Dailly, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #585

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dailly. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.


The name given to this parish has probably arisen from its consisting principally of dale or valley stretching along the banks of the river Girvan.  Girvan, Maybole, and Dailly are the closet major towns to the parish of Dailly.  On the 5th day of July 1836, a day which will long be remembered for the length and violence of the thunder storm which raged over all the lowlands of Scotland, the lightning struck upon the hill in two different places leaving zig-zag fissures extending seven or eight yards.  The population in 1801 was 2116, and in 1831 was 2074.  The parish registers occupy seven volumes. The first volume begins in 1691 and is in some places is much decayed. During the early parts of the 1700s the records were not regularly kept but have been from 1751.  The Established Church has 400 families, the Roman Catholic has 20 families, and the Disenters have 12.
This history was orginially written in 1837.

source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol.5)

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 Dailly. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Dailly as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years Family History Library Film Number          
1841 1042732 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042401
1861 103801
1871 103959
1881 203594 6086514 (10 fiche)
1891 220210

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.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about 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
Births: 1691-1854 1041337 item 1-2
Marriages: 1692-1854 1041337 item 1-2
Deaths: 1780-1854 1041337 item 1-2

Condition of Original Registers

Index: 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 be indexed in FamilySearch Records.
Births: The first four pages, much wasted and many entries imperfect, particularly the dates. Pages are blank December 1705–July 1711. There are two pages of omitted entries 1771–1774 after October 1775. There is a duplicate of portion January 1770–September 1787. Mothers' names were not recorded until 1794.
Marriages: The first four pages are very much wasted and nearly all of the entries are imperfect. They are blank 1700–April 1703 and December 1705–July 1711.
Deaths: The record prior to 1792 is entitled burials, but the dates of death only are recorded throughout.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970 British 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:

Minutes 1691–1703, 1711–1930
Poors' Accounts 1740–1759, 1781–1783, 1792–1798, 1823–1940
Heads of Families 1834–1840
Dailly Sacred Music Society 1828–1832
Communion Rolls 1772–1777
Note:Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/392.

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.

Dailly Free Church

Dr. William Chalmers, minister of the parish, and a large part of his congregation, "came out" at the Disruption. At first they worshiped in the open air. The church was built in 1844; the manse in 1845–1846. A school was maintained up to 1876.
Membership: 1848, 260; 1900, 166.
Source:Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914.Film #918572.

Minutes 1844–1937
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/321.

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.

Probate Records

Dailly was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glasgow until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Ayr. 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 Ayr and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Glasgow.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Ayr.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Ayr and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

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