Description of the parish in 1846

"KIRKINNER, a parish, in the county of Wigtown; containing, with the hamlets of Marchfarm and Slohabert, 1769 inhabitants, of whom 229 are in the village of Kirkinner, 3 miles (S. by W.) from Wigtown. ..
The parish is bounded on the east by the bay of Wigtown, along which it extends for about three miles, and on the north by the river Bladnoch; and comprises 15,000 acres, of which 13,500 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder hill pasture, moor, and moss. ..
The village is on the road that leads to Wigtown; a few of the inhabitants are employed in weaving linen by hand-looms at their own dwellings. A post-office has been established here, and has a daily delivery; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, which intersect the parish. At Baldoon is a small harbour, for the accommodation of vessels bringing supplies of coal and other articles required in the district, and for the shipment of grain, cattle, and other agricultural produce.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Wigtown and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £230, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum, patrons, the Agnew family. The church, erected in 1828, is a handsome and substantial structure containing 800 sittings, and is situated at a small distance to the east of the village. The parochial school is well conducted, and attended by about 100 children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £30 per annum. The school-house is a spacious building near the church, and contains a small library for the use of the scholars." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.


Archives & 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


There are 2 cemeteries in Kirkinner parish:

1. Kirkinner Churchyard - St Kennera's Church, Kirkinner (grid reference NX 423514, GPS: 54.833254, -4.456598):


2. Kirkinner Cemetery, off Main Street, west of the village (grid reference NX 421512, GPS: 54.830867, -4.459409):

  • The cemetery is administered by Local Services, Culhorn Depot, Commerce Road, Stranraer, DG9 7DE. Tel: 03033 333000


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 889

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
Kirkinner 1042846 1042555 103921 104112 224060 220460
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Kirkinner, Church of Scotland

Church History

The only church in the parish was the parish church.

A list of all persons over 12 years of age, collected under instructions to the Episcopalian 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:

  • there are between 90 and 100 Seceders, 6 or 7 Roman Catholics from Ireland, and the rest of the inhabitants [belong to] the Established Church

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

  • The Seceders and Roman Catholics do not in general insert the births of their children in the parish register.
  • About 205 families (1100 persons) belong to the Established Church.
  • There are 55 families of  Dissenters, most of  whom attend a meeting house in Wigtown; and there are 23 families of Roman Catholics. There is at present a Catholic chapel building at Newton Stewart.

The1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists only the parish church.

Details of church history:

  • Kirkinner Parish Church
The church of Kirkinner was dedicated to St Kinera and prior to the reformation belonged to the Chapel Royal of Stirling. Ministry is recorded a Kirkinner from 1567. Kirkinner is so called because in former times the area that was later annexed as the Parish of Kirkcowen was included within its boundaries, the clergy man preached for two Sundays in the kirk in the southern part of the parish and the next Sunday in the kirk in the northern. Due to this situation one of the kirks was distinguished as the Inner Kirk, the other the Outer Kirk, hence the name Kirkinner. The parish of Longcastle was united with Kirkinner in 1650 under the name of the larger parish of Kirkinner. The parish was later linked with Sorbie in 1981. Kirkinner originally sat in 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. The present church was built in 1828.

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: 889

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

Kirkinner OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
889/1 1694-1819 1694-1819 -
889/2 1820-1854 1818-1854
At the end of the M. there is an 1831 census of population enquiry form.
(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 Feb. 1698 - Sept. 1702, April 1721 - Sept. 1726, Oct. 1728 - Feb. 1730, Dec. 1735 - Jan. 1737. Defective 1744 - 1754 inclusive, also 1766 - 1776 inclusive, and 1784 - 1793 inclusive. Entries out of the order of time occasionally occur.
M.  Blank June 1699 - Dec. 1702, and July 1742 - Nov. 1779. The fact of Marriage is not stated in the entries from 1779 till after 1820.

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:

1068037 Items 5 - 6 Baptisms, 1694-1854; Marriages, 1694-1854; Neglected Birth Entries, 1847-1850.
(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 (HR11) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/228
    Kirkinner Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1702-1714, 1745-1845 (plus Cypher letter c.1800), 1845-1897; accounts, 1745-1790.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR11
    Kirkinner parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1875-1883 (with gaps), 1908-1928; Cash book, 1908-1929; Accounts, 1920-1927; Papers relating to transference to Church of Scotland, 1925-1927; Correspondence, 1875-1928; Papers relating to teinds, 1799-1891.

