Eskdalemuir, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Dumfriesshire, Scotland Gotoarrow.png Eskdalemuir

Parish  #824

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



ESKDALEMUIR, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 13 miles (N. W.) from Langholm. This parish, as its name partly imports, consists of the lands lying at the head of Eskdale, which were originally possessed by the clan of Beattieson. Eskdalemuir was originally a part of the parish of Westerkirk, but was erected in 1703 into a separate parish; it is the largest in the county. The church stands nearly in the centre of the parish, on the bank of the White Esk; it was built in 1826, and is a commodious and elegant structure, containing sittings for 393 persons. The Reformed Presbyterians have a place of worship.[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 edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for [parish]. 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.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Eskdalemuir.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index           
1841 941.48/E2 X22
1851 941.48/E2 X2m 1851
1881 6086550 ( 3 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  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 Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1724-1854 1067961 item 3-5
Marriages: 1726-1777 1067961 item 3-5
Deaths: 1726-1801 1067961 item 3-5
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: No entries February 1743–November 1748, except one or two irregular entries. There is a duplicate record May 1749–April 1757. A page was destroyed with entries for May 1761–May 1762.
Marriages and Deaths: Entries of marriage money or proclamation fees and Mortcloth Dues are intermixed with other matters. Both have no entries between 1761 and 1768.
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 1703–1712, 1725–1823
Collections and Disbursements 1802–1812
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/399.

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.

Eskdalemuir Reformed, later Free Presbyterian Church

As early as the end of the seventeenth century, Eskdalemuir was one of the centers in the south where Reformed Church preaching was given. In 1835 the first two elders were ordained and in the same year the Sacrament was first dispensed in the district. The church was built in 1836 at Davington, and improved in 1882. However, the first minister was not appointed and ordained for the work until 1847. This congregation united with the Free Church in 1876. In 1912, the congregation was reduced to the status if a preaching station and was served with missionaries.
Membership: 1847, 67; 1877, 38; 1900, 43.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, by W.J. Couper, pub. 1925. FHL book 941 K2c. Also, 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 sources including ministers.

Congregational Minutes 1834–1848
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/326.

Eskadale, St Mary's Roman Catholic Church




Note:Available online for a fee, at scotlandspeople ($), Edinburgh, record MP

See also Hoddam Parish

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

Eskdalemuire was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dumfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($)  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 or the 'Place-names' of Dumfries and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dumfries.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Dumfries. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Dumfries 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. 392-411. Adapted. Date accessed: 14 March 2014.

Return to the Dumfriesshire parish list.