Kirkmichael 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 65.1km2 (25.1 sq. miles) and had 5 neighbouring parishes: Dailly, Dalrymple, Kirkoswald, Maybole and Straiton.
The parish included the villages of Kirkmichael and Crosshill.
Kirkmichael is now located in the South Ayrshire Council Area, some 4 miles (6 km) east of Maybole and 8 miles (14 km) south of Ayr in South Ayrshire.
Kirkmichael Village is situated on the Dyrock Burn 3 miles (5 km) east of Maybole. Nearby stands Kirkmichael House.
Kirkmichael lies three miles east of Maybole and started life as the focus of a well populated rural parish served by its church. Today it is a largely white harled small village set amid the rolling hills of South Ayrshire, a ten-mile drive south of central Ayr.
Its origins date back to the 13th century when John de Gemmelstoun founded a church beside the Dyrock Burn here, which he dedicated to St. Michael. For much of its early life the village was called Kirkmichael of Gemilston, after its founder, but the name was eventually simplified.
The village church dates back to 1787 and is a fairly typical T-plan design intended to provide a large number of seats within a fairly small space, all exposed to the full force of the preacher's oratory.
The surrounding churchyard reflects its much greater age, though the attractive lich gate leading to it only dates back to 1702, according to the inscription on its bell. The lich gate was intended to accommodate mourners at funerals.
Kirkmichael focuses on two intersecting streets, largely occupied by white cottages built for hand-weavers in the 1790s. The most unusual building is the red stone McCosh Hall in Patna Road. This serves as the village hall and in 1898 was gifted to the village by James McCosh, President of Princeton University, whose family came from this part of Ayrshire. At the junction of Patna Road and Straiton Road lies the white-painted Kirkmichael Arms, a long one-storey village inn.
It has a pub, a restaurant and one post office.
Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses
Notes for Ayrshire
Family History Societies covering Ayrshire include:
Old Parish Register Provision
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
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