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Help and advice for Wigtown

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Wigtown

Description of the parish in 1846

"WIGTOWN, a royal burgh, a sea-port, the county town, and a parish, in the county of Wigton or Wigtown, 105 miles (S. W. by S.) from Edinburgh; containing, with the village of Bladnoch, 2562 inhabitants, of whom 1972 are in the town. ..
The parish is bounded on the east by Wigtown bay and on the south by the river Bladnoch, and is almost six miles in length and about four miles in breadth, comprising by estimation an area of nearly 7000 acres; about 2000 are arable, 2000 pasture, and the remainder plantations, moorland, and moss. ..
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Wigtown, of which this is the seat, and the synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £272. 0. 9., with an allowance of £30 in lieu of manse, and a glebe valued at £24 per annum; patron, Lord Galloway. The church, situated in a beautifully retired spot at the eastern extremity of the town, is a very ancient structure, but, from frequent alterations and repairs, retains little of its original character; it has 660 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Secession; and a congregation of the Relief used formerly to assemble every Sabbath in the town-hall. Three schools are under the patronage of the corporation. One is the parochial and burgh grammar-school, conducted by a master who has a salary of £24, a sum of £10 allowed for an assistant, and a parochial salary of £11. 2. 3., the two first amounts being paid by the corporation; the other schools are for girls, and the mistresses respectively receive salaries of £12 and £10 a year from the burgh funds. The grammar-school, for which a spacious and elegant new building was erected at the close of the year 1845, is attended by from 120 to 150 pupils; and there are also Sabbath schools, in which about 300 children are taught." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.

Archives and Libraries

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

  • catalogue entries for maps and plans held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh; some maps and plans can be viewed
  • photos and details of historical buildings and archaeological sites recorded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • 17th and 18th century tax rolls
  • an opportunity to transcribe thousands of historic documents

Bibliography

Wigtown and Whithorn : historical and descritptive sketches, stories and anecdotes, illustrative of the racy wit & pawky humor of the district, by Gordon Fraser, 1877, is avaiable at the Internet Archive.

Business and Commerce Records

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Numerous papers concerning businesses in Wigtown are to be found in Court of Sesion records and the records of dissolved companies. They can be found by searching the National Records of Scotland catalogue for "Wigtown" and reference starts "CS" or reference starts "BT2".

Cemeteries

There are 3 cemeteries in Wigtown parish:

1. Wigtown Churchyard, Church Lane (reference NX 436555, GPS: 54.870000, -4.439100,Google map):

2. Wigtown Top Cemetery [sometimes called Wigtown High Cemetery], Jubilee Terrace (grid reference NX 430556, GPS: 54.870532, -4.448133, Google map):

3. Wigtown Park Cemetery, on the A714 about half a mile south of Wigtown (grid reference NX 428546, GPS: 54.861817,-4.449559, Google map):

Census

Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 901

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.

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
Wigtown 1042848 1042558 103922 104113 224064 220464
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Wigtown area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

In addition to the parish church, other churches include a Free Church, and a United Associate Congregation. The Rootsweb Churches and Graveyards in Dumfries and Galloway site has photographs of the parish church, the churchyard and several gravestones.

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 this information about Dissenters:

  • total population - 1350, Seceders - 191, Cameronians - 27

The New Statistical Account (written in 1839) gives this information:

  • There is a meeting house of the general associate synod in which there is acommodation for about 600 sitters. At an election of a pastor lately, about 120 members were found qualified to vote.
  • Number of Dissenting and Seceding families - about 66; number of families attending the Established Church - about 240; number of Roman Catholic families - about 25.

A census of Religious Worship and Education was taken in 1851 at the same time as the census of population. A table of statistics about the churches in Wigtownshire at this time is available here. The statistics for the separate burghs were also given. Those for Wigtown are as follows:

Wigtown (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 2824, Population of Burgh 2121:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 1 600    600 303    
United Presbyterian Church 1 300   330 630 360    
Free Church 1 40 360  400 220    
Total 3 940 690 1630 883    

Source: Census of Great Britain, 1851, Religious worship and education. Scotland. Report and tables. British Parliamentary Papers 1854 LIX (1764).

