On 12 September 2015, I will be giving a presentation/ group meet up on Ayrshire Genealogical Research and have gathered my thoughts and what I have found on the subject here for ease of access.

250px-Ayrshire_rivers_some_towns

My interest in Ayrshire stems from my Leitch relatives, who were from Saltcoats/Ardrossan, in Ayrshire.

Saltcoats is a port town situated in the district of Cunninghame, and is often refered to as the Threetowns because of its close proximity to Ardrossan and Steventson. They are now administered to together, and there is no visible divide between Ardrossan and Saltcoats.

Because my family left in 1832, a lot of the resources available to researchers are not particularly helpful – such as the census. The parish registers are however available at Scotland’s People (West Register House/ Scottish Archives). They are not regular or complete, but some exist.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my emigrating ancestor was actually Baptist, further complicating my research on them. A work in progress.

My research to date in Ayrshire records has been limited to the church registers, wills and newspapers for the region. I consulted these onsite in Edinburgh, when I lived there. I also went to the local library at Ardrossan and consulted the material there. They had a few original documents such as a religious census taken in 1831 by the local minister, and some local histories which were helpful providing context to the life of my kin there.

The local and family history Library in Ayr is considered a good resource – they have local newspapers from 1803, directories (postal directories are also available online http://www.nls.uk/family-history/directories/post-office/index.cfm?place=Ayrshire), maps, photographs, and other special collections. (http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/libraries/local-history.aspx)

There are a number of family history societies in the district:

List of parishes in Ayrshire:

Ardrossan

Auchinleck

Ayr

Ballantrae

Barr

Beith

Colmonell

Coylton

Craigie

Dailly

Dalgain (Som)

Dalmellington

Dalry

Dalrymple

Dreghorn

Dundonald

Dunlop

Fenwick

Galston

Grivan

Irvine

Kilbimie

Kilmamock

Kilmaurs

Kilwinning

Kirkmichael

Kirkoswald

Largs

Loudoun

Mauchline

Maybole

Monkton & Prestwick

Muirkirk

New Cumnock

Newton-upon-Ayre (St Quivox)

Ochiltree

Old Cumnock

Prestwick (Monkton)

St Quivox & Newton-upon-Ayr

Som (formerly Dalgain)

Stevenston

Stewarton

Straiton

Symington

Tarbolton

Of course, for Scottish research the first place to go is Scotland’s People, but Ancestry does have some Scottish material which can help out researching your Ayrshire family…..

On Ancestry:

Ayrshire Census & Voter Lists

There are no Census & Voter Lists collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Census & Voter Lists collections related to Ayrshire. (7)

Ayrshire Birth, Marriage & Death

Ayrshire, Scotland, Parish and Probate Records 41,994
View other Birth, Marriage & Death collections related to Ayrshire. (7)

Ayrshire Military

There are no Military collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Military collections related to Ayrshire. (3)

Ayrshire Immigration & Travel

There are no Immigration & Travel collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Immigration & Travel collections related to Ayrshire. (5)

Ayrshire Newspapers & Publications

There are no Newspapers & Publications collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Newspapers & Publications collections related to Ayrshire. (4)

Ayrshire Pictures

There are no Pictures collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Pictures collections related to Ayrshire. (2)

Ayrshire Schools, Directories & Church Histories

There are no Schools, Directories & Church Histories collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Schools, Directories & Church Histories collections related to Ayrshire. (13)

Ayrshire Wills, Probates, Land, Tax & Criminal

Charter chest of the earldom of Dundonald, 1219-1672 37
Dundonald, Scotland Charter Chest, 1219-1672 20
View other Wills, Probates, Land, Tax & Criminal collections related to Ayrshire. (14)

Ayrshire Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs

There are no Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs collections related to Ayrshire. (6)

Ayrshire Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

There are no Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers collections unique to Ayrshire.
View other Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers collections related to Ayrshire. (4)

Ayrshire Stories, Memories & Histories

History of the house of Ochiltree of Ayrshire, Scotland : with the genealogy of the families of those who came to America and o 447
Annals of Ayr, 1560-1692 0
County of Ayr – In Ayrshire 0
View other Stories, Memories & Histories collections related to Ayrshire. (76)

Image of Saltcoats pools by G Leitch 2007
Image of Saltcoats pools by G Leitch 2007