Since the early 17th century a large part of rural South of Scotland has been owned by the family of the Duke of Buccleuch. Records kept by the Estate are therefore a valuable source for family history. Although historical records of the eastern (Border) estates are deposited with the National Records of Scotland and are therefore publicly accessible, this is not the case for the western estates. These are centred on Drumlanrig Castle near Thornhill in Dumfriesshire. Records remain within the Buccleuch private collection. However the good news is that it is possible to view the archives locally at Drumlanrig Castle. If you’re interested in this then please contact me and I can give you archivist contact details etc. To give you an idea of what is within the collection , see the NRAS list for the Queensberry Estate held with the National Records of Scotland. This is not a full listing of what is available but it will at least give you a reasonable idea of what to expect. See also the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust website for further related information.
I have been able to transcribe a range of 18th century records for the estate. In particular, these were old rental records for many of the farms on the Queensberry Estate. They cover land in Penpont, Tynron, Durisdeer, Sanquhar and surrounding areas.
The records are particularly valuable for ancestors who were tenant farmers on Buccleuch land before the censuses of 1841 and beyond. The records often go back to around 1600. It’s not just names of the tenants themselves. The rental records can often hide information about family relationships . And I specialize in conducting research within these archives – please contact me to discuss your request.
Here’s a transcription of a rental from 1794 which includes a large number of farm tenants and much of the poulation of the village of Thornhill.
Baronies of Drumlanrig and Sanquhar
Ardoch Auchensow Auchengrouth Auchenskeoch Alton (Nether) Auchensell Auchenbainzie Auchengassel Auchennight Arkland Ash Trees Auchenbreack Auchenchain Airds Allanton Miln Auchengibbert Breckonside Ballagan Blairfoot Birkhill Bennan Birshaw Blackstone Buss & Penfillan Buchan Barndannachs Blawplain Braers (Upper & Nether) Broomrig Coshogle Chappel Collinnie Crarie Knowe Crarie Cauldstream Castlehill Mains Cottanhouse Cloich and Stanebutt Carronfoot Carronhill Cleughhead Charters Corseburn Chanlockfoot Chanlockhead Craigencoon (Over & Nether) Corfardine Craigneston Crawfordtown Craigmuie Claythoke Craigdarroch Craigturra Clonrae and Doon Camling Craignee Cunningholm Cormilligan Craigley Dalpeddars (Over, Middle and Nether) Dalveens Durisdeer Drudilmiln Drumlanrig Mains Drumshangan Durisdeer Miln Drumcruil Drumcork Drums Drumshinnoch and Gillside Drudil and Know Dalwhat Enoch Parks Enoch Waukmill East Morton Fardinbank Fardinjames Ford Glenim Gateslack Gubhill Garroch Glenmade Gateside Glencorse Glengar & Whitehill Glenscoben Glenwhargen Glenmanno Glencrosh Holm Hapland Holehouse & Highnewton Halscar Ingleston (Nether & Over) Kirkbride Knowhead & Humbie Kirkhope Kirkland of Morton Knockenshang (Over & Nether) Killiewarren Kirkcudbright (Over & Nether) Kirkbog Laucht Locherben Lochurr Myres Malcolmflatt Muircleuch Morton Mains Morton Miln Mortonmuir Mitchelslacks Maxwelltown Minniegryle Minniewhim Merkland Milnton & Carniecroft Merwhirn Polgown Polskeoch & Polvaddoch Porterstone Penmurtie Rosehill & Longcroft Sourland & Muriehill Scroggiehill Scarhead Shinnelhead Shinnelmid Shancastle Snaid Sundaywell Stranshalloch Thirstone Thornhill Templand Townhead Tibbers Miln Threeriggs Terraran Viccarland Whitecamp Whitefauld Windiehills Woodend