Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Kirkbean  #870

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


History[edit | edit source]

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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Kirkbearn. 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 Scotland Census Records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kirkbean as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Years FHL Film Number Surname Index         
1841  1042844 941.49 X22d v. 1
1851 1042552
1861 103842
1871 104007
1881 224057 6086610 ( 2 fiche)
1891 220454

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 Scotland 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: 1714-1854 1068032
Marriages: 1717-1790, 1825-1854 1068032
Deaths: 1714-1784, 1824-1854 1068032

Condition of Original Registers—[edit | edit source]

Indexed: 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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.

Births: The record is irregular until 1751. There is a copy prior to 1770 and no entries August 1726–January 1729, October 1729–June 1733, and 1734 and 1736. After 1794 the record is extremely irregular, entries many years out of order of time are frequent. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1735.
Marriages: There are no entries January 1721–October 1745, August 1765–April 1770, January 1771–June 1773, except five entries, December 1773–December 1786, and August 1790–1825.
Deaths: There are two entries for 1714 and four for 1783–1784 and then there are no entries until November 1824.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. FHL 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 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:

Extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.

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 Lists.


Kirkbean and Southwick Free Church[edit | edit source]

The adherents of the Free Church in Southwick and Kirkbean were at first served by a probationer, on the footing of a preaching station. The charge was sanctioned in 1844. The congregation worshiped in a barn in Southwick and in an old mill in Kirkbean. A church was built and opened in 1845. The manse was erected in 1850. The population steadily declined owing to emigration.
Membership: 1848, 200; 1900, 99.
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 lists of ministers.

Deacons' Court Minutes 1845–1866
Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1139.

Mainsriddell Relief Church[edit | edit source]

This church originated in the settlement of an unacceptable minister in the parish and the want of evangelical preaching in the other parishes of the district. Supply of sermon was afforded to the place, in compliance with a petition of several of its inhabitants, by the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow, 1791. A church was built 1792. The church was reconstructed in 1860. History continued in that of the Secession congregation given below.
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 lists of ministers.

Extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.

Mainsriddell Secession Church[edit | edit source]

After Mr. Muir had been removed from the charge of the Relief congregation of Mainsriddell, the congregation resolved on changing its ecclesiastical connection, and with this view applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the United Associate Presbytery of Dumfries in 1825.
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 lists of ministers.

Extent of pre–1855 records is unknown.

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]

Kirkbean was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dunfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Kirkcudbright. 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-names' of Kirkcudbright and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dunfries.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Kirkcudbright.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Kirkcudbright and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.