Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #600

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


The name of the parish, which is common to no fewer than 5 parishes in Scotland, is obviously derived from St. Michael, a saint of great note in the Romish Breviary, who flourished in the tenth Century. Kirkmichael is the nearest town. There are traces of five British or Danish fortlets in this parish. They are circular, and are supposed to belong to the early period of the fourteenth century. The Marquis of Ailsa; Colonel Shaw Kennedy of Kirkmichael; Sir Charles Dalrymple Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart.; and Sir David Hunter Blair, of Blairquhan, Bart. are the major land owners. The land was primarily used for sheep, cattle, potatoes, turnips, beans, peas, cotton manufacture, and lime.

The population in 1793 was 956. The population in 1836 was 2856.  From 1638 to 1711 the registers were kept irregularly, but more regularly since.

The religious attendance of the parishioners was:

Establishment ----------------- 2567
Dissenters ----------------------- 172
Catholics ------------------------- 117

This history was written in 1838.

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

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index             
1841 1042736 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042406
1861 103804
1871 103963
1881 203603 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220221

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: 1638-1854 1041390
Marriages: 1638-1854 1041390
Deaths: 1783-1854 1041390

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.  
Births:No entries August 1677–March 1686, except two entries, August 1687–September 1693, May 1710–February 1715, and June 1734–December 1735. There is a duplicate of portion August 1725–December 1727. There are irregular and incomplete entries October 1743–February 1753. At May 1807 there are irregular entries on five pages dated 1794–1818. Mothers' names are seldom recorded until 1807.
Marriages:No entries June 1751–December 1752, November 1676–January 1686, August 1687–September 1693, December 1702–1705, December 1706–November 1714, November 1721–November 1724, June 1734–1736, and June 1741–1753.
Deaths: Prior to October 179 the entries are burials. There are no entries October 1790–January 1817. After January 1817 the entries are both deaths and burials.
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 1692–1710, 1778–1808, 1844–1972
Note: Available at the Ayrshire Archives Centre, Craigie Estate, Ayr, Scotland, record CH2/1333.

Crosshill Quoad Sacra Parish

Seat Rents 1838–1857
Minutes 1854–1934
Baptism Register 1854–1888
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1231.

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.

Crosshill Free Church

The united charge of Crosshill and Dalrymple was sanctioned in 1845. In 1849 they were disjoined as separate stations. The church was built in 1848. The charge was sanctioned in 1856. The manse was erected in 1861. In the circumstances of the population, there was no room for expansion of the congregation. Some of the people worked on the farms, others in the boot and shoe factories in Maybole. 
 Membership: 1858, 128; 1900, 110.
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.

Minutes 1849–1850, 1854–1933
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1230.

Catholic Church

In 1834 it was estimated that there were 15 Catholic families at Crosshill and 11 at Kirkmichael. However, there were no churches at these locations. The members may have been served from Ayr.
Source: Catholic Missions and Registers, 1700–1880;Volume 6: Scotland, by Michael Gandy. FHL British Book Ref. 942 K24gm vol. 6

No records. Check those for Ayr.

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

Kirkmichael 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 Lists