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The Urquhart Informal Censuses of Portpatrick (1832-1853): a precious resource

Discussion in 'Wigtownshire' started by Valzie, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Valzie

    Valzie LostCousins Member

    Though not available online, these were transcribed and published by N.L. Tranter (Scottish Record Society, New Series 8, printed in Edinburgh) in 1980. Even in Canada, the volume can be obtained through inter-library loan. The first census, compiled in 1832-4 by assistant minister Andrew Urquhart as a way of acquainting himself with his parishioners, is the most useful to genealogists. Thanks to it, I know that my ancestor Andrew Sproule, a farmer, had moved into the parish 23 years earlier, while his wife Mary Torrance and all their 8 children were born there; that husband and wife were communicants and all children had been baptized; that Andrew and all children over the age of 15 could read, write, do arithmetic and were gainfully employed; that Mary Torrance and 12-year-old son could read and write, while the youngest child (8) could only read.
    The 3 later censuses, which provide less detail and do not cover the whole parish, are less valuable to researchers but still useful when read in conjunction with the formal censuses of 1841 and 1851.
     

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