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Tongland, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

Tongland (#881)

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



TONGLAND, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 2 miles (N. N. E.) from Kirkcudbright. This parish, the name of which is of very doubtful origin, is bounded on the east by the river Dee and on the west by the river Tarff. The church, situated on the Dee, at the southern extremity of the parish, was erected in 1813; it is in the early English style of architecture, with a square embattled tower, and contains 420 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  scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. 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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Tongland as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Surname Index          
1841 941.49 X22d v. 29
1881 6086610 ( 2 fiche)

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 Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.


Established Church—Old Parochial Registers


Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1693-1854 1068034
Marriages: 1712-1854 1068034
Deaths: 1807-1827 1068034
Condition of Original Registers

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 of the records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: There is one entry for 1691 on the flyleaf of the volume. The record between March 1755 and December 1771 is irregular. There are no entries July 1781–January 1790, except six for 1784 and four entries for 1785–1789. Mothers' names are rarely recorded until August 1806.
Marriages: There are no entries 1753, August 1744–May 1807, June 1815–January
1817, except one.
Deaths: Two entries dated 1712 and 1746 are on the flyleaf of the record of marriages. There are no entries February 1812–January 1816 and May 1816–January 1824 and the record ends February 1827.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

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 1822–1841, 1857–1909
Accounts 1748–1756
Cash Books 1822–1852, 1858–1885, 1903–1912
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1244.

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 Lists.

Tongland and Twynholme Free Church

Neither minister nor elder in these two parishes “came out” in 1843. The adherents of the Free Church were formed into a congregation as a preaching station. The charge was sanctioned in April 1844. The church was built in 1845 and was several times renovated. Few of the local farmers joined the Free Church. W. M. Neilson of Queenshill, one of the local land owners, was a benefactor of the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 120; 1900, 108.
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.

Baptismal Register 1843–1932
Various Minutes 1844–1932
Communion Roll 1844–1894
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1241.

Cemetery Records

Courtesy of the Kirkcudbrightshire Community, contact individual is Jim Bell:

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

Tongland was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Kirkcudbright 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 Kirkcudbright.

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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 546-567. Adapted. Date accessed: 13 March 2014.

Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.