Loudoun, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #603

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


The name is probably derived from a hill in the extremity of the parish called Lowdon from the old word low, a fire and don or dun a hill.  Newmilns and Darvel are the nearest towns.  Loudoun Hill has been the centre of more than one warlike exploit. The Roman camp, though on the Galston side of the Irvine, is almost beneath the shadow of the hill: the shouts of Bruce’s victorious army have been echoed by its gray rocks, and the watchmen who warned the Covenanters of Drumclog of the approach of Claverhouse, were perched upon its summit.  The land was primarily used for tile works, weaving, and wool mill.

The population in 1791 was 2308. The population in 1841 was 4444.  There are two parish registers. 1. Marriages. The earliest date is 3-Dec-1673, and it has been kept regularly since November 1759. 2. Baptisms. Earliest date 16-Oct-1763; kept regularly since 1759. Few Dissenters register their children in this register.

About 620 families profess to belong to the Established Church. There are two Dissenting congregations in the parish, one connected with the United Associate Synod, the other with the Reformed Presbyterians or Cameronians. There are also 3 Roman Catholic, 2 Episcopalian, and 10 or 12 Baptist families in the parish.

This historical account was written in 1842.

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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Loudoun. 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 Loudoun 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 1042407
1861 103805
1871 103964
1881 203604 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220222

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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: 1673-1820 1041393
1820-1855 1041394
1673-1854  index 1041394
Marriages 1673-1792, 1796-1820 1041393
1820-1854 1041394
Deaths: 1811-1854 1041394

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:There are no entries July 1678–July 1682; December 1683–October 1684. There are four entries on the flyleaf without dates recorded. Irregular entries for 1782–1799 are recorded on three pages after February 1795. Mothers' names are not recorded until November 1759.
Marriages:There are no entries December 1679–August 1687, April 1756–May 1758, November 1773–January 1775, and October 1792–October 1796.
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.

Newmilns United Presbyterian Church

Newmilns is a large village in the parish of Loudoun. In 1737, the then incumbent of the parish of Loudoun gave great offense to many of his parishioners. The consequence was, that a number of them withdrew from his ministry and acceded to the Associate Presbytery. They helped to form the Secession Congregation of Kilmaurs, between eight and nine miles distant, which arose soon after and remained connected with it until 1770, when supply of sermon was afforded them upon petition, alternately with the inhabitants of Darvel, another village in the parish. They met in the open air at Daroch, until 1772, when they were organized as a congregation with its seat in Newmilns. The first church was built in 1773, and the second was built in 1833.
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.

The extent of records is unknown.

Darvel Free Church

This congregation, originally Reformed Presbyterian, joined the Free Church in 1876. The Reformed Congregation had originally been part of a larger congregation of Renfrew and Ayr. The church, which dates from 1785, was rebuilt in 1835, and again in 1885. The manse, erected in 1810, was enlarged after 1850. The congregation of New Cumnock was disjoined from that of Darvel in 1815. In November 1882, on the introduction of paraphrases and hymns in the church service, about eighty members left and formed an Original Secession Congregation. With the growth of the lace industry the population considerably increased.
Membership: 1849, 160; 1877, 168; 1900, 305.
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 1811–1813, 1825–1842, 1849–1920
Declarations by Elders, anent voting since 1832–1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1026.

Loudoun Free Church

In 1845 the Loudoun and Newmilns section of Galston congregation was disjoined to form the Loudoun congregation, and the charge was sanctioned in 1846. That year the church was built, and the manse in 1848. In the early "eighties," with the failure of handloom weaving, many members left the district; but the introduction of steam power mills brought an increase of population, to the advantage of the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 274; 1900, 317.
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.

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

Loudoun 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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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