The Glenkens in the Old Statistical Account (OSA) Population

The Glenkens in the Old Statistical Account (OSA)

(OSA (1983) Statistical Account of Scotland 1791 – 1799. Vol. V Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire. E.P Publishing, Ltd. Wakefield. eds. Donald J Withrington and Ian R Grant)

Parishes

Balmaclellan (1793)Rev James Thomson (pp 11 – 21)

Balmaghie (Laurieston) (1793)Rev J. Johnstone (pp 22 – 34)

Carsphairn (1791 – 98) Rev Samuel Smith (pp 72 – 79)

Crossmichael (1791) Rev John Johnstone (pp 96 – 112)

Dalry (1791 – 1793)Rev Alexander McGowan (pp113 – 133)

Kells (New Galloway) (1791 – 93) Rev John Gillespie (pp 143 – 160)

Parton & Corsock (1790) Rev William Donaldson (pp 295 – 300)

Population:

Some ministers gave more information than others about the population of their parishes.

Balmaclellan: In 1755 the population 534. A very accurate count taken by the present minister on 1/1/1792 which was 495. of these:

males – 231; females – 264;

males under 10 – 41; females under 10 – 49;

males over 70 – 13; females over 70 – 6; (oldest man 86, oldest woman 84);

married – 155; unmarried – 305; widowers – 10; widows – 25.

Religion: Antiburghers – 7; Macmillanites – 3. (not belonging to the established Church of Scotland, but a minor sect)

Most people lived in the country, only 77 in the village. He states that the decrease in population was a result of:- engrossment of farms and increase in pasturage that diminished the hands necessary for agriculture, the change in property – of 5 families of distinction formerly resident there only remained one at that time. The families were generally served by a numerous train of dependants (cottars), mostly married and living as separate families. Now there were unmarried domestic servants, living in the house. There used to be 46 – 50 farms, now only 30.

4 or 5 people receiving poor relief.

There were 120 families; 3 mills; 2 blacksmiths; 6 weavers; 4 tailors; 4 shoemakers; 2 carpenters; 1 mason.

The school master only got £36 as the terms of donation (£500 secured on land yielding 5%) did not allow wages.

The people were hardy and conversant with things much beyond that of a mere manufacturer or vulgar citizen. The young men generally became either mechanics or merchants – of these mostly itinerant in N England. Every one in parish at the time is Scots born.

Balmaghie: In 1744 there 697.

In 1793 the total was 862;

males – 433; females – 429;

families – 152; av. people in each 5.5;

male farm servants - 63; female servants – 51;

labourers engaged by the year (called benefit men), were housed separately, - 18;

under 10, - 208; 10 to 30, - 251; 30 to 60, - 376; 60 to 90 - 27;

The population does not seem to have changed much for some time. The sheep farms could never employ many people. Some of the land capable of improvement has neither been thrown into farms, nor broken down into small holdings. Cot crofts had been abolished but the influence of this in promoting depopulation had been sufficiently counteracted. The additional labour needed for improvements had prevented any from leaving the place for want of employment and had encouraged others to settle in it. Village building was little encouraged here and there was no manufacturing.

Occupations: minister - 1; schoolmasters -2 ; small heritor resident - 1; farmers rent £240 to £300- 30; farmers rent below £30 - 34; servants and labourers on above farms - 132; blacksmiths – 2; millers – 3; shoemakers – 8; weavers – 12; masons – 7; carpenters – 8; tailors – 8; boatmen – 2; dram sellers – 8; families of above – 604;

Places of birth: Ireland – 30; England – 1; Galloway etc. - 831;

There were 11 estates ranging from 4 acres to 4204 acres. Only 1 owner was resident.

Religion: Roman Catholic - 11; their children – 3; Antiburghers (United Secession) – 2; Cameronians – 8; Established church – 838.

Carsphairn: In 1755 there were 609; 1791 – 461 (a decease of 148);

under 10 – 112; 10 to 50 – 278; over 50 -70.

Inhabitants had not been careless about their own improvement and had made considerable progress in civilisation. Their lives were by then easier and a few even have some luxuries. ‘They pleased themselves with innocent social amusements and appear between opulence and want, barbarity and refinement, which is perhaps the most favourable to happiness.’ He was surprised to find what he described as ‘often the best writers of the English language in their little libraries.’

He speculated that, from the number of old houses in every farm, nearly double the number of people lived in parish in the past. There were 60 people living in village.

Crossmichael: From 1751 to 1761, there were 128 baptisms, about 13 a year; for the next 16 years they were about 17 a year, amounting to 278.

1755 there were 613 souls. On 1/1/1791 there were 772.

