Kirkmaiden, Wigtownshire, Scotland

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png WigtownshireGotoarrow.png Kirkmaiden

Parish #890

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



KIRKMAIDEN, a parish, in the county of Wigton, 16 miles (S. by E.) from Stranraer containing the villages of Drumore and Port-Logan. This place, which occupies the southern extremity of Scotland, derives its name from the dedication of its ancient church to St. Medan, to whom some other churches in this part of the country were also dedicated. The parish is bounded on the east by the bay of Luce, and on the south and west by the Irish Sea. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, was erected in 1638; it is a very plain structure, with 275 sittings.[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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Kirkmaiden. 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.

Click here[low quality link] to go to the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Kirkmaiden.  The Family History Library also has a surname index to the 1841 census of Kirkmaiden as well as a surname index for the 1881 census for the whole of Wigtonshire.

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 church records

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

Establish Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1716-1820 1068037 items 7-8
1820-1854 1068038 items 1-2
Marriages: 1699-1780 1068037 items 7-8
1779-1854 1068038 items 1-2
Deaths: 1716-1780 1068037 items 7-8
1779-1854 1068038 items 1-2
Condition of Original Records

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 intermixed with marriages 1716–1780. There is a duplicate of the portion June 1738–October 1742.
Marriages: Records prior to 1716 are prefixed to register of births. No marriage entries January 1712–January 1716, after which date the entries are intermixed with births until 1780. A separate record begins April 1779.
Deaths: Lower portion of the page at March 1737 is cut off. There is a duplicate of the record May 1738–October 1742.
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 he 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:

The extent of records is unknown.

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 List.

Kirkmaiden Free Church

John Lamb, minister of the parish and many of his congregation came out in 1843. The Free Church congregation met first in a field at Low Drummore. The church was built in November 1843. William Todd, who had been parochial teacher for forty years, was deposed from that office for adherence to the Free Church.
Membership: 1848, 300; 1900, 212.
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.

Baptismal Register 1843–1930
Seat Rents 1843–1955
Kirk Session Minutes 1843–1930
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1854–1948
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1575.

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

Kirkmaiden was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Wigtown until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Wigtown.  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 Wigtown and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Wigtown.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for wigtown.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Wigtown 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. 98-121. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.

Return to the Wigtownshire Parish list.