Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #609

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


The name of this parish may signify the district of a country covered with trees of all kinds.  Ayr is the nearest town.  The major land owners were: the most Noble the Marquis of Bute; Sir James Boswell of Auchinleck; Dowager Lady Boswell; David Limond, Esq. of Dolblair; James Pettigrew Wilson, Esq. of Polquhairn;  and Robert Campbell, Esq. of Skerrington.  The land was primarily used for sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, peas, beans, potatoes, turnips, and hay.

The population in 1792 was 1144. The population in 1831 was 1562 .  The registers of baptisms and marriages go back to the year 1641, but here was no register of deaths till about 40 years ago. For the last 50 years they have been kept in a most regular manner. The first volume having been written in an old hand, and difficult to be made out, the present schoolmaster was induced to copy the whole thereof into a new book.

With the exception of 5 or 6 families all the parishioners belong to the Establishment church.

This account was written in 1837.

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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Ochiltree.  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 Ochiltree as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index          
1841 1042737 CD-ROM no. 2524
1851 1042409
1861 103806
1871 103965
1881 203607 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220225

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: 1642-1854 1041401
Marriages: 1641-1854 1041401
Deaths: 1783-1793, 1825-1848 1041401

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 FamilySearch Records.
Births: There are no entries April 1642–November 1643, May 1648–December 1649, November 1667–January 1667, June 1693–August 1694, October 1704–February 1709, except two entries, February 1736–January 1738, August 1740–March 1745. There is an imperfect page at November 1666. There are a large number of entries for October 1669. The page for March–May 1673 is destroyed. The record from April 1696–August 1740 is a copy of the names legible from 1696–1740 from the original records. There is an attestation dated November 3, 1803 stating that the record with the old and original register has been compared and is "just and exact" record is a copy from March 1745–1783. The original record continues after January 1747 with three pages slightly incomplete. Mothers' names not recorded until 1788.
Marriages: No entries November 1660–November 1664, December 1695–July 1702, November 1721–December 1763. From July 1702–July 1780 the register is a copy from the original. Proclamations only 1763–1788. Marriages are recorded after August 1788.
Deaths: There are no entries April 1793–April 1825, burials only 1783–April 1792 and more deaths April 1792–April 1793. Deaths only continue after April 1825. There are seven entries of deaths from April–July 1825 recorded after the marriages for July 1780. There is a list of Mortcloth Dues, 1784–1791.
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 1695–1696, 1725–1729, 1764–1928
Accounts 1792–1819
Proclamation Register 1833–1919
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/778.

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.

Ochiltree Free Church

This congregation was formed in 1843, when seven Elders "came out" of the parish church. It was for a time in charge of a probationer. Church, manse, and school were built soon after the Disruption. The congregation received much help from friendly proprietors.
Membership: 1848, 184; 1900, 123.
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

Ochiltree 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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