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

Details of church history:

  • Wigtown Parish Church
Prior to the reformation the church of Wigtown belonged to the priory of Whitern and was dedicated to St Machuit. The ruins of the old church still remain near to the present day parish church, built in 1850. After the 1929 union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, Wigtown parish church was united with the United Free congregation of Wigtown West, following the union, the Wigtown West church was sold and the old parish church remained in use. Wigtown was later linked with Kirkcowan in 1982. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Wigtown until by Act of Assembly XXI, 1963, The Presbytery of Wigtown and the Presbytery of Stranraer were united to form the Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer.
  • Wigtown Free Church (later United Free and West Church of Scotland)
The congregation of Wigtown Free Church, which started out as a preaching station, was sanctioned as a full charge at the end of 1843, the year of the Disruption. At this time a Relief Church was being erected in Wigtown, however due to financial problems the building could not be completed and had to be offered up for sale. The unfinished building was subsequently purchased on behalf of the FC congregation and became the Free Church of Wigtown. In 1900, upon the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Wigtown Free Church was renamed Wigtown United Free Church and in 1901 Wigtown U.F was joined with the former United Presbyterian congregation of Wigtown West U.F.. The two sessions were joined under the name of Wigtown U.F. and after the union the former U.P. church continued in use as the place of worship. Following the 1929 union between the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, Wigtown U.F. became Wigtown West Church of Scotland and in 1948 Wigtown West joined with the congregation of Wigtown Laigh, under the name of Wigtown Church of Scotland. After this union the former West church was sold. Wigtown Associate congregation sat within the U.P. Presbytery of Galloway and later the U.F. Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer.
  • Wigtown United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, West United Free and West Church of Scotland)
Wigtown United Associate Congregation, which sat within the Antiburgher branch of the Secession church, first received mention in the records of the Synod in 1750, when a call was presented to Mr John Tennant, whom the Antiburgher residents of Wigtown wished to have recalled from Ireland to be ordained over them. It was decided however to leave Mr Tennant where he was and in 1751 the first minister of the Wigtown congregation, Andrew Ogilvie, was ordained, a church to house the session had been completed during the previous year. In 1900, upon the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Wigtown U.P. was renamed Wigtown West United Free Church and in 1901 Wigtown West U.F was joined with the former Free Church congregation of Wigtown U.F.. The two sessions were joined under the name of Wigtown U.F. and after the union the former U.P. church continued in use as the place of worship. Following the 1929 union between the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, Wigtown U.F. became Wigtown West Church of Scotland and in 1948 Wigtown West joined with the congregation of Wigtown Laigh, under the name of Wigtown Church of Scotland. After this union the former West church was sold. Wigtown Associate congregation sat within the U.P. Presbytery of Galloway and later the U.F. 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: 901

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

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)

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.  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.
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, additional early entries of B. and M. were found, now included in 901/1.]

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:

1068042 Items 6 - 7 Baptisms, 1706-1855; Marriages, 1707-1854, 1772-1782; Neglected Birth Entry, 1830.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

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

Heritors' Records (HR355) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/374
    Wigtown Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1701-1745, 1822-1823, 1843-1854 and 1867-1889; Accounts, 1725-1815; Baptisms, 1867-1924; Proclamations, 1883-1936; Communion roll, 1848-1934.
  • HR355
    Wigtown parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1849-1929; Accounts, 1853-1933; Cash book, 1921-1933; Papers relating to buildings, 1850-1912; Papers relating to transference to Church of Scotland, 1925-1929; Correspondence, 1849-1929; Assessment rolls, 1850-1855; Plans of church, manse and glebe, 1853-1915, undated.

Other Churches:

Records of other churches are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/311
    Wigtown Free Church (later United Free and West Church of Scotland)
    Session minutes, 1845-1942; Deacon's Court minutes, 1853-1901; Account book, 1923-1947; Baptismal register, 1844-1947; Communion roll, 1844-1919.
    The registers are being made available on the ScotlandsPeople website.

