- source: Family History Library Catalog
NOTE: The parish of Wigtown should not be confused with the town of Wigton across the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England.
Wigtown was a parish located in the former county of Wigtownshire at the top of Wigtown Bay. Both county and parish ceased to exist following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 33.1km2 (12.8 sq. miles) and had 2 neighbouring parishes: Kirkinner and Penninghame.
The parish included the settlements of Bladnoch, Carsegowan and the town of Wigtown.
Wigtown is now located in the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, some 5 miles (8 km) south of Newton Stewart.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Wigtown is a town and former royal burgh in Wigtownshire in the District Council Region of Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. It lies east of Stranraer and south of Newton Stewart. It is well known today as Scotland's National Book Town with a concentration of second-hand book shops. It has a population of about 1,000.
Wigtown is also the name of a ward, a government district in the region of Dumfries and Galloway council. The ward covers a larger area than the town, about six miles long and four miles wide, comprising about 7000 acres bounded on the east by Wigtown bay and on the south by the river Bladnoch.
Wigtown is the gateway to and main centre of the Machars.
Due to the North Atlantic Drift (Gulf Stream) the climate is mild and plants normally associated with the Southern Hemisphere can successfully be grown here.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Wigtown. which provides an extensive history of the parish and the town.
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 Wigtownshire
- The Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society website may point to material of interest to the general researcher. Amongst their publications are indexes for the 1841 census. These are prepared as small booklets, one for each parish, and are alphabetically indexed transcriptions. Obtainable from the D & G FHS, address at website.
- The FreeCen Project has a searchable (not browsable) transcription of the whole of Wigtownshire online for the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses, with the 1871 census partly completed.
- The Wigtownshire Pages is an accumulation of links to various websites with genealogical information about Wigtownshire, including Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Wigtown Free Press, an index of a list of people living in Wigtownshire in 1684, and a small website of monumental inscriptions.
- Wigtownshire Links is a similar webpage to the one above which may include other websites.
- The Wigtown Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide records of baptisms (1736-1854), marriages (1731-1782) and burials (1731-1782). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Wigtown for other church denominations.
Further Sources of Reference
Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.
- GENUKI article on Wigtown. These articles often include a bibliography.
- The Gazetteer for Scotland article on the parish of Wigtown. 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 Wigtown 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.