"...In the records of the kirk-session, which commence in 1694, it is indiscriminately Monnygoof, Monogof, Minnigoff, and Minnegoffe. It first appears as Minnigaff in the records of 1737, in which way it is now generally written. The name is evidently derived from the Gaelic monna dhubh, signifying a dark mountainous region,-- a description peculiarly characteristic of the aspect of the parish.

The parish is upwards of 20 miles in length from north to south, and varies from 8 to 12 miles in breadth from east to west, and contains 127 square miles. Its figure is an irregular oblong. It is bounded on the west by the river Cree, which separates it from Penninghame; on the south and southeast, by the parishes of Kirkmabreck and Girthon; on the east, by the parishes of Kells and Carsphairn, the river Dee being the natural boundary; and on the north and north west (Ayrshire), by the parishes of Straiton, Barr, and Colmonell.

The greater part of the parish being of a mountainous and rugged description, is only adapted for pasturage, there being hardly a twelfth part of it arable. Many of the farms are of great extent. The largest contains 4700 acres. It requires four an a-half acres to graze sheep, and rent does not exceed 6d. an acre. There are several others little inferior in size. On the arable lands, rotation of crops now generally prescribed in leases is 1st, oats; 2d, green crop; 3d, oats or barley; 4th, hay; and two years pasture....

The black-faced is the common breed of sheep kept, though a few of the Leicester breed are reared in the lower parts of the parish...

...The number of sheep at present is kept at 33,500.

The black polled native cattle, usually denominated, Galloways, are the common breed kept. More attention is bestowed on the rearing of cattle than on the produce of the dairy. The number of cattle is about 2000 of all ages.

...The lead mines are distant about two miles from the village of Minnigaff, on the boundary of the Kirouchtree and Machermore estates. The lead was first discovered in 1763, and was shortly afterwards wrought. For many years the mines were very productive, producing many hundred tons of lead annually...

...they abandoned the works in 1839, and the buildings errected for smelting the ore are now in ruins...

There is no market town in the parish, and the nearest is Newton-Stewart, on the opposite bank on the Cree.

The post town is Newton-Stewart, and letters are delivered in Minnigaff twice a day. The great road from Portpatrick to Dumfries passes for four miles through the parish. An excellent turnpike road has been formed to New Galloway... "

Rev. Michael Stewart Johnstone, Minister, New Statistical Account, Blackwood.



History, Kirkcudbright. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, 2nd Series, W Blackwood, 1845.



The Church Yard of Minnigaff has had pre 1855 monumental inscriptions transcribed and indexed. The index and transcribed inscriptions are included in a series of volumes that cover all of Kirkcudbrightshire. Minnigaff is in volume 6. Refer to the county page for additional details.


Church History

"The church occupies a beautiful site on a high tongue of land, formed by the confluence of the Cree and Penkill, and overlooks the village, from which it is separated by the latter stream. It is four miles from the southern and sixteen from the northern boundary of the parish. It is conveniently situated for the majority of the parishioners; but to those inhabiting the higher parts of the parish, it is at a most inconvenient distance...

...vigorous efforts were made, and subscriptions commenced, for the errection of a church at Bargrennan, about nine miles distant from the parish church. A small but neat edifice was commenced in 1838, and opened for public worship in 1839...

The number of persons belonging to the established Church is 1597; United Secession, 49, whose place of worship are in Wigton and Creetown; Reformed Presbyterian, 43, do, in Newton Stewart; Relief, 26, do, do; Episcopalian, 8; Baptists, 2; Roman Catholics, 81, whose place of worship is in Newton-Stewart; not known to belong to any denomination about 20... "

Rev. Michael Stewart Johnstone, Minister, New Statistical Account, Blackwood.


Church Records

Church of Scotland records are held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Copies of the pairsh register on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Refer to the county page for additional details.

Records AvailableBaptismMarriageBurialReference
Church of Scotland1694-18551694-1855 OPR 876

A list of residents in the parish, over 12 years of age, was drawn up in 1684 by the Episcopalians prior to the creation of the Church of Scotland in 1690.


Description & Travel

Future Museum Blackcraig Mine, Minnigaff 1760s - WWI

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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX423756 (Lat/Lon: 55.049579, -4.470775), Minnigaff which are provided by: