Carsphairn, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Carsphairn. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
CARSPHAIRN, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 12 miles (N. W. by N.) from New Galloway. This place, which was separated from the parishes of Kells and Dalry in 1627, is supposed to have derived its name from the erection of the church and village on a small level plain, at that time overgrown with fern. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Ken, and on the north and west by Loch Doon and the county of Ayr. The church, which is nearly in the centre of the parish, is a plain structure.
The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Carsphairn. Also available at the Family History Library.
A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.
Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Carsphairn as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Years||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1841||1042833||941.49 X22d v. 6|
|1851||1042551||941.49/C2 X2m 1851|
|1881||224055||6086610 ( 2 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.
The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.
Established Church—Old Parochial Registers
|Years Covered||Family History Library Film Number|
Condition of Original Registers
Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: The record is somewhat irregular throughout. After 1819, there are nine entries dated 1785–1789. Many entries between 1800 and 1820 are recorded long after 1820.
Marriages: It does not appear that any records were kept prior to 1855.
Deaths: It does not appear that any records were kept prior to 1855.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library book 941 K23b.
Established Church—Kirk Session Records
The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.
Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:
Accounts 1737–1738, 1772–1783
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/667.
Nonconformist Church Records
A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.
No known Nonconformist groups.
Note: Members of the Free Church attended in Dalmellington, Ayrshire. In 1839 there were three families within the parish who were members of the Reformed church who would have attended church elsewhere.
Civil Registration Records
Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.
Carsphairn was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Kirkcudbright until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkcudbright. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kirkcudbright and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Kirkcudbright.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kirkcudbright. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kirkcudbright and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 185-200. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 March 2014.
Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.