Description of the parish in 1846

"KIRKMAIDEN, a parish, in the county of Wigtown, 16 miles (S. by E.) from Stranraer; containing, with the villages of Drumore and Port-Logan, 2202 inhabitants, of whom 1700 are in the rural districts of the parish. ...
The parish is bounded on the east by the bay of Luce, and on the south and west by the Irish Sea. It is about ten miles in length, from north to south, and varies from a mile and a half to nearly four miles in breadth, comprising 13,000 acres, of which 4000 are arable, 6000 meadow and pasture, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. ..
The harbours are, Port-Logan in the bay of Portnessock, and Drumore. At both of these, commodious quays have been erected, where vessels of any burthen may land and take in their cargoes, and find safe anchorage in the bays; but the former cannot be entered at low water by vessels of great size. ..
No manufactures are carried on; but in the villages of Drumore and Port-Logan a few of the inhabitants are employed in the requisite handicraft trades. There is a post-office established under that of Stranraer, from which town the mail is conveyed daily to Port-Logan and Drumore, three days in the week by a gig merely, and on other days by a car carrying passengers. A fair is held near the church on the Tuesday after the 21st of November; it was formerly frequented by dealers from various parts of the country, but has recently degenerated into a mere pleasure-fair. Facility of communication is maintained by statute-labour roads, recently much improved, and kept in good repair. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £150. 16. 5., of which £5. 7. 8. are paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £8 per annum; patron, the Earl of Stair. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, was erected in 1638; it is a very plain structure, with 275 sittings. The parochial school is attended by about ninety children; the master has a salary of £25. 15., with a house and garden, and the fees average £18. A parochial library, containing a collection of 600 volumes, is supported by subscription." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.


The parish includes Drumore (or Drummore) and Port Logan.


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


The Parish of Kirkmaiden 1854, a statistical, historical and miscellaneous memoranda of the parish, has been published by the Stranraer and District Local History Trust.


Business & Commerce Records

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • BT2/913
    Dissolved Companies
    Kirkmaiden and Stoneykirk Steam Traction Company Limited, 1879-1932.


There is a churchyard and 1 ancient burial ground in Kirkmaiden parish:

1. Kirkmaiden Old Churchyard and cemetery extension, Kirkmaiden village (grid reference NX 124369, GPS: 54.692300,-4.911500):


2. St Catherine's Croft, the ancient Kirkmaiden Church, off the B7041 south of Drummore (grid reference NX 138324, GPS: 54.652596,-4.886931):

  • An ancient burial ground. Only ruins of a building remain.
  • This church was replaced about 1639 by the church in Kirkmaiden.


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 890

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
Kirkmaiden 1042846 1042555 103921 104112 224061 220460
(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, there was also a Free 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 no information about Dissenters.

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

  • There is no Dissenting or other chapel in the parish.
  • There are about 88 Roman Catholics and 28 Protestant Dissenters in the parish; the remaining 1935 of the population belong, professedly at least, to the Established Church.

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

Details of church history:

  • Kirkmaiden Parish Church
  • Kirkmaiden Free Church, later United Free, then Church of Scotland (Kirkmaiden St Medan's):
Kirkmaiden Free Church began at the Disruption, when the minister and many of the congregation adhered to the Free Church. A church was built and opened in the same year. It passed successively to the United Free Church, with a new church built at Drummore in 1903, and to the Church of Scotland, in the latter case as Kirkmaiden St Medan's, which united with Kirkmaiden in 1931. The UFC charge was in the presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer and the synod of Dumfries and Galloway.

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: 890

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

Kirkmaiden OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
890/1 1716-1780 1699-1780 1716-1780
890/2 1779-1820 1779-1821 1779-1819
890/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 1818-1854
(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.  and M.  intermixed 1716 - 1780. Duplicate of portion June 1738 - Oct. 1742. Defective for 1744.
M.  Record prior to 1716 prefixed to Register of B. Blank Jan. 1712 - Jun. 1716, after which date the entries [are] intermixed with the B. till 1780. Separate Record commences April 1779.
D.  Lower portion of leaf at March 1737 cut off. Duplicate of Record May 1738 - Oct. 1742.

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 7 - 8 Baptisms, 1716-1820; Marriages, 1699-1780; Burials, 1716-1780.
1068038 Items 1 - 2 Baptisms, 1820-1854; Marriages, 1779-1854; Burials, 1779-1854.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)


Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.

Heritors' Records (HR604) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • CH2/1551
    Kirkmaiden Kirk Session
    Minutes, Volume 7, 1924-1954. (Earlier volumes may still be with the church.)

