The main burial ground around the site of the first church was extended about 1890 and is still in use. However a new Ballantrae Cemetery was opened in 1951.
"Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions; an index for Carrick, Ayrshire" edited by Alison Mitchell, and published in Edinburgh in 1988 by the Scottish Genealogy Society covers the parish of Ballantrae.
Ballantrae parish lies at the southern tip of the Ayrshire coast, bordering Wigtown. It is a very rural parish with large areas of moorland split by a narrow valley through which runs the Water of App. The A77 Glasgow to Stranraer trunk road runs through the parish and parallel with Glen App. Along this road passes much of the traffic for the ferries to and from Northern Ireland. In an 18th century form of that trade, Ballantrae was a centre for smuggling contraband from Ireland and the Isle of Man. The smuggled goods were not just the traditional brandy and tobacco, but salt to evade the punitive Salt Tax then enforced in Scotland.
Ballantrae takes its name from the Gaelic 'baile-na-traigh' meaning 'town on the shore'.
Ballantrae village lies at the mouth of the River Stinchar, having a small harbour with stone flagged quay. The harbour used to be a calling point for the Stranraer/Glasgow steamer. Nowadays it is used only by small fishing and leisure craft. The village is in two parts - the fishing community around the Harbour - and a farming community in a group of houses close by the church. The mouth of the River Stinchar, just south of the village, has been made a nature reserve, where various varieties of tern breed.
Elsewhere in the parish are to be found the ruins of Ardstinchar castle, built for Hugh Kennedy of Bargany in the 15th century. Glenapp Castle is a huge Victorian mansion in the baronial style which was created in 1870.
An 1837 description of the parish, including a listing of the key personalities of the town, is given in this extract from Pigot's Directory for Ayrshire. The transcript was provided by Keith Muirhead from Queensland.
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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX083824 (Lat/Lon: 55.098862, -5.006101), Ballantrae which are provided by: