Dunlop, Ayr, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish  #591

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



      The Gaelic word dun means a fortified height, and the Gaelic word luib means a winding, as of a stream. It is thought that the old castle sat at the winding of the river and the parish took its name from this.  Kilmarnock, Irvine, and Dunlop are the nearest towns.  The learned John Major while, Professor of Theology at Glasgow, was also vicar at Dunlop.  William Mure, Esq. of Caldwell; John Dunlop, Esq. of Dunlop; M.P., Richard Trotter, Esq. of Hapland; and Andrew Brown, Esq. of Hill are the major land owners.  The land was primarily used for, horses, milk cows, cattle, sheep, potatoes, barley, bear, oats, and cheese.  The population in 1791 was 779.  The population in 1835 was 1157.  The register of baptisms begins in 1701, and with the exception of two or three short intervals, they have been kept with great accuracy until the present time. (1837)  212 families in the parish attend the Established Church and 7 attend dissenting churches. The total
Number of Dissenters is 26

 This account was 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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Dunlop. 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 Scotland Census Records.

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


Years FHL Film Number Surname Index         
1841 1042733 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042402
1861 103801
1871 103960
1881 203597 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220213

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on  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 Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Cover FHL Film Number
Births: 1701-1854 1041341
Marriages: 1700-1854 1041341
Deaths: 1783-1790 1041341

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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: Births are incomplete for 1705. They are blank October 1707–November 1708, September1711–June 1720, except one entry for 1712. There is only one entry, January 1733–January 1734. There is an imperfect page after November 1747. Entries June 1754–November 1758 were recorded twice. Pages are blank May 1761–June 1765, except eight entries for 1763.
Marriages: There are only proclamations prior to 1711. Pages are blank November 1711–November 1720, after which marriages are also usually recorded. Pages are blank November 1732–November 1733 and, except one entry, November 1742–April 1744. Entries June 1754–December 1759 are recorded twice.
Deaths:Deaths are recorded on alternate or occasional pages of the register of births.
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.

Dunlop Free Church

Matthew Dickie, minister of the parish, with two Elders and about twenty members, "came out" in 1843. Services were held in the upper flat of a house in the village. The church was built in 1845, and the manse in 1848. After Mr. Dickie's translation, soon after the Disruption, about three years passed before the settlement of his successor.
Membership: 1848, 95; 1900, 149.
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.

The extent of pre–1855 records is unknown

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

Dunlop 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  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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