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR604
    Kirkmaiden parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1900-1928; Accounts, 1900-1928.

Other Churches:

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/1575
    Kirkmaiden Free Church Kirk Session, later United Free, then Church of Scotland (Kirkmaiden St Medan's)
    Minutes, 1843-1930; Baptisms, 1843-1853, 1898-1930; Deacons' court minutes, 1854-1948; Communion roll, 1874-1921; Seat rents, 1843-1955.
    The registers are being made available on the ScotlandsPeople website.

The Kirkmaiden 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
Kirkmaiden 890 1855 1971
Kirkmaiden 871 1972 1988
Stranraer Area 870 1989 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Stranraer 870 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.


Description & Travel

Drummore village Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 54°41'23"N
NX 135365 54.689802
DG9 9PT Lon. 4°53'42"W  

Surrounding parishes: Stoneykirk.

You can see pictures of Kirkmaiden 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 Kirkmaiden 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 Kirkmaiden.

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. Kirkmaiden 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.
  • IRS87/17-20
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Kirkmaiden Parish
    Entries 1-330
  • 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.

Available for download:

  • Valuation Roll, Kirkmaiden, 1934-5
  • Lands Valuation Notices for properties in Kirkmaiden (houses in Main Street, Drummore, owned by Jessie Turnbull), 1957 and 1960.

Estate Papers:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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

  • GD25
    Papers of the Kennedy Family, Earls of Cassillis (Ailsa Muniments)
  • GD135
    Papers of the Dalrymple Family, Earls of Stair
  • GD141
    Papers of the McDouall family of Logan, Wigtownshire


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX365399 (Lat/Lon: 54.727425, -4.540485), Kirkmaiden which are provided by:


Military History

The Roll of Honour website records the names on the Drummore 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. Kirkmaiden records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • RH4/23/236, RH4/23/337 and RH4/23/238
    Ordnance Survey Original Object Name Books for Scotland: Wigtownshire
    Parishes of Kirkmaiden and Stoneykirk (book 71); Kirkmaiden and Stoneykirk (book 81); Kirkmaiden (book 82); Kirkmaiden (books 86 and 87).

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 1051
1801 1613
1851 2681
1901 1943
1951 1257

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 Kirkmaiden 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:

  • CO4/36
    Kirkmaiden Parish Records
    Parochial Board: Minute Book, 1927-1930; Parochial Board General Register of the Poor, 1879-1920; Parish Council General Register of the Poor, 1921-1930.


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

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW5/34
    Kirkmaiden Northern (Portlogan) School
    Log books, 1864-1904, 1929-1959; Admissions and withdrawals registers, 1885-1959; Attendance registers, 1955-1960; Summaries of attendance, 1956-1957, 1959-1960; Record of work, 1959-1960. (Access restricted)
    By 1949 it had infant and primary departments and was downgraded to primary school status in 1952. The school was discontinued in 1959.
  • EW5/35
    Kirkmaiden Southern (Mull) School
    Log books, 1893-1961; Attendance registers, 1954-1956, 1957-1961; Summaries of attendance, 1955-1960. (Access restricted)
    This was erected in 1876/77 and opened in June 1877. The premises were also used for a sabbath school and prayer meeting on Sundays. Its master was also leader of psalmody in Drummore Free Church. It was downgraded to primary school status in 1952 and discontinued in 1961.
  • EW5/36
    Kirkmaiden Free Church School
    Log book, 1863-1893.
    This was transferred to the school board in 1873 when it is described as 'late FC school'. By that time it had an average attendance of 82. By 1892 Kirkmaiden Parish had three schools - Northern, Central and Southern. the Southern School had accommodation for 85 scholars and was the smallest of the three schools and would therefore appear to have been the original Free Church School.
  • EW5/51
    Kirkmaiden Central School
    Log books (Kirkmaiden Parish, later Kirkmaiden Central, with a typewritten history of the school), 1868-1963; Admissions and withdrawals register, 1863-1960. (Access restricted)
    From at least the middle eighteenth century a parish school stood beside Kirkmaiden Church. The walls of the small building still stand, fronted on the east by the gravestones of two early schoolmasters. The first bears a much-worn Latin inscription, the other, that of William Todd and his family, begins with a quotation in Greek from the New Testament. William Todd wrote a history and description of Kirkmaiden parish, which survives in manuscript but was never printed. He was a gifted teacher, and in addition a good stonemason - he carved the family gravestone, and he made his hobby the construction of sundials, some of which are still in existence.

The Ordnance Gazetteer for Scotland lists the follow ols in the parish (1893):

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Central 230 180
Northern 190 116
Southern 85 63


"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.