Dreghorn, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #589

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


Before the reformation, this parish ecclesiastically belonged to the Tyronenses monks at Kilwinning, and was united in 1688 to that of Peirceton, regarding which union nothing is know with certainty. Irvine and Dreghorn are the nearest towns. The whole of the parish was formerly the property of the De Morvilles, who were constables of Scotland and Lords of Cunninghame. Mrs. Montgomerie, widow of William Montgomerie; Mr. Mure M’Credie; and Colonel Fullarton of Fullarton were the major landowners. The land was primarily used for oats, potatoes, turnips, wheat, barley, cattle, sheep, milk, and butter. The population in 1831 was 888. Several portions of the parish record were either accidentally or surreptitiously removed at the the time of separation.

Families attending the Established Church are 110. Families attending the Dissenters and Seceders are 31.

This account was written in 1838.

source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (Family History Library 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 Dreghorn. 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 Dreghorn as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index       
1841 1042733 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042402
1861 103801
1871 103960
1881 203596 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220212

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: 1749-1854 1041339 item 1-2
Marriages: 1749-1854 1041339 item 1-2
Deaths: No entries

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: On the page after May 1771 there are nine entries of one family, 1764–1780.
Marriages: Proclamations.
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:

None available.

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.

Perceton and Dreghorn Free Church

This congregation was formed soon after the Disruption. With the liberal assistance of Mr. Muir Macredie of Perceton, church and manse were built near his house, before February 1844. For the greater convenience of the members, a new church and manse were built in 1877 in the village of Dreghorn. Mrs. Macredie purchased the old buildings.
Membership: 1848, 149; 1900, 305.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572.

Baptisms 1843–1894
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/713.

Civil Registration Record

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

Dreghorn 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.

Return to the Ayrshire Parish List