Under 10 - 22; between 10 & 20 - 125; 20 to 50 - 336; 50 to 70 - 82; 70 to 90 - 29; total 772.

380 males and 392 females, occupying 163 houses, 14 of which had only one person.

In one village there were 70 and in the other, 36.

Abstract for last 7 years:

Baptism Marriage Deaths

1784 20 3 16

1785 23 2 11

1786 19 4 7

1787 24 6 8

1788 21 5 9

1789 24 2 3

1790 17 10 6

Total 148 31 60

Of those who died in the previous 7 years, 12 were under 4; 9 from 60-70; 16 from 70-85; and 23 of various ages. The age to which people lived was evidence of the healthiness of the place.

Formerly there were a considerable number of ‘lot-crofts’ – small pieces of land kept always under crop and let along with cottages and the privilege of grass for 1 or 2 cows. The abolition of these 20 or 30 years previously, and the practice of putting several farms together, mainly for grazing, gave a temporary check on the population. A very large tract of the finest land, for a number of years, belonged to one man who neither lived there or ploughed it. More recently the farms had greatly reduced in size and only 3 had tenants who don’t live there. Of late marl and lime had greatly improved the land and as agriculture required more hands than pasturage, the population was now increasing rapidly.

He stated that the population should in a few years increase more as 3 gentlemen who between them own a lot of the parish, have plans that when the current leases expire, their land will be parcelled out into small lots of 4 to 15 acres each of arable ground. These, properly fences are let to those offering the highest rent. The tenant’s fue house-steads and gardens for which they were to pay duty of £2 - £4 an acre annually, and on which they were to build at their own expense what houses they need. Of the adjoining park they got a 19 year lease at about double what the farmers were paying previously.

Place of Birth – England – 4; Ireland – 10; IoM – 5; Highlands – 1; Edinburgh – 3; D&G – 749.

Religion – Cameronian – 14; Their children – 12; Antiburghers – 15; their children – 9; Episcopalians – 2; Roman Catholic – 1; Established Church – 719.

Occupation – Stewart Depute -1; minister – 1; schoolteacher – 1; Farmers with rent £15 to £170 – 41; Farmers with under £15 rent – 27; Weavers – 5; Shoemakers – 4; Taylors and 3 apprentices – 7; Blacksmiths and 1 apprentice – 3; Masons and 5 apprentices - 10; Joiners and 1 apprentice – 6; Dyer and 1 apprentice – 2; Shopkeepers – 3; Small innkeepers – 2; Male servants – 51; Female servants – 54; Miller – 1; Labouring cottagers – 55; Paupers – 7; Families of the above – 491.

Dalry: 1755 – 891. In 1782 (9 years ago) – about 1000. There must be many more now that the village was so much bigger. There are several people over 80 and one said to be 100.

Annually – births - about 20, marriages - about 5, deaths - about 9 or 10.

Tradesmen – about 33; weavers and apprentices – 10; tailors – 4; shoemakers – 6; smiths – 4; masons – 4; joiners – 5.

Kells: 1755 – 784.

For the previous 10 years – marriages av. – 6; births – 13.

Inhabited houses 180, of which there were 73 in New Galloway.

In 1791 there were 869 people;

males – 438, females – 431.

9 wrights, 2 smiths, 7 tailors, 13 weavers, 7 shoemakers, 4 masons, 2 millers, 2 dyers, 2 tanners, 7 apprentices.

Male labouring servants – 36, female – 47. students at college – 5. Surgeon – 1, formerly 2. 2 Seeders (people who seeded from the established church).

He says that the number of inhabitants had greatly decreased since 1764 due to: uniting several farms together, disuse of cottagers and sub-tenants, feuing out land and building villages on the high roads, high rent of small possessions which compelled the poorer sort to retire to these villages.

The proportion of birth to the population as a whole is births almost 1:67 and marriages to the whole population is nearly 1:145.

The average number of poor over the last 12 years is 12.

Some families emigrated to America just before the rebellion of the colonies. Some young people (male and female) left the parish as servants; several young men of spirit went to the West Indies as planters and merchants. Some went to England as pedlars often returning after 10 or 12 years with £800 - £1,000. Several returned from the West Indies after 16 or 17 years with genteel fortunes; some choose a sea faring life.

Parton & Corsock: In 1755 there were 396; 1790 – 409: from 17441782: average annual numbers of marriages – 4; births – 11, deaths – 8.

In 1761: souls over 6 yrs – 400, excluding seeders and papists, - the diminution since then is due to the great farms (? amalgamation of farms), inhabited houses – 100;

families (4 catholic, 4 seeders) – 80; average number of people in a family – 5;

land owners – 12; mechanics of all description – 10; poor – average over the last 20 yrs – 6.