New Abby, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

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New Abby (#877)

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


History[edit | edit source]

NEWABBEY, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright; 7 miles (S. by W.) from Dumfries. This place, anciently called Kirkindar from the situation of the old church on an island in Loch Kindar, derived its present name from the foundation of an abbey which, in contradistinction to that of Dundrennan, was styled the New Abbey. The church, contiguous to the conventual church of the abbey, of which it originally formed a part, is apparently of the 13th century, and was enlarged in 1805 by rebuilding the front wall; it is in good repair, and contains 470 sittings. A Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1823; but for the last few years no service has been performed in it.[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 New Abby. 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 for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of New Abby as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Surname Index          
1841 941.49 X22d v. 24
1881 6086610 ( 2 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: 1691-1819 1068033 item 7
1819-1854 1068034 item 1
Marriages: 1692-1769 0102343 item 1 - vault
1769-1819 1068033 item 7
1819-1853 1068034 item 1
Deaths: 1699-1769 0102343 item 1 - vault
1769-1819 1068033 item 7
1820-1854 1068034 item 1

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: There are no entries except four, April 1695–December 1699, October 1706–1714. The record 1735–1745, inclusive, occurs on occasional pages of a mixed register. There are no entries, except three, December 1766–June 1769, June 1783–February 1784. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1769.
Marriages: Prior to 1746 marriages are recorded on occasional pages of the register of births. There are no entries July 1695–August 1699, except one for 1697 and none for October 1700–December 1714, except one for 1705. The record from 1746 is on parallel columns of the register of births. There are no entries September 1766–July 1769, after which a separate record is kept. There are no entries for 1776, 1779, and November 1782–May 1785.
Deaths: Prior to 1746 marriages are on occasional pages of the register of births. There are no entries February 1700–January 1729. From January 1746 deaths are on parallel columns with the births and marriages. There are no entries December 1766–June 1769, after which record is of burials. There are no entries, except two, May 1775–February 1778 and August 1783–January 1817.
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:

Minutes and some Accounts 1691–1694, 1697–1735, 1746–1860
Collections and Distributions 1692–1695
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1042.

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.


There are no known nonconformist groups.

Note: The Statistical Account of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright 1840–1844, states that there were within the parish 48 persons who attended dissenting churches and 67 Roman Catholics. They would have attended church in neighboring parishes and towns. FHL book 941 B4sa, Ser. 2, vol. 4 pt. 2.

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]

New Abby 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 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 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.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 298-309. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 March 2014.


See also Colvend parish.

Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.