Other Churches:

The Kirkinner 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
Kirkinner 889 1855 1966
Wigtown 874 1967 1971
Wigtown 874 1972 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Wigtown 874 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.


Description & Travel

Kirkinner village Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 54°49'57"N
NX 422514 54.832496
DG8 9AN Lon. 4°27'30"W  

Surrounding parishes: Wigtown, Kirkcowan, Penninghame, Mochrum, Glasserton, Sorbie.

You can see pictures of Kirkinner which are provided by:



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



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.
  • 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

Historical Geography

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

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


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 Kirkinner.

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. Kirkinner records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • 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.
  • IRS87/13-16
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Kirkinner Parish
    Entries 1-100,101-200, 201-248, supp. 8.
  • 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.

Estate records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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

  • GD25
    Papers of the Kennedy Family, Earls of Cassillis (Ailsa Muniments)
  • GD99
    Papers of the Vans Agnew Family of Barnbarroch, Wigtownshire
  • GD141/28
    Title Charter by Alexander Stewart of Dalswinton
  • RH15/25
    Papers Gordon of Grange
  • E614
    Exchequer Records: Forfeited Estates Papers 1715: Particular Estates: Baldoon
    Papers for individual estates include judicial and other rental, claims and decrees thereon, exceptions and appeals, factors' accounts, with vouchers and other papers relating to management, and papers relating to sale of the estate. Owner: Basil Hamilton, son of Lord Basil Hamilton, sixth son of Anne, duchess of Hamilton, and of Mary Dunbar, daughter of David Dunbar, son of Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon, bt. Location: parishes of Inch, Kirkinner, Old Luce and Wigtown in Wigtownshire, and parishes of Borgue, Crossmichael, Kirkcudbright and Twynholm in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Estate claimed successfully by Mary, Lady Basil Hamilton, the forfeited person's mother.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX401508 (Lat/Lon: 54.826015, -4.490371), Kirkinner which are provided by:


Migration, Internal

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) reports: "Between 40 and 50 persons emigrated from this parish to America in the year 1775 with a view to settle there as planters or artisans."


Military History

The Roll of Honour website records the names on the Kirkinner war memorial. 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. Kirkinner records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • RH4/23/233, RH4/23/235 and RH4/23/236
    Ordnance Survey Original Object Name Books for Scotland: Wigtownshire
    Parishes of Kirkinner, Kirkcowan, Mochrum, Wigtown and Penninghame (book 49); Kirkinner, Wigtown and Penninghame (book 50); Kirkinner, Kirkmabreck and Wigtown (book 52); Kirkinner and Mochrum (book 63); Kirkinner and Wigtown (book 64); Kirkinner and Mochrum (books 65 and 66); Kirkinner (book 67); Kirkinner and Kirkmabreck (book 68); Kirkinner and Sorbie (book 69); Kirkinner and Mochrum (book 73); Glasserton, Kirkinner, Mochrum and Sorbie (book 74); Glasserton, Kirkinner, Sorbie and Whithorn (book 77).

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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.



Year Population
1755 792
1801 1160
1851 1914
1901 1255
1951 1039

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 Kirkinner 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:

  • CO4/35
    Kirkinner Parish Records
    Parochial Board Minute Book, 1845-1899; Parochial Board General Register of the Poor, 1845-1887, 1887-1922; Parish Council Minute Book, 1899-1926, 1926-1930; Parish Council General Register of the Poor, 1922-1930


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

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW5/63
    Kirkinner School
    Log book, 1920-1964. (Closed)
    Kirkinner School was erected in 1829.
  • EW5/13
    Kirkinner School Board
    Letter book, 1909-1918.
  • EW5/43
    Malzie School
    Log books, 1863-1897, 1944-1945; Admissions and withdrawals register, 1899-1929. (Access restricted)
    This was a side school which was established by Mrs James Blair and Mrs Lambert Blair and the feu was held of Colonel Stoppard Blair of Penninghame. There were no trustees and the school was managed by Colonel Blair and his sisters. It was later trasferred to the School Board.
  • EW5/40
    Longcastle School
    Log books, 1874-1962; Admissions and withdrawals registers, 1885-1961; Attendance registers, 1955-1962. (Access restricted.)
    This was established following a petition from the parishoners to Sir William Maxwell of Monreith concerining the distance to the parish school. Sir William gifted the teacher's house and the school was built by subscription. It was managed by a committee composed of the neighbouring farmers, whose chairman was Sir William while the minister acted as secretary.

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

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Longcastle 109 65
Kirkinner 178 125
Malzie 57 34


"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.