Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Dalbeattie #864

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


DALBEATTIE, a village, in the parish of Parish of Urr., stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 3½ miles (S. E.) from Castle-Douglas. This place is of modern erection, and is built on the estates of the Copland and Maxwell families. It is seated on both sides of the Dalbeattie burn, and is admirably situated for trade. There is a place of worship in connexion with the Free Church; and a Roman Catholic chapel.[1]

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 Dalbeattie. Also available at the Family History Library.
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Dalbeattie


Census Records

Refer to the Census, Civil Registration, and Parish Records Section on the Kirkcudbrightshire page for further details
Dalbeattie Census in the Catalogue
Years FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841 1042846 941.49 X22d v. 32
1851 1042554
1861 103842
1871 104008
1881 224059 6086610( 2 fiche)
1891 220458
1901 ScotlandsPeople Website($) Indexed
1911 ScotlandsPeople Website Indexed
View some microfilm at local Family History Centers

1831 Census

The 1831 census gathered statistical data that allows one to see the economy of the people. It notes that the increase of 238 persons from 1821 was mostly in Dalbeattie from the Public works at Craignair. Urr had more houses than any other parish in Kirkcudbrightshire with Troqueer, Kelton, and Kirkcudbright close behind.

Abstract of the Answers and Returns made pursuant to an Act ... 1831 Census free google ebook
Urr Parish Including Dalbeattie

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Dalbeattie was a district created under the Registration Act of 1855. Dalbeattie was in the Parish of Urr, so check the Urr Parish Page for details on the registers.

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. For a list of the surviving Kirk session records see Parish of Urr

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.

Dalbeattie Free Church

James Mackenzie, minister of the quoad sacra church here, with his congregation, "came out" in 1843, and a church was built that year. The minister had charge also, for a time, of the lower parts of the parishes of Urr, Colvend, Buittle, Kirkgunzeon, and Kirkbean. The manse was erected in 1850. The church was rebuilt in 1881. During the closing years of the century, the congregation, with the town, suffered from depression of the granite industry.
Membership: 1848, 235: 1900, 207.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including lists of ministers.

Session Minutes 1843–1919
Deacons' Court Minutes 1848–1919
Baptismal Register 1843–1855, 1890–1918
Note: Available at National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record number CH3/404.

Evangelical Union Church

Early in the 19th century there was a church here called The United Christian Church, with a pastor who had been expelled from the Reformed Presbyterian church for holding views similar to those advocated by the later Evangelical Union. The congregation gradually fell away by 1840. This church was formed in 1866 from a preaching station established three years previously. A place of worship was built in William Street in 1867 and the congregation joined the Evangelical Union in 1872. The church closed in 1967.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960. FHL British Book 941 K2es.

Extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Dalbeattie Roman Catholic Church

A church was founded about 1745 and called Munches House. It was succeeded in 1815 by the church in Dalbeattie, dedicated to St. Peter. In the mid1800's, the Catholic population was largely Irish.

Christenings 1745–1831, 1835–1898
Marriages 1745–1831
Deaths 1745–1788, 1835–1856
Congregational Records 1808–1813
Communicants 1812–1813
Information about Families from Ireland, 1814
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk,in Edinburgh. Records RH21/52 & 58 and RH MP 13/1–8

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

Dalbeattie 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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 March 2014.