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Kirkinner, which lies south of Wigtown and north of Sorbie, once included Kirkcowan, but now comprises Kirkinner itself and also Longcastle, to the west, by the now drained Dowalton Loch. Kirkinner village is on the main road from Wigtown to Whithorn and its church, which is on a very old Christian site, was likely linked with Whithorn, and has an early Anglian carved stone cross. Appointment of the rector was a benefice of the Scots king, and later of the Vans family of Barnbarroch, which fact sat particularly ill with the very presbyterian members of the kirk. The people were deep rooted in the area, but competition from Irish incomers caused much emigration in the mid 1800s. One famous rector was Andrew Symson, author of the 1684 "Large Description of Galloway". The parish is about five miles by four or five, mostly the small gentle green hills or drumlins of the Machars and has a shoreline on Wigtown Bay of some three miles, mainly on the Baldoon estate of the Earls of Galloway. The old castle of Baldoon was said to be the basis of part of Sir Walter Scott's "The Bride of Lammermoor".
The agricultural improvement movement of the late 1700s first and most fully flowered here, where flat carse lands south of the Bladnoch River run down to the bay, lands which more recently were home to a Royal Air Force field of WWII. The products, including fine wheat and cattle were exported, often by steamer to Liverpool, and later by the Wigtown Railway which crossed the estate.
"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||C118871 or M118871|
|1779-1821||C118872 or M118872|
|1820-1854||C118873 or M118873|
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, 1694-1854|
Neglected Birth Entries, 1847-1850
|1068037 Items 5-6,
addtl'film VAULT 102348 Item 3
|Births and christenings
A thru Z 1694-1854
|6901440 2 fiches|
A thru Z, 1694-1854
|1841 census||Mary Richardson and Carrie Gulline|
|MIs for the following names only
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 1694 to 1854. The Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, Vol. 4, page 15, describes the registers as being "very ill kept". Marriages were recorded from 1694 to 1742, from that date until 1779 there seems to be a lapse in entries.
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 domocile. To read more about this index, and to find a link to the Kirkinner parish roll, [click here].
[click here] to view more Kirkinner photos.