Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy
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Guide to Dumfriesshire ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Dumfriesshire is in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Lanark, Peebles, and Selkirk, on the east by Roxburghshire and part of the English county of Cumberland, on the south by the Solway Firth, and on the west by the county of Ayr and the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. It is about fifty miles in length and thirty miles in breadth, compirising 1016 square miles or 650,240 acres. The county includes forty-two parishes, the royal burghs of Dumfries (the county town), Annan, Lochmaben, and Sanquhar, and six towns which are all burghs of barony.
The county has had a colorful history After the departure of the Romans it was occupied by the Northumbrian Saxons and subsequently by numerous emigrants from Ireland who had settled first on the peninsula of Cantyre. During the reign of David I, many of the Norman barons obtained possessions here. Previous to the reign of James VI, the county was often the scene of predatory incursions of the English.
(Source: Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851. Family History Library book 941 E5L.)
ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.
The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:
For more detail on exact record availability, see Availability. For examples of the records available, see Record Types and Examples. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a small pay per view fee to see the actual digitized record.
Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Dumfriesshire for 1881. Click here for other census indexes available at the library.
- ScotlandsPeople, index, images, free index, pay per view ($)
- Scotland Census, 1841, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1851, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1861, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1871, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1881, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1891, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1901, index and images, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1911, index and images, ($).
- 1658 - 1919 - Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 at FamilySearch — index
Civil Registration or Statutory Registers
For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.
Some of the Dumfriesshire parish records are indexed in *Dumfriesshire, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.
This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Dumfriesshire in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.
Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Dumfriesshire with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records. Click on this link for an outline map of the parishes of Dumfriesshire.
|Applegarth and Sibbaldbie||813a||Kirkmahoe||835|
|Closeburn||816||Langholm (formerly Staplegortoun)||839|
|Corrie -- see Hutton||831||Lochmaben||840|
|Ewes||825||Sibbaldbie -- see Applegarth||813a|
|Glencairn||826||Staplegortoun -- see Langholm||839|
|Graitney (or Gretna)||827||Tinwald||849|
|Hutton (and Corrie)||831||Wamphray||853a|
Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are available online. The directory available for Dumfries and district is:
1911-12: This are available in either PDF format or view-able online.
The county of Dumfries is in the Sheriff's court of Dumfries (SC15). The Registers of Deeds for Sheriffs' courts contain much valuable information for family history research such as marriage contracts and deeds of 'disposal and settlement' (or assignment) of property, which both give names and relationships. The records are deposited at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and are not indexed.
Galloway refers to Kirkcudbrightshire, Wigtownshire, and Dumfrieshire. The history of the region is often combined into single volumes.
- History of Dumfries and Galloway by Herbert Maxwell (1900)
- Galloway by John MacGavin Sloan and James Faed (1908)
- The New Statistical Account of Scotland: Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigton (1845)
- History of the Burgh of Dumfries by William McDowall (1867)
Probate records are those which deal with the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. In Scotland, until 1868, a person could only pass movable property such as household furniture, farm equipment, livestock, money and clothes through a document known as a 'testament.' Immovable property such as land was passed to the eldest son or heir through a document known as a 'Service of Heir,' which is not a record of probate. Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
Until 1823, the parishes of Dumfriesshire were under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissariot Court of Dumfries (CC5). Since 1823, the county has been under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries (SC15).
Probate records for 1513-1901 (including inventories of goods) 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' of Dumfries (county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the 'Testaments registers.'
- Dunbarton Combination
Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Family History Center
Family History Centre
9 Glasgow Street
Tel- 01387 24809
- Dumfriesshire Resources and help pages on RootsChat Dumfriesshire Resources and help pages. (Free).