Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #840

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

History[edit | edit source]

LOCHMABEN, a royal burgh, the seat of a presbytery, and a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 8½ miles (E.N.E.) from Dumfries, and 68 (S. by W.) from Edinburgh, containing the hamlets of Greenhill, Heck, and Smallholm, and the villages of Hightae and Templand. This place is supposed to have derived its name from the numerous lakes in the parish. The town is situated between the Castle loch, on the south, and the Kirk loch on the south-west and is bounded on the east by the river Annan. The church, which is at the south extremity of the burgh, is a handsome and substantial structure, erected in 1819 and contains 1200 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Burghers, and Cameronians.[1]

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 edina.($)  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Lochmaben. 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.

Click here[low quality link] for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Lochmaben.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index       
1841 941.48/L1 X22d 1841 v. 1-2
1851 941.48/L1 X2m 1851
1881 6086550 ( 3 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($)  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: 1741-1854 1067967 item 3-4
Marriages: 1765-1854 1067967 item 3-4
Deaths: 1766-1819 1067967 item 3-4
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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are irregular entries on the first six pages for 1741–1765. Record is incomplete 1780–1782, inclusive. There are irregular entries 1741–1815, with one entry 1834 on four pages after 1819.
Marriages: There are no entries September 1777–December 1790, except one entry for 1788.
Deaths: No entries February 1770–February 1796
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 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 1701–1718, 1730–1929
New Register: 1818 giving details of the parish, age of manse and servitudes, etc.
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH2/247.

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.


Lochmaben United Presbyterian, formerly Burgher Church[edit | edit source]

The Rev. of Ecclefechan, intimated his intention to preach in Lochmaben, on a Sabbath in the year 1790. A number of persons in and about Lochmaben were drawn by these visits to attend regularly upon his ministry at Ecclefechan, notwithstanding the distance between the places. When Mr. Dunlop removed to Dumfries, he also paid occasional visits to Lochmaben, and preached to an immense concourse of people assembled in the open fields. Several of them were drawn to attend regularly upon his ministry. In 1812, the members of Dumfries and Ecclefechan congregations resident in and about Lochmaben, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Selkirk. A Church was built in 1813. In 1869 the church was renovated.
Membership: 1835, 100.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

No pre–1855 records.

Lochmaben Free Church[edit | edit source]

The adherents of the Free Church in Lochmaben were formed into a congregation on June 18, 1843. The church was built and opened in December of that year. A school, afterwards used as a hall, was built in 1845. In 1848, a new congregation was formed at Kirkmichael. The formation of congregations, at Dalton, and at Wamphray, reduced the area from which members at Lochmaben were drawn. The church also suffered from decline of the population.
Membership: 1848, 500; 1900, 275.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1843–1924
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/595.

Hightae Reformed, later Free Church[edit | edit source]

The congregation of Hightae originally belonged to the Relief Church, with which they were connected until 1808. In that year they joined the Reformed Presbyterian congregation of Quarrelwood, which at the same time took over a small debt belonging to them. The church was built in 1798 and was very plan until after the union. Up to 1829 the Hightae people were ministered to both from Quarrelwood and Penpont. In that year they applied for moderation, which was granted, and a minister was called. In 1836, the number of communicants was 112 which were drawn from fourteen different parishes, with 37 from Hightae itself. This congregation united with the Free Church in 1876, and in 1914 it united with the Dalton United Free Church to form the Hightae and Dalton congregation. The church was reconstructed in 1865.
Membership: 1835, 37; 1877, 92; 1900, 101.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, by W.J. Couper, pub. 1925. FHL book 941 K2c. Also, 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 sources including ministers.

Minutes 1828–1851
Seat Rents 1841–1851
Notes: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/903.
In 1835, there were also 12 Roman Catholics within the parish.

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]

Lochmaben was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Dumfries until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Dumfries. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at scotlandspeople.($)  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 catalogfor the 'Place-names' of Dumfries and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Dumfries.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Dumfries.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Dumfries and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 197-216. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 March 2014.

Return to the Dumfriesshire parish list.