Mochrum, Wigtownshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #892

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

History[edit | edit source]

MOCHRUM, a parish, in the county of Wigton containing the villages of Eldrig, Kirk of Mochrum, and Port-William, 7½ miles (S. W.) from Wigton. This place, of which the name is altogether of unknown derivation, appears to have formed part of the possessions of the Dunbar family. The parish is bounded on the south-west by the bay of Luce, and is nearly ten miles in length and from four to five miles in breadth. The church, built in 1794, and successively enlarged by the addition of galleries in 1822 and 1832, is a substantial structure containing 700 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Relief.[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  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Mochrum. 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 FamilySearch Catalog entry for the census records of Mochrum.  The Family History Library also has a surname index for the 1841 census of Mochrum as well a surname index for the 1881 census of 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: 1720-1854 1068038 items 5-6
Marriages: 1720-1854 1068038 items 5-6
Deaths: See below
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 
Births: No entries March 1743–November 1788. After October 1789 the record becomes extremely irregular, whole families being frequently registered simultaneously. It is also incomplete. There is a copy of the portion 1788–1820.
Marriages: No entries July 1743–March 1812, except two for 1809 and one for 1810. No entries November 1814–July 1819.
Deaths: Four entries for 1818 and one entry dated 1828.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church Records—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:

Minutes 1826–1832, 1845–1847
Poor Accounts 1794–1834
Cash Book 1720–1742
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/269.

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.

Fort William Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation took its rise in meetings held in the open air by Walker of Creebridge in 1837. Service was held for a time in the smithy, and then in the Masonic Hall. A church was built in 1863 on a feu subsequently purchased from Sir H. Maxwell. The manse was erected in 1891 in which year the church was renovated and the hall built.
Membership: 1872, 120; 1900, 112.
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.

Extent of records is unknown.

Port William Relief Presbyterian Church[edit | edit source]

The Rev. Alexander Young, minister of Mochrum, adopted the views of the Rev. Edward Irving, regarding the peccability of Christ's human nature and His millennial reign. Two of his elders charged him with heresy before the Presbytery of Wigtown; but it was dismissed. The protesters applied to the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow for supply of sermon that was granted May 1832. Church built 1833.
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.

The extent of 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]

Mochrum 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-names' 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 Wigtown. Look in the library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' 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. 255-272. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.

Return to the Wigtownshire parish list.