Place:Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

NameAyr
Alt namesAd'harsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) I, 751
Aerasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 7
Aereasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 7
Arsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) I, 751
Ercojenasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 7
Erigenasource: Orbis Latinus (1971) p 7
Inbhir Àirsource: Wikipedia
TypeParish
Coordinates55.467°N 4.633°W
Located inAyrshire, Scotland     (700 - 1975)
See alsoStrathclyde, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
South Ayrshire, Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ayr (; , "Mouth of the River Ayr") is a former Royal Burgh in Ayrshire, Scotland. Ayr was the county town of the wider county of Ayrshire until 1975. Ayr is now the administrative centre of South Ayrshire council area, which is the unitary local authority.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

On April 26, 1315, the first Parliament of Scotland was held in Ayr by Robert The Bruce at St.John's Tower by the sea. It was once known as 'Inverair/Inverayr' and this usage is still retained in the Scottish Gaelic form of the name Inbhir Air.

Later, during Cromwellian times, the town was used as a base and fortress for some of his men. Cromwell built a huge wall around certain areas of the town, most of which can still be seen today. St John's Tower, in that area, was originally part of a massive church, but the church was knocked down, and the tower was used to practise on, and is now protected by the "Friends Of Saint Johns Tower" (FROST) residents of the "Fort Area" nearby.

Economy

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ayr's industry has flourished over the years mainly because of the River Ayr. Ships that were built on the mouth of the River Ayr in the eighteenth century improved Ayr's economy. From 1883 to 1901, 143 ships and barges were built on the Ayr by Samuel B Knight and the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company. Repair work on the Ayr ceased in 1960 when Ailsa moved its operations to Troon.

The North side of Ayr Harbour still operates as a commercial port today, mainly exporting coal, and extensive railway sidings still lead down from the main railway line near Newton-on-Ayr station.

In addition, the River Ayr and River Doon were used for the fishing of whitefish and salmon. These were then exported from Ayr Harbour.

Manufacturing of textiles such as carpets and lining was important to Ayr's economy until the factories closed in the 1970s. This caused mass unemployment in Ayr. Many of the old factories are still standing and can be seen on McCalls Avenue and Walker Road in Lochside, North Ayr, though many are derelict and unsafe. There was a large factory engaged in the production of fertilisers and other agricultural products. This has since closed, but parts of the old complex are sublet by local businesses.

Ayr has always been a hub for shopping in South Scotland with the first department store, Hourstons, opening in 1896. In the 1970s, Ayr flourished further with the opening of further stores including Marks and Spencers and Ayr's first shopping centre, the Kyle Centre (1988). Heathfield Retail park, an out-of-town retail park, opened in 1993 with shops such as Halfords and Homebase. Ayr Central Shopping Centre opened in March 2006 with shops such as Debenhams and H&M and underparking for 500 cars.

During the 19th and 20th centuries Ayr became a popular holiday resort. This was due to its fine sandy beach and its popularity was increased by the building of the rail link to Glasgow in 1840.

Research Tips

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.

Notes for Ayrshire

Family History Societies covering Ayrshire include:

  • the Ayrshire Federation of Historical Societies, Dennison House, 11 Chalmers Road, Ayr KA7 2RQ, Scotland.
  • The FreeCen Project has a searchable (not browsable) transcription of the whole of Ayrshire online for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.
  • Third Statistical Account of Scotland: Ayrshire edited by John Strawhorn and William Boyd, 1951.

Old Parish Register Provision

Births:1664-1854
Marriages:1687-1854
Deaths:1766-1854

Transcriptions of Gravestone Inscriptions

"Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions; an index for Carrick, Ayrshire" edited by Alison Mitchell, and published in Edinburgh in 1988 by the Scottish Genealogy Society. This covers the parishes of Ballantrae, Barr, Colmonell, Barrhill cemetery, Old Dailly, New Dailly, Girvan, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Crossraguel cemetery, Maybole, Straiton, Patna and Alloway (i.e. parts of South and East Ayrshire).

"Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions in Kilmarnock and Loudoun District" edited by Alistair G. Beattie and Margaret H. Beattie and published in Edinburgh in 1989 (reprint) by the Scottish Genealogy Society. This covers burial grounds in the parishes of Dunlop, Stewarton, Fenwick, Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock, Riccarton, Galston and Loudoun (i.e., central Ayrshire excluding Ayr and its environs).

The Troon & Ayrshire FHS has published the following books of Monumental Inscriptions: Old Alloway, Coylton, Craigie, Crosbie (Troon), Dundonald, Monkton, Newton Green Cemetery (Ayr), Six Kyle graveyards (includes Barnweill, Culzean, Coodham, Fairfield, Newton-on-Ayr and St. Margaret's, John St., Ayr), The Secessionist Graveyard (King St., Ayr), St. Nicholas (Prestwick), St. Quivox, Symington, Wallacetown Cemetery (Ayr), Ayr Auld Kirk.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on the town of Ayr. The bibliography for Ayrshire is very good.
  • The Gazetteer for Scotland article on the parish of Ayr. The tabs on the right provide more information, and a map of the parish within its surrounding area, with small settlements highlighted and linked to more information.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Ayr provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish.
  • The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
  • Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Ayr. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.