by Act of Assembly, the Presbytery of Wigtown and the Presbytery of Stranraer were united together under the name of Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer
Penninghame and Minnigaff Free Church, or Creebridge Free Church, originated at the Disruption in Newton Stewart. Unable to obtain a site, the congregation built a church at Creebridge in 1844 and maintained a mission at Creetown. It passed to the United Free Church as Newton Stewart Creebridge. The church building was awarded to the Free Church in 1905, but restored in 1907. It united with Newton Stewart Rutherford as Newton Stewart Trinity in 1909. The UFC charge was in the presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer and the synod of Dumfries and Galloway.
Newton Stewart Reformed Presbyterian Church arose from a disjunction within the Galloway congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian church in 1796. The first meeting house, however, was only built after 1818, and the first church in 1833. In 1876 it adhered to the Free Church as Newton Stewart. The UFC charge, Newton Stewart Rutherford, united with Newton Stewart Creebridge as Newton Stewart Trinity UF in 1909. This in turn united with Newton Stewart York Road as Newton Stewart St John's UF in 1926. The Church of Scotland charge united with Penninghame as Penninghame St John's in 1971. It was in the presbytery of Wigtown and the synod of Ayr.
Newton Stewart Relief Church began with a petition for supply to Glasgow Relief Presbytery in 1791. A church was built in the following year; the first minister was ordained in 1793. It passed successively to the United Presbyterian and United Free Churches, in the latter case as Newton Stewart York Road, which in 1924 united with Newton Stewart Trinity as Newton Stewart St John's. The UFC charge was in the presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer and the synod of Dumfries and Galloway.
Newton Stewart, Trinity United Free Church was formed in 1909 by the union of two existing UF churches in the town, Newton Stewart Rutherford and Newton Stewart Trinity. It united with a third UF charge, Newton Stewart York Road as Newton Stewart St John's in 1924. It was in the UF presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer and the synod of Dumfries and Galloway
The church of Bargrennan was opened as a chapel-of-ease on the 17th March 1839 and the parish was later disjoined from Monigaff, Penninghame and Colmonell in 1862. Ministry of the parish is recorded from 1863 in the person of John Barclay. Bargrennan was linked with Minigaff in 1962, however this link was later terminated in 1994 in favour of a linking with Newton Stewart Penninghame St John's. The kirk session of Bargrennan sat within the Presbytery of Wigtown until, by Act of Assembly XXI, 1963, the Presbytery of Wigtown and the Presbytery of Stranraer were united under the name of the Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer.

Church Records

Data provided by the  Scottish Archive Network (SCAN)

The Parish Church (Established Church, Church of Scotland):

The original Old Parish Registers (of baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages, and deaths / burials) of the Church of Scotland, which cover the years up to 1854, are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and they can all be consulted there at the National Records of Scotland.

Parish reference number: 895

The Old Parish Registers (OPRs) span the following dates (although there are gaps within these ranges):

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)

The Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland, published 1872, provides this information about the content of the OPRs, including the gaps within them:

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.

The baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages and deaths / burials indexes can be searched at the ScotlandsPeople website. Copies of the register entries may be purchased.

Copies of the registers on microfilm may be consulted in some local libraries and at LDS Family Search Centres around the world. The indexes to baptisms / births and proclamations / marriages can also be searched on the LDS Family Search website or on the IGI on microfiche in local libraries.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

1068040 Items 1 - 2 Baptisms, 1695-1854; Marriages, 1696-1855.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

A transcript of the baptism registers 1695-1820 is on the Wigtownshire Pages.

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Kirk Session records are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Heritors' Records (HR344) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Other Churches:

Records of other churches:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

At the National Records of Scotland and on the ScotlandsPeople website:

The Penninghame page of the LDS Family Search Research Wiki has more information about church history and records.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. Full information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Registration districts covering this parish:

Registration district number start date end date
Penninghame 895 1855 1966
Newton Stewart 895 1967 1971
Newton Stewart 872 1972 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Newton Stewart 872 2005  
Bargrennan 857b 1865 1968
Bargrennan 857 1969 1971
Bargrennan 854 1972 1992
Newton Stewart
872 1993 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Newton Stewart 872 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.

