Glasserton, Wigtownshire, Scotland Genealogy


Parish  (#885)

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



GLASSERTON, a parish, in the county of Wigton, 1¾ mile (S. W.) from Whithorn containing the village of Monrieth. The name of this place is thought to signify, in the Saxon language, "a bare hill;" and it is supposed that the term was adopted from the number of bare hills in the vicinity. The church is remarkable for the beauty of its situation, in Glasserton park, a tract of 150 acres thickly spread with ornamental plantations, among which, in different directions, a variety of single trees majestically rise, giving a bold relief to the picturesque scenery. The edifice, erected in the early part of the eighteenth century, was repaired, and enlarged by the addition of an aisle and a handsome tower, in 1836, and now contains 400 sittings.[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 Glasserton. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

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 Family History Library Catalot entry for the census records of Glasserton.  The Family History Library also has a surname index for the 1841 census of Glasserton as well as surname indexes for the 1841 and 1881 censuses for 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

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

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1700-1854 1068036 items 5-6
Marriages: 1700-1819, 1849-1854 1069036 items 5-6
Deaths: None
Condition of Original Registers—

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 the
Births: There are no entries June 1731–November 1744, irregular and incomplete January 1753–August 1778 inclusive. There are only irregular entries 1778–1813. After 1819 there are five pages of birth entries 1784–1819 and a copy of the record 1813–1819.
Marriages: There are no entries December 1727–October 1736, July 1740–January 1744, June 1774–January 1814, and December 1819–January 1849, except two entries for 1827. The marriage record for 1814–1819 seems incomplete and the entries contain only the names of the parties.
Deaths: There is one entry dated 1839.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.)

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

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 1700–1750, 1761–1772, 1814–1821, 1834, 1847
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/179.

Nonconformist Church Records

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.

There are no known pre-1855 nonconformist churches or records for this parish.

Civil Registration Records

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

Glasserton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Wigton until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Wigton.   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 Glasserton and the subject of  'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Wigton .

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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.


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