Stoneykirk, Wigtownshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Parish #898

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

History[edit | edit source]

STONEYKIRK, a parish, in the county of Wigton, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Stranraer containing the fishing-port of Sandhead and the village of Stoneykirk. This place, the old name of which, properly Stephenkirk, and derived from the dedication of the principal church, has given way to the present appellation, of which the origin is unknown, consists of the three ancient parishes of Stoneykirk, Clayshank, and Toscarton, united about the time of the Reformation. The church, which is situated about two miles from the shore of Luce bay, was built in 1827. It is a substantial and handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, and contains nearly 1000 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

TheNew 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 Stoneykirk. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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 Stoneykirk.  The Family History Library also has a surname index to the 1841 census of Stoneykirk 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[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.

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

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1744-1848, 1839-1854 1068041 items 4-6
Marriages: 1744-1854 1068041 items 4-6
Deaths: 1778-1797, 1839-1854 1068041 items 4-6

Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

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 the FamilySearch,org
Births: Entries out of chronological order occur occasionally throughout the record and are very frequent after 1800. On page 156 are entries dated 1808–1832.
Marriages: Entries for 1744 are recorded twice. After December 1796 the fact of marriage is seldom stated, the entries usually containing only that the parties were “booked in order to marriage”.
Deaths: Both deaths and burials are recorded. They are recorded on pages 157–165 inclusive in the register of baptisms. There are no entries March 1793–November 1839, except one for 1797.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

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:

Miscellaneous records, 1727-1977 

Note:  Available at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh CH2/1212.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

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. 

Stoneykirk Free Church[edit | edit source]

Robert M'Neil, the minister and many of his congregation “came out” in 1843. The church was built in 1844, the manse in 1846 and subsequently the school and teachers house. The congregation suffered through shifting and decline of the rural population and the hostile influence of landed proprietors; while two other churches were built within four miles of the Free Church.
Membership: 1848, 400; 1900, 162.
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.

No known pre–1855 records.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Stonekirk 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' 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 Wigtwon. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Wigtown and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 500-519. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 March 2014.

Return to the Wigtownshire parish list.