Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy
Guide to Dumfriesshire County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
|Dumfriesshire Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Background[edit | edit source]
Dumfriesshire is in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Lanark, Peebles, and Selkirk, on the east by Roxburghshire and part of the English county of Cumberland, on the south by the Solway Firth, and on the west by the county of Ayr and the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. It is about fifty miles in length and thirty miles in breadth, compirising 1016 square miles or 650,240 acres. The county includes forty-two parishes, the royal burghs of Dumfries (the county town), Annan, Lochmaben, and Sanquhar, and six towns which are all burghs of barony.
The county has had a colorful history After the departure of the Romans it was occupied by the Northumbrian Saxons and subsequently by numerous emigrants from Ireland who had settled first on the peninsula of Cantyre. During the reign of David I, many of the Norman barons obtained possessions here. Previous to the reign of James VI, the county was often the scene of predatory incursions of the English.
ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]
ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.
The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:
For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.
Census[edit | edit source]
Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Dumfriesshire for 1881. Click here for other census indexes available at the library.
- ScotlandsPeople, index, images, free index, pay per view ($)
- Scotland Census, 1841, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1851, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1861, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1871, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1881, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1891, no images. Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1901 at FamilySearch — index.
- Scotland Census, 1901, index and images, ($). Also at findmypast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1911, index and images, ($).
Church Records[edit | edit source]
- 1658 - 1919 - Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 at FamilySearch — index
- 1736-1990 - Scotland Presbyterian & Protestant Church Records, 1736-1990 at FamilySearch — index
Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]
For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.
Parishes[edit | edit source]
Some of the Dumfriesshire parish records are indexed in *Dumfriesshire, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.
This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Dumfriesshire in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.
Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Dumfriesshire with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records. Click on this link for an outline map of the parishes of Dumfriesshire.
|Applegarth and Sibbaldbie||813a||Kirkmahoe||835|
|Closeburn||816||Langholm (formerly Staplegortoun)||839|
|Corrie -- see Hutton||831||Lochmaben||840|
|Ewes||825||Sibbaldbie -- see Applegarth||813a|
|Glencairn||826||Staplegortoun -- see Langholm||839|
|Graitney (or Gretna)||827||Tinwald||849|
|Hutton (and Corrie)||831||Wamphray||853a|
Directories[edit | edit source]
Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are available online. The directory available for Dumfries and district is:
1911-12: This are available in either PDF format or view-able online.
Court Records[edit | edit source]
The county of Dumfries is in the Sheriff's court of Dumfries (SC15). The Registers of Deeds for Sheriffs' courts contain much valuable information for family history research such as marriage contracts and deeds of 'disposal and settlement' (or assignment) of property, which both give names and relationships. The records are deposited at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and are not indexed.
History[edit | edit source]
Galloway refers to Kirkcudbrightshire, Wigtownshire, and Dumfrieshire. The history of the region is often combined into single volumes.
- History of Dumfries and Galloway by Herbert Maxwell (1900)
- Galloway by John MacGavin Sloan and James Faed (1908)
- The New Statistical Account of Scotland: Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigton (1845)
- History of the Burgh of Dumfries by William McDowall (1867)
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
Probate records are those which deal with the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. In Scotland, until 1868, a person could only pass movable property such as household furniture, farm equipment, livestock, money and clothes through a document known as a 'testament.' Immovable property such as land was passed to the eldest son or heir through a document known as a 'Service of Heir,' which is not a record of probate. Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
Until 1823, the parishes of Dumfriesshire were under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissariot Court of Dumfries (CC5). Since 1823, the county has been under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries (SC15).
Probate records for 1513-1901 (including inventories of goods) 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' of Dumfries (county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the 'Testaments registers.'
Maps[edit | edit source]
Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]
There were three workhouses in this county:
A description with drawings and photos of the workhouses today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links above located on the site entitled "The Workhouse: The story of an institution..." which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.
Societies[edit | edit source]
Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Family History Center
Family History Centre
9 Glasgow Street
Tel- 01387 24809
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Dumfriesshire Resources and help pages on RootsChat Dumfriesshire Resources and help pages. (Free).
References[edit | edit source]
- Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International, FamilySearch.org, https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/216925?availability=Family%20History%20Library (accessed June 20, 2016).
- Samuel Lewis. "Dubbieside - Dun," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 297-310. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/scotland/pp297-310 (accessed May 24, 2020).