Place:Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland

NameBeith
TypeParish, Town
Coordinates55.75°N 4.633°W
Located inAyrshire, Scotland     (1659 - 1975)
See alsoRenfrewshire, Scotlandpart until 1891
Strathclyde, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
North Ayrshire, Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

The Parish

Beith was a parish located in the former county of Ayrshire. Both county and parish ceased to exist following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 45.4km2 (17.5 sq. miles) and had 7 neighbouring parishes; namely Dalry, Dunlop, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, and Stewarton in Ayrshire, and Lochwinnoch, and Neilston in Renfrewshire.

Prior to the the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1889, part of the parish of Beith was in Renfrewshire.

The parish included the settlements of Auchengree, the small town of Beith, Burnhouse, Gateside, and Longbar.

Beith is now located in the North Ayrshire Council Area, some 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Stewarton in East Ayrshire and 9 miles (15 km) north of Irvine in North Ayrshire.

The Town

Beith is a small town situated in the Garnock Valley to the east of Kilbirnie Loch, approximately 20-miles south-west of Glasgow. Its population in 2001 was over 6,000.

It has been home to many industries including the manufacture of many kinds of textiles: cotton and linen especially. Furniture building was a significant industry in Beith from 1845 to the late 1980s.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Beith.
The Wikipedia article goes into much more detail on many subjects--much more than is given here. It lists a number os families who had their origins in the area.


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: 1661-1662, 1673-1694, 1701-1854
Marriages: 1659-1694, 1711-1758, 1783-1854
Deaths: 1783-1787

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 Street, Ayr), The Secessionist Graveyard (King Street, 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 Beith. The bibliography for Ayrshire is very good.
  • The Gazetteer for Scotland article on the parish of Beith. 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 Gazetteer for Scotland also has an article on the town of Beith.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Beith 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 Beith. 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.
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