How to use the archive
We love to hear from people researching their family histories and are always happy to help. However, as we have digitised the majority of our collection, there is a lot of research you can do yourself.
You can download all of our documents by clicking on their image. Be aware that some are large files.
- If you have a name, use the search function to look for documents, photos and artefacts. We also have a collection of Family History files, many of which include family trees.
- Know the rough area? Use the map page to zoom in and look for records relating to properties.
- If you have the address you can search the Valuation Rolls.
- Got a date? The Census records may be useful.
- If you are looking for an inscription or gravestone, Kirkyard Inscriptions map and list may help.
Other sources of help
- The Ewart Library in Dumfries holds 600 years of local records and help with genealogical research. You can search their catalogue here. They also have advice on getting started in family research.
- Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society promotes the study of family history and is run by volunteers. They can help you to do your own research via their centre in Dumfries.
- The National Records of Scotland have Research Guides and their records are available through their Scotland's People website.
- ScotlandsPlaces is a free resource that lets you explore thousands of records about Scotland simply by searching for a place name, clicking on a map or typing in your postcode. Search results bring together three national collections so that you can easily find maps, photographs and written records about your chosen place. They hold the Kirkcudbrightshire OS Name Books, 1848-1851. Entries for the parish of Carsphairn are in volumes 1-20, and the village itself is concentrated in volume 10.
The Scottish Handwriting website has online tuition to help researchers read 16th, 17th and 18th Century manuscripts. Have a go at their Paleography Poser or use their tutorials and coaching manual to make sense of historical documents.