Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish  #598

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


In some records the name appears connected to with the word Marie, and if so, it is probable that the Kil was dedicated to the Mother of our Lord. Others suppose the name to be derived from the circumstance of the church having been dedicated to St. Maurs. Kilmaurs is the nearest town. The late Rev. John Roxburgh, who died in April 1840, will long be remembered with much respect in this parish. He was a man of great worth, talent, and piety, and warmth of affection. The land was primarily used for wheat, beans, barley, oats, and potatoes.

The population in 1801 was 1288. The population in 1841 was 2617. The registers commenced in 1688, but were not regularly kept till 1783.

About 1900 of the population belong to the Established Church, and about 651 are Dissenters. There are also 62 Roman Catholics in the parish.

This history was written in1842.

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

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index         
1841 1042735 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042403
1861 103804
1871 103963
1881 203603 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220220

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 Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1688-1854 1041388 item 3-4
Marriages: 1693-1854 1041388 item 3-4
Deaths: 1783-1785 1041388 item 3-4

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 theInternational Genealogical Index. 
No entries June 1689–August 1690, November 1699–December 1700, and March 1772–January 1775. There are only twelve entries February 1714–September 1718. There are irregular and incomplete entries 1775–1798. One family is recorded for 1710–1732 on the first page of the register of marriages.
Marriages: No entries June 1771–October 1783, except six entries for 1775 and one entry for 1778, February 1785–January 1794, and March 1796–December 1798. There are only proclamations after 1783.
Deaths: The records are burials.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970 Britishbook 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 1698–1718, 1798, 1806–1928
Cash Book 1739–1766
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/213.

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.

Kilmaurs General Associate, later United Presbyterian Church

When the church and parish of Kilmaurs became vacant in 1735, the patron and the majority of the parishioners differed as to whom they favored as the new minister. The Presbytery took part with the people, and the case then came by appeal before the commission of the General Assembly, which ruled in favor of the patron's candidate. The Presbytery complained against this decision to the General Assembly which met in 1739. The Assembly disregarded this complaint. The people of Kilmaurs had already nearly all withdrawn from the Established Church, and acceded formally to the Associate Presbytery. Along with other seceders in that district, the whole together were soon after formed into a regularly organized congregation in 1739. This congregation covered a very large area. Several other congregations were disjoined from it between 1758 and 1776. The first church was built in 1743, the second in 1789. A new church was opened in March 1865. In 1747, the minister here adhered, with the majority of his congregation, to the General Associate, Anti-burger, Synod after the breach.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source, including a list of ministers.

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1732–1755, 1780–1790 0304671 item 12
Baptisms 1810–1833, 1847 0304671 item 12
Marriages 1741–1745, 1810–1867 0304671 item 12
Session Minutes 1740–1867 1562920 item 2–5
Session Minutes 1789–1880 1562921 item 1–5
Congregational Minutes 1783–1787, 1796–1927 1562921 item 1–5

Kilmaurs Free Church

This congregation was formed as a preaching station at the Disruption. The charge was sanctioned in April 1844. The church was built the same year, and the manse in 1845. The church was rebuilt in 1881, a hall added in 1889, and additions made in 1898. The manse was enlarged in 1848.
Membership:1848, 141; 1900, 230.
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 a list of ministers.

The extent of records is unknown. There are no records deposited at the National Archives of Scotland.

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

Kilmaurs 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.

Return to the Ayrshire Parish List