In 1865, part of Penninghame parish, from Glassoch to Glenhapple northwestwards, was removed from Penninghame registration district and was included in a new registration district - Bargrennan, 857b. For registration purposes only, this part of the parish was transferred from Wigtownshire to the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. The area comprised: Beoch, Bridgend, Castle (Meikle Castle), Clauchaneasy, Crungle, Fyntalloch, Garchew, Glassoch, Glenhapple, Glenruther, Glenvernoch, Kirkcalla, Kirkhobble, Knockville, Knowe, Knowe School, Ochiltree, Waterside, Woodhead.

Court Records

At the Stranraer Museum:

Description & Travel

Newton Stewart town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5457'28"N
NX 411653 54.957087
DG8 6NH Lon. 428'58"W

Surrounding parishes: Kirkinner, Kirkcowan, Wigtown, Minnigaff in Kirkcudbrightshire, and Colmonell in Ayrshire.


The parish entry in Pigot's National Commercial Directory for the whole of Scotland, 1837, is online at Google Books.


There is a list of places in Penninghame parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

The GENUKI gazetteer will give a calculation of the distance from Newton Stewart to another place.

Several old gazetteers are available. They all contain descriptions of the parish and many are also worth searching for entries of places within the parish.


The Penninghame parish page on the Wigtownshire Pages contains a lot of excellent genealogical material and some beautiful photographs.

Historical Geography

A Vision of Britain provides historical descriptions, population & housing statistics, historic boundaries and maps.

Land and Property

Details of historic buildings and archaeological sites in this parish held by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh, are catalogued at ScotlandsPlaces. In the results, click RCAHMS. Unfortunately, not all entries have digital images.

Listed buildings in Penninghame and Newton Stewart.

Valuation Rolls, from 1855, are held in Edinburgh. Valuation Office field books and plans (for the Valuation Office survey of 1911-1915) are also held in Edinburgh. A few valuation rolls are held locally. Penninghame records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

Estate Records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Some estate papers can be found by searching the National Records of Scotland catalogue for "Penninghame" and reference starts "GD". Collections particularly worth searching are:


Historic maps:

This Charles Close Society Sheetfinder will provide the sheet numbers for historic Ordnance Survey 1-inch and 6-inch maps for any location.

Present-day maps:

Military History

The Roll of Honour website records the names on the Newton Stewart war memorials. There is another listing on the Wigtownshire pages. More information can be found at the Scottish War Memorials Project.

Names, Geographical

The Ordnance Survey Object Name Books are held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Penninghame records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

The relief of paupers after 1845 was carried out by the Parochial Board and later by the Parish Council. Their records are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. See Public Records below.

The website has some information about the Penninghame almshouses.


Year Population
1755 1509
1801 2569
1851 4155
1901 3356
1951 2803

There is a page with census statistics from 1755 to 1951 here.

See also A Vision of Britain and Histpop for population statistics.

Probate Records

Probate records are 'Confirmations' in Scotland.

Prior to 1824, wills, testaments & inventories of residents of Penninghame may be found in either the Wigtown Commissariot (CC22) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records. From 1824, commissary business has been conducted by the Sheriff Court of Wigtown (SC19).

Sources worth searching for deeds include Wigtown Sheriff Court.

Public Records

Parochial Boards and their successors, Parish Councils, administered many local functions including poor relief.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:


School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Ewart Library, Dumfries. Penninghame records:

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

The Ordnance Gazetteer for Scotland lists the following public schools in the parish (1893):

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Corsbie Infant 121 90
Grange 100 47
Loudon 54 33
Penninghame 240 247
Challoch Episcopal 35 29
St Ninian's Roman Catholic 180 28


"Statistical accounts" giving fascinating insights into the local topography and history, social and economic conditions, and even the daily lives of people, were written by the parish ministers in the 1790s and the 1830s. For more information see the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.


The parish listing of the farm horse tax, 1797-98, the female servants tax, 1785-92, and the Male Servants Tax, 1777-98, can be seen at ScotlandsPlaces.

For details of other early taxation records see the Early Taxation Records page.

Town Records

At the Stranraer Museum: