New Luce, Wigtownshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #893

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

History[edit | edit source]

LUCE, NEW, a parish, in the county of Wigton; 9 miles (E. N. E.) from Stranraer. This place, the name whereof is of uncertain derivation, once formed part of the ancient parish of Glenluce, from which it was separated in the year 1646, since which time the original parish has in contradistinction been generally designated as Old Luce. New Luce, the northern portion, is bounded on the east by the river Tarf, which divides it from the parish of Kirkowan, and on the west by the river Luce, which separates it from the parish of Inch. The church, which is situated in the village, is a neat plain structure erected in 1816, and containing 400 sittings, without galleries.[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 Luce. 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 Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of New Luce.  The Family History Library also has a surname index for the 1841 census of New Luce as well as a surname index for the 1881 census 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[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: 1695-1854 1068039 items 2-3
Marriages: 1684-1854 1068039 items 2-3
Deaths: 1730-1819, 1822-1854 1068039 items 2-3
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 the
Births: There are only two entries, 1695–1698, prior to June 1701. There are no entries October 1710–December 1725, except four for 1711–1722. All the pages of the record until 1797 are very much wasted, numerous entries are partial, and many were entirely destroyed.
Marriages: There are no entries January 1711–January 1726, except three for March–April 1725 and no entries 1796–December 1798 or 1816.
Deaths: Thirty entries prior to January 1730 with dates have been destroyed. There are no entries 1738–1745, 1747–1750 and 1755–1766 inclusive and September 1772–August 1800, except for two, November 1811–February 1818. There are no entries November 1819–1822 and 1829–1846.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1694–1893
Accounts 1803–1847
Parish Board Minutes 1847–1866
Poor Fund Accounts 1826–1847
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/700.

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.

New Luce Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed on the footing of a preaching station in 1862. Worship was held for three years in Waterfoot Barn, a thatched building near the river Luce. In 1865 what is known as the Old Manse was erected. The minister lived on the ground floor and the upper was used for public worship. The church was built in 1871. On a stone above the western window is the inscription: Peden Memorial Church, 1871, commemorating Peden's brief ministry at New Luce, from which he was ejected in 1663. The church was renovated in 1894. Owing to the small population, New Luce never reached the status of a sanctioned charge.
Membership: 1870, 51; 1900, 65.
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.

Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

Wilson’s Gazetteer of Scotland 1882 lists New Luce as having had a Baptist congregation. However, sources for the history of the Baptist church in Scotland do not mention a congregation there. It may have been short lived and records may not survive.

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 Luce 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 Wigtonshire [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. 216-225. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 March 2014.

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