Description of the parish in 1846

"MOCHRUM, a parish, in the county of Wigtown; containing, with the villages of Eldrig, Kirk of Mochrum, and Port-William, 2539 inhabitants, of whom 187 are in the village of Kirk of Mochrum, 7 and a half miles (S. W.) from Wigtown. ..
The parish is bounded on the south-west by the bay of Luce, and is nearly ten miles in length and from four to five miles in breadth, comprising 22,000 acres, of which 200 are woodland and plantations, about 1000 waste, and the remainder, almost in equal proportions, meadow, pasture, and arable land in good cultivation. The only harbour accessible to trading vessels of any considerable burthen is Port-William, near the eastern extremity of the bay, which has safe anchorage for vessels of 200 tons, and was constructed during the last century by Sir William Maxwell. ..
At Port-William is a post-office which has six deliveries in the week, and facility of intercourse is maintained by good roads, of which the turnpike-road to Glenluce passes along the coast for several miles, opening a communication with the Rhinns of Galloway. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Wigtown and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £153. 3. 5., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, built in 1794, and successively enlarged by the addition of galleries in 1822 and 1832, is a substantial structure containing 700 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Relief. The parochial school is well attended; the master receives the minimum salary, with an allowance in lieu of a house, and the fees average about £16 annually. The schoolroom is a handsome building, adapted for the reception of 150 children." - edited from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis, 1846.


The parish includes Eldrig (or Elrig), Mochrum and Port William.


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


Mochrum Churchyard and extension, Mochrum (grid reference NX 347463, GPS: 54.785134, -4.571482):



Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 892

The 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

There is a transcript of the 1851 census on the Maxwell Ancestry site.

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
Mochrum 1042847 1042556 103921 104112 224061 220461
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main GENUKI Wigtownshire page.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Main Street, Mochrum, Church of Scotland

Church History

In addition to the parish church at Mochrum, there were also a Free Church and a United Presbyterian Church at Port William.

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 is only one residing sectary in the parish, who goes under the name of Antiburgher.

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

  • Number of families attending the Established Church - about 300; number of Dissenting or Seceding families - 40; number of Roman Catholic families - 35.
  • There is a small chapel in the parish belonging to the Relief persuasion, but abundantly large for those of that denomination belonging to the parishes of Mochrum, Glasserton and Kirkinner.

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

Details of church history:

  • Mochrum Parish Church
The church of Mochrum belonged to the Priory of Whitern and Ministry is recorded here from 1567 in the person of Lewis Fraser. The parish church was rebuilt in 1795 and further enlarged in 1832 and 1878. Mochrum formed a union with the session of Port William in 1951, after which both churches remained in use. 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 under the name of Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer.
  • Port William Free Church, later United Free and Church of Scotland:
1874-1900 - Port William Free church. 1900-1929 - Port William United church. 1929-1950 - Port William Church of Scotland. United with Mochrum 4 Feb 1951.

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. The baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages and deaths / burials indexes can be searched at the ScotlandsPeople website. Copies of the register entries may be purchased.

Parish reference number: 892

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

Mochrum OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
892/1 1720-1819 (+ index 1720-1743) 1720-1819 (+ index 1720-1743) -
892/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 -
(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.  Blank 1743 - Nov. 1788. After Oct. 1789, the Record becomes extremely irregular, whole families being not unfrequently registered simultaneously. It is also defective. There is a copy of the portion 1788 - 1820.
M.  Blank July 1743 - March 1812, except for two entries for 1809, and one for 1810. No entries Nov. 1814 - Ju;y 1819.
D.  Four entries for 1818, and one entry dated 1828.

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:

1068038 Items 5 - 6 Baptisms, 1720-1842; Marriages, 1720-1743, 1809-1828; Baptism and Marriage Index, 1720-1743.
1068039 Item 1 Baptisms, 1841-1854; Marriages, 1820-1854.
(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 (HR24) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/269
    Mochrum Kirk Session
    Minutes and Poor Accounts, 1794-1847; Cash book, 1720-1742; Minutes, poor fund, etc, 1834-1871; Minutes, 1863-1866; Minutes, 1871-1899; Funeral lists, 1896-1899; Minutes, 1900-1948; Minutes, 1949-1951; Copy of cash book, 1720-1742; Church collections, 1869-1937; Cash book, 1871-1898; Cash book, 1899-1918; Cash book, 1918-1929; Cash book, 1929-1937; Cash book, 1932-1947; Cash book, 1948-1951; Communion roll, 1869-1876; Communion roll, 1875-1888; Communion roll, 1889-1898; Communion roll, 1898-1908; Communion roll, 1909-1917; Communion roll, 1918-1926; Communion roll, 1927-1933; Communion roll, 1934-1938; Communion roll, 1939-1943; Communion roll, 1944-1950; Baptismal register, 1938-1951; Proclamation of marriage register, 1876-1923; Proclamation of marriage register, 1924-1951; Mission work committee minutes, 1886-1898; Mission work committee minutes, 1898-1925; Guild work party minutes, 1925-1953; Bible society book, 1823-1865; Miscellaneous papers found in Bible Society book, 1825-1881.
  • HR24
    Mochrum parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1859-1915; Minute Book, 1892-1928; Account Book, 1893-1926; Account Book, 1926-1929; Papers re ecclesiastical buildings, etc. (church, manse, churchyard, glebe), with some general correspondence, 1708-1928.