    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    LDS Library Film Numbers:

    889477 Item 1 Wigtown Free Church Baptisms, 1844-1847. Original documents: National Records of Scotland - CH3/311/5
    304671 Item 30 Baptisms, 1844-1858, 1875-1876
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
  • CH3/310
    Wigtown United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, West United Free and West Church of Scotland)
    Session minutes, 1849-1901; Congregational and manager's minutes, 1879-1933; Account book, 1835-1922; Baptismal register, 1849-1901; Marriage Register, 1849-1855; Communion roll, 1849-1897.
    The registers are being made available on the ScotlandsPeople website.

    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    LDS Library Film Numbers:

    304671 Item 29 Wigtown United Associate Congregation Baptisms, 1849-1862; marriages, 1849-1855. Original documents: National Records of Scotland - CH3/310/4
    1886485 Session minutes, 1849-1901; Account books, 1835-1922; Baptisms, 1849-1901; Marriages, 1847-1855; Communion roll, 1849-1897. Original documents: National Records of Scotland - CH3/310
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

The Wigtown 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
Wigtown Burgh 901/1 1855 1855
Wigtown Landward 901/2 1855 1855
Wigtown 901 1856 1971
Wigtown 874 1972 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Wigtown 874 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.

Correctional Institutions

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HH12/89, HH21/24, HH21/60 and HH21/
    Wigtown Prison
    Governor's Journal, 1873-1878; Register of Criminal Prisoners, 1848-1875; Daily Statement of Prisoners, 1859-187861; Register of Criminals (No 2), 1840-1848.

At the Stranraer Museum:

  • WN
    Wigtown Burgh (Access restricted)
    Town Clerk's Department:  Miscellanea - including a record of persons imprisoned in the tolbooth, 1826-1838, and papers concerning the prison (including reports, minutes, etc.), 1791-1891.

Court Records

At the Stranraer Museum:

  • WN
    Wigtown Burgh (Access restricted)
    Town Clerk's Department:  Burgh court book, 1872-1873; 'Collected documents' including burgh court hearings, 1724-1838.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Description and Travel

Wigtown town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 54°52'3"N
NX 432552 54.867408
-4.444066
DG8 9HG Lon. 4°26'39"W

Surrounding parishes: Kirkinner, Penninghame, Kirkcowan (not touching but very close), and Kirkmabreck in Kirkcudbrightshire (via a ferry at Creetown).

Wigtown is Scotland's Book Town. Bookshops there have a good stock of books about Scotland, or by Scottish authors.

You can see pictures of Wigtown which are provided by:

Directories

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

Rootsweb has a transcript of the Trades secion of an unidentified 1912 Wigtown Directory.

Gazetteers

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

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

  • David Webster's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1819, online at Google Books.
  • Fullarton's Topographical, Statistical and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland, published 1842, vol. 1, A-H only, online at Google Books has an entry for Bladnoch.
  • Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1846, online at British History Online.
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4) and John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887) are on A Vision of Britain (click on "Historical places and writing").
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland(1892-6) on Electric Scotland

Genealogy

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

The Wigtown Cultural Heritage Project has collected a large amount of information about the town.

Historical Geography

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Wigtown has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Wigtown to another place.

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 Wigtown.

Sasines:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • B72
    Records of Wigtown Burgh
    Register of Sasines (1st Series), 1724-1809; Register of Sasines (2nd Series), 1809-1928; Register of Sasines (2nd Series) - Minute Books, 1820-1928; Burgh Rental Book, 1542-1599.

