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Stoneykirk

Map showing the location of the parish
"STONEYKIRK, a parish, in the county of Wigton, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Stranraer; containing, with the fishing-port of Sandhead and the village of Stoneykirk, 3062 inhabitants, of whom 56 are in the village. .. Some vessels belonging to the Spanish Armada were wrecked off the western coast, not far from a bay which in commemoration of that circumstance, has since been called the bay of Float; and at Money Point, near the bay, a considerable number of Spanish dollars was subsequently discovered. ..
The parish is bounded on the east by the bay of Luce, and on the west by the Irish Channel, and is nearly ten miles in length and three miles and a half in average breadth, comprising about 21,500 acres, of which 19,000 are arable, 375 woodland and plantations, and the remainder, whereof 1100 might be reclaimed, moorland and waste. ..
The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses; flax was formerly grown, but its cultivation has been for some years totally discontinued. ..
A post-office under that of Stranraer has deliveries every day, and facility of communication is maintained by the county road from Stranraer to Kirkmaiden, and other roads that intersect the parish. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is 231. 15. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at 10 per annum; patrons, alternately, the Crown and the Earl of Stair. The church, which is situated about two miles from the shore of Luce bay, was built in 1827, at a cost of 2000; it is a substantial and handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, and contains nearly 1000 sittings, all of which are free. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords a complete course of instruction to about sixty children; the master has a salary of 25. 13. 3., with a house and garden, and the fees average 15 annually. .. Upon the farm of Clayshank, the foundations of a church may be distinctly traced; and at Kirkmadrine, the churchyard of which is still preserved as a burying place, are some gravestones with ancient inscriptions." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.

Villages

Stoneykirk

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


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

Archives, Libraries and Museums

A separate Records Page page gives details of the records for this parish held by Scottish archives.

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

Business and Commerce Records

There are a few business records at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Cemeteries

There are 3 cemeteries in Stoneykirk parish:

1. Stoneykirk Churchyard, in Stoneykirk village (grid reference NX 088532, GPS: 54.837300, -4.977500, Google map): 2. Stoneykirk Cemetery, on the A716 just north-west of Stoneykirk village (grid ref. NX 086533, GPS: 54.837786, -4.982734, Google map): 3. Kirkmadrine Churchyard (grid ref. NX 080483, GPS: 54.793500, -4.987800, Google map):

Census

Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 898

The 1841 and 1851 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.

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
Stoneykirk 1042848 1042557 103922 104113 224063 220463
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 at Stoneykirk there was a Free Church (later Unitd Free).

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 1839) gives this information:

Number of families belonging to the Established Church - 410; Seceding or Dissenting families - 74; Episcopalian families - 2; Roman Catholic families - 10.

The1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and the Free Church.

Details of church history here.

Church websites: Stoneykirk and Kirkmaiden, Ardwell church

Church Records

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 General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and they can all be consulted there at the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Parish reference number: 898

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

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 General Register Office for 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.  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.

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:

1068041 Items 4 - 6 Baptisms, 1744-1854; Marriages, 1744-1854; Burials, 1778-1792, 1839-1854; Neglected Birth Entry, 1830.
Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

A transcript of the burial registers 1779-1797 and 1839-1854 is on the Wigtownshire Pages.

The Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society have published Irish Marriages in Portpatrick, Wigtownshire, 1759-1826, which includes information on Stranraer, Stoneykirk and Leswalt.

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Kirk Session records are held at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR569) are at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Other Churches:

Records of the Free Church are at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of church records here.

The Stoneykirk 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
Stoneykirk 898 1855 1966
Stranraer Area 899 1967 1971
Stranraer Area 870 1972 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Stranraer 870 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.

Description & Travel

Stoneykirk village Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5450'10"N
NX 086530 54.836079
-4.980292
DG9  Lon. 458'49"W

Surrounding parishes: Portpatrick, Inch, Old Luce, Kirkmaiden.

Directories

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

Gazetteers

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

The GENUKI gazetteer will give a calculation of the distance from Stoneykirk 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.

Genealogy

The Stoneykirk 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 & 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 Stoneykirk.

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. Details here.

Manor and Estate Records

Some estate papers can be found at the National Archives of Scotland. Details of Stoneykirk records here.

Maps

Historic maps:

This British Library webpage uses small examples of historical maps of London to show the differences between maps at various scales.

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 Sandhead (Stoneykirk) war memorial. There is another listing on the Wigtownshire pages, which also has the memorial at Ardwell. More information can be found at the Scottish War Memorials Project.

Names, Geographical

The Ordnance Survey Object Name Books are held by the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of Stoneykirk records here.

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 Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of Stoneykirk records here.

Population

Year Population
1755 1193
1801 1848
1851 3321
1901 2420
1951 2285

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

Prior to 1824, wills, testaments & inventories of residents of Stoneykirk 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.

Schools

School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Ewart Library, Dumfries. Details of Stoneykirk records here.

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

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Ardwell 160 106
Meoul 70 67
Sandhead 117 80
Stoneykirk 121 108

Statistics

"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.

Taxation

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.

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


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Last updated 25 September, 2013 : William McM. Owen