Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Dalry #865

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


History[edit | edit source]

DALRY, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcud-Bright, 15 miles (N. N. W.) from Castle-Douglas containing the village of St. John's Clachan. This parish, of which the name, signifying the "Royal Dale," is derived from a level and fertile plain called the Holm. The church, erected in 1832, is a neat structure containing 700 sittings: in the churchyard is an aisle of the old church, quite detached from the present building, and which is the burying-place of the Gordon family. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Dalry. 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.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Dalry as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:


Years Family History Library Film Number Surname Index      
1841 1042844 941.49 X22d v. 10
1851 1042551 941.49/D3 X2m
1861 103841
1871 104006
1881 224056 6086610 ( 2 fiche)
1891 220453

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1691-1705 1067974
Marriages: 1691-1705, 1758-1778, 1822-1854 1067974
Deaths: 1758-1783, 1836-1854 1067974

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: Births are intermixed with other matters and marriages until 1705. There are no entries 1705–May 1713 and December 1717–July 1740. After September 1746, the regular record is blank until September 1755, but there are irregular entries on eleven pages at that part, dated 1747–1835. After November 1768, the record again becomes extremely irregular and probably also defective. There is one page of entries, 1777–1832, after the marriages for 1778. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1740.
Marriages: Proclamations until 1705. There are no entries June 1705–June 1758 after which marriages are recorded, July 1769–June 1773, and January 1778–August 1838, except one entry for 1822.
Deaths: Only a few entries of Mortcloth Dues, etc., 1717–1718 and 1758–1783 until November 1836 after which there are deaths.
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[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 of Heritors and Session 1742–1796, 1827–1884
Poors' Accounts 1739–1746, 1758–1832
Accounts 1853–1876
Communion Roll 1850–1900
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/781.

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.

Glenkins Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed in 1843 by adherents of the Free Church from the parishes of Dalry, Kells, Balmaclellan , and was in charge of a probationer for three years. The church was built, one and half miles east of Dalry, in 1845; the farmers carting materials free.
Membership: 1848, 172; 1900, 133.
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.

Minutes 1843–1904
Deacons' Court Minutes 1867–1903
Baptismal Register 1843–1945
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1033.

Dalry Burgher United Secession Church[edit | edit source]

Mr. Ramsay, a probationer of the United Session Church, having no engagement for the Sabbath then approaching, called, at the suggestion of the Rev. Mr. M'Geoch of Moniaive, upon some of his members’ resident in Dalry, and offered to preach in the village. The offer was readily accepted in the village of New Galloway. Mr. Ramsay preached there accordingly on one to the Sabbaths in September 1820, and the attendance was such as to induce the Presbytery to follow up this spontaneous act by sending regularly–appointed preachers occasionally to the place. The meetings for worship were held in the open air in summer and in barns in the winter, till 1826 when a church was built.
Source: 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 including lists of ministers.

Session Minutes 1791–1847 - with Baptisms, 1789–1846, 1860–1872
Managers' Minutes 1856 1919
Baptismal Register 1847–1923
Accounts 1791–1813, 1816–1887; 1870–1887 are damaged
Stipend Receipts 1791–1831, 1834–1898
Collections 1833–1835, 1844–1857
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/71.

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]

Dalry 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 Kircudbright.
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. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 07 March 2014.

Return to the Kirkcudbrightshire parish list.