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Inch, named from the Gaelic "Inis" for an early island site in Castle Kennedy's lochs, is located in a strategic corner of Galloway, where the coast road from Ayr meets the southern route linking Carlisle and Dumfries to Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire. It formerly included Portpatrick - "The Black Inch" - and part of Stranraer, and has taken in the ancient parish of Soulseat. Prehistoric remains are everywhere, from the "Stepping stones of Glenterra" to the many "Auld grey cairns". In Roman times it has been said, the Novantae had their capital, Rerigonium, at Innermessan, but as an inhabited site it declined from former importance to almost complete disappearance by the late 1800s. The Abbey of Soulseat, a twelfth century foundation of Premonstratensian white canons, was superior to both Holyrood and to Whithorn, but it had fallen into ruin before the late 1600s.
Castle Kennedy, now the site of magnificent gardens on a peninsula between the Black and White Lochs, was burned in a disastrous fire in October 1715, nothing being saved except the occupants, three pictures and the solid stone walls. Lochinch Castle was built in 1867 by the Earl of Stair whose family acquired these lands in 1777. Craigcaffie tower house is a compact castle, built before 1580 by John Nelson. Cairnryan village lies north on the coast toward Ballantrae in Ayrshire, as does the former WWII military port. Cairnryan also hosts today's terminal for the Irish ferries to Larne, and from late in 2011, Belfast.
"The 'Old' (1791) and 'New' (1834-45) Statistical Accounts of Scotland provide detailed parish reports - and in the case of the 'New' county reports - for the whole of Scotland, covering a wide spectrum of subjects including agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs." (EDINA, hosted by Edinburgh University Data Library).
This is a must read, as it contains excellent physical and social descriptions of the parish, Use the link below to access the scanned extracts. You may choose to read county reports which give a more general view of Wigton(Wigtown), or go directly to the pages devoted to your parish of interest.
|1855-1875||C118841 or M118841|
|1769-1819||C118842 or M118842|
|1819-1854||C118844 or M118844|
General information on all Wigtownshire census is more fully explained on Wigtownshire Census Records.
The 1851 Census is today available, as a full transcription,
on the Dumfries and Galloway local government's library
system web site, for Dumfries and for the two Galloway
counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbright, and we are
pleased to cite their URL where you can browse it as you
wish. To access the census directly, enter:
But please do remember that these are transcriptions, and therefore, despite best efforts of the volunteers who worked on them, they are liable to introduced errors. The information should therefore always be backed up by reference to original data, using for example the LDS film of the original census.
This 1851 census has also been indexed by John Roy, by Heads of Households, and we are very happy that we are able to include his invaluable key on these pages. In a rather compact manner, it offers both an index and an overview for those who need a more rapid feel for the location of entire groups of families by surname, for instance. Also, if you intend to use the D&G census you may find it useful to refer to John Roy's index to obtain the page number, as the noted URL reference doesn't give that information..
Census references are by parish number / enumeration district number / page number, for example the first entry of the first district on the Leswalt film will be 891/1/1. The exception to this was in 1851 where the page numbers were abandoned and replaced by 'entry numbers'. Therefore, the first entry in Leswalt will have the same number as other years but the second entry, which will normally be on the same page, will read 891/1/2.
The on-line 1851 census developed by the Friends of the Dumfries Archives does not use parish numbers in the search fields, instead, you need to type in the parish name (be careful with the spelling) if you are narrowing the search down to an individual parish. Once you find a likely candidate for the family you are searching for you can start a new search by typing in the parish name and the reference number in district / household number format That will bring up all of that entry only.
|1841||1042846 and 101940|
|1851||1042555 and 103774|
|Parish Registers, 1729-1855|
|1068036 Items 7-8|
|another filming||102347 Item 2, 1951|
|Inch Free Church, 1845-1960|
Marriages of other congregations
1850-1879, 1880-1893, 1958-1960
|889487 Item 5|
|Inch Free Church|
The following volunteers from the Sct. Wigtownshire mailing list have kindly offered to share their resources and time with other researchers.
When asking for a lookup please be specific. Provide surname, forename, and other details that would make the lookup easier to perform. Blanket searches for one surname, i.e. "Please supply all Brown information", must be avoided. To view all parish lookups available, please [click here.]
|1841 census||Carrie Gulline and Sam Heron|
|1841 census for Stranraer-Inch only||Bob McKerlie, Lorna McCubbin and Sam Heron|
O.P.R.s refer to Old Parish Records which prior to civil registration in 1855 were ledgers in which the parish cleric entered vital information such as marriage, birth/christening, and in some cases deaths. Parish registers were kept only as well as the cleric had time and inclination to do so. In some parishes, within a particular time, the records are exact, precise and a joy to read, in other periods of time, the same parish records could have sporadic, or barely legible, entries. To read more about Old Parish Records, and see image samples, please view Old Parish Records (OPR)for Wigtownshire
Covers period between 1729-1855.
Published in 1916, Parish Lists of Wigtownshire and Minnigaff, 1684 contains nominal rolls recorded in 1684 of all persons, male or female, over the age of 12, by parish, and domicile. To read more about this index, and to find a link to the Inch parish roll, [click here].
[click here] to view more Inch photos.
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