    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    LDS Library Film Numbers:

    298553 Wigtown Burgh sasines Minute books, sasines registers, 1862-1863 Original documents: National Records of Scotland - ?part of B72/3/1
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

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. Wigtown records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • VR85
    Valuation Rolls: Wigtown Burgh
    1855-1930; the Roll from 1930 is included in the Valuation Roll for the County of Wigtown; the rolls for 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925 and 1930 are online at the ScotlandsPeople website.
  • VR123
    Valuation Rolls: County of Wigtown
    1855-1975; the rolls for 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925 and 1930 are online at the ScotlandsPeople website.
  • IRS87/84-88
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Wigtown Burgh
    Entries 1-456.
  • IRS87/89
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Wigtown Parish
    Entries 1-78.
  • IRS133
    Valuation Office (Scotland) maps to accompany the above field books, scale 1/2500, Ordnance Survey sheets for Wigtownshire.

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW4
    Wigtownshire County Council: County Treasurer's Department
    Valuation rolls, 1891-1975; Assessment rolls, 1890-1897, 1950-1960.

At the Stranraer Museum:

  • WN
    Wigtown Burgh (Access restricted)
    Town Clerk's Department:  'Collected documents' - including records of services of heirs, 1681-1934.
    Chamberlain's Department: Assessment rolls, 1930-1946, 1967-1973; Valuation rolls, 1961-1973 (incomplete).

Estate records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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

  • GD25
    Papers of the Kennedy Family, Earls of Cassillis (Ailsa Muniments)
  • GD46
    Papers of the Mackenzie Family, Earls of Seaforth (Seaforth Papers)
  • GD72
    Papers of the Hay family of Park
  • GD135
    Papers of the Dalrymple Family, Earls of Stair
  • GD138
    Papers of the Stewart family, Earls of Galloway (Galloway Charters)
  • GD154
    Papers of the Agnew Family of Lochnaw, Wigtownshire

At the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • Acc.10539 and Ch.15531-16730
    Papers of the Fleming Family of Wigtown

Maps

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:

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX432552 (Lat/Lon: 54.866953, -4.444880), Wigtown which are provided by:

Merchant Marine

Sailors on board ships registered at Stranraer, Wigtown and Whithorn in 1851 are listed on CD: Scotland South-West, Highlands and Islands Seamen Crew Lists, 1851 available from Family History Indexes. The data is taken from TNA documents BT98/2735 (Stranraer), BT98/2794 (Wigtown) and BT98/2395 (Whitehorn [sic], wrongly included in Banff returns).

The Shipping Registers of Dumfries (1824 to 1904), Kirkcudbright (1824 to 1841), Stranraer (1824 to 1908) and Wigtown (1836 to 1920) have been indexed by the Friends of the Archives of Dumfries and Galloway. The register gives ownership details of ships registerd at these ports, together with ships' details and naming the Master. The database can be searched here.

Names, Geographical

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • RH4/23/233 and RH4/23/235
    Ordnance Survey Original Object Name Books for Scotland: Wigtownshire
    Wigtown and Penninghame (book 48); Kirkinner, Kirkcowan, Mochrum, Wigtown and Penninghame (book 49); Kirkinner, Wigtown and Penninghame (book 50); Wigtown and Penninghame (book 51); Kirkinner, Kirkmabreck and Wigtown (book 52); Kirkinner and Wigtown (book 64);.

Poor Houses, 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.

Population

Year Population
1755 1032
1801 1475
1851 2824
1901 1747
1951 1608

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 Wigtown 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.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Public Records

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CO4/47
    Wigtown Parish Records
    Parochial Board Minute Books, 1815-1902; Parish Council Minute Books, 1895-1930; Parish Council Minute Book (Landward Committee), 1895-1929; Parochial Board General Register of the Poor, 1835-1901; Parish Council General Register of the Poor, 1902-1930; Parochial Board Register of poor Persons, 1850-1864.

Schools

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

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW5/62
    Wigtown Primary School
    Log books, 1874-1898, 1923-1976. (Access restricted)
    This was known originally as Wigtown Burgh and Parish Higher Grade Public School. By 1945 it had a roll of 240. It became a junior secondary in 1948 but was downgraded to primary school status in 1948 and the secondary department closed with the pupils being transferred to Douglas Ewart High in Newton Stewart and Whithorn Junior Secondary.
  • EW5/67/2
    Wigtown: All Souls Roman Catholic Primary School
    Log book, 1943-1987.(Closed until 1 Jan. 2063)
    This was erected for the education of Catholic children on ground belonging to the Catholic Church and from their own funds. It was built in 1882 and opened in 1883.

