Place:Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland

NameKirkmichael
TypeParish
Coordinates55.3419°N 4.5986°W
Located inAyrshire, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoStrathclyde, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
South Ayrshire, Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Family History Library Catalog

Contents

The Parish

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.

The Village

Kirkmichael Village is situated on the Dyrock Burn 3 miles (5 km) east of Maybole. Nearby stands Kirkmichael House.

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

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.

Notable people

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: 1638-1854
Marriages: 1638-1854
Deaths: 1783-1854

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 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 Kirkmichael. The bibliography for Ayrshire is very good.
  • The Gazetteer for Scotland article on the parish of Kirkmichael. 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 Kirkmichael 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.