Ancient Burgh Crest

Old Kirkcudbright

Glimpses into the History of an Ancient Parish & Burgh

Genealogy | OPR Deaths

Deaths Recorded in Kirkcudbright OPR's

Thanks to such internet resources as FamilySearch, old records of births and marriages are fairly well accessible to researchers all over the world. Some Old Parish Registers also contain records of parishioners deaths, but these are seldom made available to home researchers.

Kirkcudbright Parish Registers list a number of those who died, with a little personal information. In particular, between 1826 and 1853, nearly 1000 are recorded. This was by no means all deaths which must have occurred over this period, but as so many parishes have no records of deaths at all, these records must be considered valuable.

They are remarkable for the large numbers of people who died young through 'Consumption' (which I believe refers to what we now call respiratory tuberculosis), with references also to Whooping Cough, Small Pox and Measles.

Thanks to a correspondent, Dr Shepherd, the following is a suggested glossary of the old medical terms used in these records:

Condition Meaning
Water in head Congenital hydrocephalus
Water in chest Pulmonary congestion?
Dropsy Congestive Cardiac failure
Apoplexy  Cerebovascular accident or stroke
Brain fever  Encephalitis
Consumption Respiratory tuberculosis
Child bed Child birth
Hooping cough Whooping cough
Worm fever Infestation
Rheumatic Rheumatism
Ossification ? arthritis
Convulsions Epilepsy (person was 32)
Heart spasm Possible myocardial infarction
Enlarged heart Cardiomegaly
Elysipelas Erysipelas
Heart inflammation Myocarditis
Gravel Renal or bladder calculi
Paralysis Stroke in an adult
Bowel hive Hives equate with urtic aria but I am not certain about the bowel hive.

In order to make nearly 1000 records browseable I have split them into EIGHT lists by date

1826-28
1829-30
1831-33
1834-38
1839-40
1841-42
1843-44
1845-53