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

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Wigtown burgh and parochial board school 276 231
School in connection with the Roman Catholic Church - 26

Social life and Customs

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • FS
    Friendly Society Records
    • FS1/27/1 Friendly Society of Wigtown, 1795
    • FS4/214 Portpatrick Railway Platelayers Sick, Superannuation and Insurance Society, Newton Stewart, No. 3 Wigtown, no date.
    • FS4/311 Independent Order of Oddfellows, (Manchester Unity), Friendly Society Wigtown, no date.

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 and burgh listings 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

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland. Records of the Burgh of Wigtown are held by Stranraer Museum and the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Stranraer Museum:

  • WN
    Wigtown Burgh (Access restricted)
    Town Clerk's Department:  Minutes, 1679-1975; Police commissioners, minutes, 1894-1925; Burgh court book, 1872-1873; Miscellanea (including a record of persons imprisoned in the tolbooth, 1826-1838, voters' registers, 1832-1855, 1879-1882, a poll book of New Galloway, 1832, registers of applications to keep inns, 1849-1853, and of applications for liquor licences, 1858-1864, and poll books for elections of councillors, Wigtown, 1850-1855 and undated), 1826-1944. 'Collected documents', 1676-1920. This miscellaneous category includes a customs levy, undated, papers relating to parliamentary elections and the census, 1734-1910, petitions, mainly to the magistrates and council, 1780-1885, oaths of allegiance by officers and councillors, 19th cent., applications for excise licences, 1836-1837, a subscription list for perpetuating Abbotsford in the line of Sir Walter Scott's descendants, 1833, records of services of heirs, 1681-1934, writs, 1669-1856, letter books, 1872-1898, and papers relating to Wigtown Gas Co, 1846-1888, the railway, 1857-1872, water supply, 1884-1889, the Medical Officer of Health and Sanitary Inspector, 1848-1871, the parish church, 1766-1876, schools, 1769-1866, courts of law (including burgh court hearings, 1724-1838), 1724-1950, and the prison (including reports, minutes, etc.), 1791-1891.
    Chamberlain's Department: Accounts and abstracts (various formats), 1752-1969; Assessment rolls, 1930-1946, 1967-1973; Valuation rolls, 1961-1973 (incomplete); Cash books and ledgers, 1957-1971.
    Additional deposited records: (including court surveys, 1962, byelaws, 1893, 1896, 1930, a letter book of Wigtown Educational Trust, 1933-1946, a petition on the Reform Bill, 1832, inventories of documents, 1872, plans, 1874-1973 and undated), 1777-1973.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • B72
    Records of Wigtown Burgh
    Register of Sasines (1st Series), 1724-1809; Register of Sasines (2nd Series), 1809-1928; Register of Sasines (2nd Series) - Minute Books, 1820-1928; Register of Deeds, 1866; Court and Council Record, 1512-1535 (unfit for production); Burgh Rental Book, 1542-1599; Burgh Charters, 1457-1661.

Voting Registers

Voters Rolls and electoral registers are held by Stranraer Museum and the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Stranraer Museum:

  • WN
    Wigtown Burgh (Access restricted)
    Town Clerk's Department: voters' registers, 1832-1855, 1879-1882, a poll book of New Galloway, 1832 and poll books for elections of councillors, Wigtown, 1850-1855 and undated.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • SC19/64
    Wigtown Sheriff Court
    Register of electors in the county of Wigtown, 1832 and 1832-1861; Poll book: Polling place Wigtown, 1835, 1837 and 1841.
  • GD124/14/3
    Papers of the Erskine Family, Earls of Mar and Kellie
    Rolls of the freeholders of the shires etc of Scotland including Wigtown, 1708-1709.