Other Churches:

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/1615
    Port William Free Church, later United Free and Church of Scotland:
    • Port William Free Kirk Session: Deacons' Court Minutes, 1889-1902; List of Adherents, 1895-1902; Communicants roll book, 1889-1921; Baptismal register, 1874-1950; Ministerial journal, 1835-1865
    • Port William United Free Kirk Session: Minutes, 1903-1906; Minutes, 1906-1922; Minutes, 1922-1951; Congregational Board of Management Minutes, 1903-1951; Communicants roll book, 1903-1932; Communicants roll book, 1905-1906; Baptismal register, 1903-1905
    • Port William Kirk Session: Communicants roll book, 1934-1944; Communicants roll book, 1945-1951; Duplicate letter book, 1938-1945.

The Mochrum 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
Mochrum 892 1855 1971
Mochrum 873 1972 2004
Dumfries & Galloway, Mochrum 873 2005  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes.


Description & Travel

Mochrum village Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 54°47'7"N
NX 346463 54.785190
DG8 9LU Lon. 4°34'20"W  

Surrounding parishes: Kirkinner, Glasserton, Kirkcowan, Old Luce.

You can see pictures of Mochrum 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 Mochrum 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 Mochrum and Port William.

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. Mochrum 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.
  • IRS87/23-28
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Mochrum Parish
    Entries 1-100, 101-200, 201-300, 301-400, 401-500, 501-512.
  • 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 Papers:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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

  • GD72
    Papers of the Hay family of Park 1356-1880
  • GD109
    Papers of the family of Dalrymple-Hamilton of Bargany, Ayrshire 1412-1965
  • GD138
    Papers of the Stewart family, Earls of Galloway
  • GD141
    Papers of the McDouall family of Logan, Wigtownshire 1475-1788

At the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • Dep.282
    Sir William Dunbar, 7th Bart of Mochrum papers


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX320490 (Lat/Lon: 54.808016, -4.615281), Mochrum which are provided by:


Military History

The Roll of Honour website records the names on the Mochrum and Port William war memorials. 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. They are available at ScotlandsPlaces. Mochrum records:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • RH4/23/233-237
    Ordnance Survey Original Object Name Books for Scotland: Wigtownshire
    Parishes of Old Luce, Kirkcowan and Mochrum (book 46); Kirkinner, Kirkcowan, Mochrum, Wigtown and Penninghame (book 49); Mochrum and Old Luce (book 60); Mochrum and Old Luce (books 61-62); Kirkinner and Mochrum (book 63); Kirkinner and Mochrum (books 65 and 66); Mochrum (book 72); Kirkinner and Mochrum (book 73); Glasserton, Kirkinner, Mochrum and Sorbie (book 74); Glasserton and Mochrum (book 75); Glasserton, Mochrum, Sorbie and Whithorn (book 76); Glasserton and Mochrum (book 83).

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 8286
1801 1113
1851 2946
1901 1958
1951 1284

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 Mochrum 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:

  • CO4/38
    Mochrum Parish Records
    Parochial Board Minute Book, 1854-1888; Parochial Board Minute Book, 1888-1911; Parish Council Minute Book 1911-1917; Parochial Board General Register of the Poor 1846-1871; Parochial Board General Register of the Poor, 1864-1930.

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW4
    Wigtownshire County Council: County Treasurer's Department
    Mochrum parish council, abstracts of accounts, 1929-1930.


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

At the Ewart Library, Dumfries:

  • EW5/45
    Mochrum School
    Log books, 1873-1969; Admission registers, 1913-1969; Portfolio, 1927-1936. (Closed - no date)
    This was originally a parish school. In 1953 it lost its secodnary department which was transferred to Whithorn Secondary.
  • EW5/5
    Mochrum School Management Committee
    Minutes, 1919-1939. (Closed until 1/01/2015)
  • EW5/65
    Port William School
    Log book, 1920-1971. (Closed until 1/01/2047)
  • EW5/24
    Culshabbin School
    Log book, 1930-1948; Admissions and withdrawals register, 1904-1927; Attendance register, 1947-1948. (Access restricted.)
    This school opened in 1876 and was originally known as Mochrum Culshabbin Public School. By 1939 it was known as Culshabbin Primary School.
  • EW5/27
    Elrig School
    Log books, 1917-1960; Admissions and withdrawals register, 1874-1959. (Records closed.)
    This was a one teacher school in 1875 with the teacher also doubling as the school board officer. By 1934 the roll was 35. The school was discontinued in 1960.

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

School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Culshabbin 60 41
Eldrig 80 49
Mochrum 130 88
Port William 220 164


"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.