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Napoleonic Militia

During the Napoleonic wars (1799-1815) each parish had to supply men for the Militia. The system was that all the eligible men in the parish had their names put in a barrel and the required number were drawn out.

The person whose name was drawn had to appear at the appointed date and time or supply a substitute. There were many 'insurance schemes', where a group would pay a sum of money to a willing volunteer who would serve as the 'substitute' if one of the names was drawn out. As you can see, the actual number required for each parish was quite low.

There are some records relating to the men who served, but with few confirming details. Most just give a name. A few parishes do have the original list that went into the ballot, but to be honest it is difficult to derive any genealogical data. Most of the eligible men were the young unmarried ones and when only the name is given it is difficult to place the family.

Wigtownshire men were mostly under the command of the Earl of Stair.

Ian A McClumpha
Researching Family History in Dumfries & Galloway ~ and beyond.



The following was transcribed from The Dumfries Weekly, Tuesday, January 1, 1799, by Phil Reed. Microfilms of this weekly can only be accessed in person through the Ewart Library.

We offer this transcription as it appeared on the Sct-Wigtownshire list

Wigton-shire Militia

His Majesty having been pleased to signify, by an Order in Council, that it was judged expedient to call out the remainder of the Militia for Scotland, and to incorporate them into the Regiments already formed --- NOTICE is therefore, hereby given to the following persons, in the respective parishes, after-mentioned viz.

Wigton John M'Kie, with William M'Keand in Belmeg.
James M'Ghie, with James M'Bryde in Wigton, now in Dumfries
Nathaniel Murray, carter in Wigton.
Penninghame Alexander M'Dowall in Kirkcalla.
John Shaw in Old-hall.
Andrew Milligan, cotton-mill, Newton-Douglas.
Robert Thomson in Pintalloch.
Kirkcowan James Milligan, son to Peter Milligan, tenant in Kilpockadale.
Alexander M'Guifog, carpenter in Kirkcowan.
Mochrum Thomas Mathews, labourer at Morton.
Kirkinner Andrew Milmine, servant to William Corfan, Baldoon.
Alexander M'Cormick, weaver in Balfern.
Sorby Nathaniel M'Gown, servant in Midtown.
Robert M'Dowall, servant in Claunch.
Whithorn Joseph Bryce, labourer in Whithorn.
Alexander Campbell, Broughton.
Glasserton Alexander M'Kie, Drumrae.
Thomas Dunce in Arbrack.
Stranraer Nathaniel Douglas, sadler, Stranraer.
Thomas Davidson, wright there.
Leswalt Hugh Martin, farmer's son in Leswalt.
Inch William M'Calloch in Creoch.
John M'William, labourer.
Kirkcolm John Parker, shoemaker in Stewarton.
Stoneykirk Joseph Kinnan, weaver in Clauchanmore.
John M'Bryde, taylor in Craigencrosh.
Old Luce John M'Carlie in Craigenholly.
William M'Connell, servant in Craignarget.
New Luce William M'Dowall, servant in Barloor.
( Whose names were drawn in the First Ballot to serve as Militiamen for the respective parishes above mentioned, but remained undrawn in the Second,) to appear before the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace for this county, within the Courthouse of Wigton, on Wednesday the 9th day of January 1799, at twelve o'clock noon, to take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to his Majesty, and be enrolled to serve in the Militia for this county ; or to provide fit and able persons to serve in their stead, under the penalties contained in the Acts of Parliament made thereanent. And notwithstanding of repeated intimations in the Newspapers and on the Church doors, the persons in the respective parishes after mentioned have still failed to appear, and have not been apprehended nor Substitutes provided in their place, viz.
Whithorn Hugh Paterson, travelling chapman, residing in Whithorn.
Hugh M'Connell, weaver there.
Leswalt James Moffat, labourer.
Kirkmaiden Alex. Galloway, servant in Manse.
Stoneykirk William Camnock, weaver in Mye.
Therefore the Deputy Lieutenants will, time and place foresaid, ballot for others from the original sealed lists, to serve in their stead.

By order of the Lieutenancy,

Ja. Fraser, Clerk. Wigton, 24th Dec. 1798.

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