Riccarton, Ayrshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #611

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


The Richard Wallace from who the name of the parish and village is derived, was most probably the individual of that name to whom the estate was originally given by Walter High Steward of Scotland.  Riccarton, Hurlford, and Sornhill are the nearest towns.  Sir John Cunninghame of Caprington, who was created a baronet by King Charles II., was a lawyer of great eminence in his day.  The major land owners were: His Grace the Duke of Portland; John Smith Cuninghame, Esq. of Caprington; G. J. Campbell, Esq. of Treesbank; The hon. Colonel Macadam Catheart of Craigengillan; and C. Shedden, Esq. of Knockmarloch. The land was primarily used for dairy, oats, wheat, barley, potatoes, turnips, cattle, and horses.

The population in 1792 was 1000.  The population in 1838 was 2714.  The registers begin in 1695 but have not been kept regularly until recently.

The number belonging to the Established Church was 2410, and there were 304 belonging to all other churches.

This account was written in 1839.

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 Riccarton. 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 Riccarton as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index            
1841 1042738 CD-ROM no.2524
1851 1042409
1861 103806
1871 103965
1881 203607 6086514 ( 10 fiche)
1891 220226

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

YearsCovered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1695-1854 1041404item 1-2
Marriages: 1695-1854 1041404 item 1-2
Deaths: No entries

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 February 1704–February 1706. Entries are frequently out of order of time after 1802.
Marriages: There are no entries December 1738–February 1787 or January 1790–September 1792. After May 1804 entries are only proclamations.
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 1787–1809
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1014.

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.

Hurlford Free Church

In December 1846 services were begun in Crookedholm. Recognized as a station in 1852, the charge was sanctioned, as that of Hurlford in 1856. Church and manse were erected in 1857. A quoad sacra church, with generous endowments, was built in 1874. Serious fluctuations in trade and the shifting character of the population also affected the congregation.
Membership: 1859, 140; 1900, 276.
See also Kilmarnock-King Street
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.

There are no known pre–1855 records.

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

Riccarton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Glasgow until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of [Court name]. 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  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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