Deaths from Dumfries & Galloway Newspapers 1773-1855

For the period before 1854 Family History researchers were limited to searching Old Parish Registers, Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions, and Newspapers.

When Sheila Ford came to work in the Ewart Library as a young woman in the 1950s, there were no family history societies and no computers. In Dumfries and Galloway, Archie Shannon and George Gilchrist led a team of volunteers listing local graveyard inscriptions, and Sheila started listing the death notices in the old newspapers, while also helping with the graveyards. They were pioneers in this field and we owe them a lot. Many years later, Sheila and Archie were married.

In 2019, Sheila donated this archive to the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. It contained Newspaper Death Notices handwritten on index cards covering 16 Dumfries and Galloway Newspapers with Intimations of Deaths, some Obituaries and other Stories covering the period 1773 to 1854 and amounting to over 42,000 entries! This archive also contains many deaths that took place abroad wherever you will find Scottish Migrants, and we have no other record of them. As many of the graveyard memorial stones are sadly deteriorated and in some cases unable to be read, therefore these records may help to track down that elusive ancestor.

Whilst Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society have published many Deaths from Old Parish Registers and Memorial Inscriptions from many of our Graveyards we have, until now, only published one book on Deaths from Newspapers being “1854 Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser Intimations of Births, Deaths and Marriages” which contains nearly 1,500 listings. No entries from the Dumfries and Galloway Standard have been included here. This archive of Deaths from Newspapers had remained unpublished until now. We are very grateful having been given permission to publish them.

In the 18th and 19th centuries local newspapers were in the habit of copying articles from national newspapers. They also copied death notices of important or well known people, many of whom had no connection with Dumfries & Galloway. We decided to keep these references in the dataset we have created.

There are some interesting ‘colourful’ comments recorded and some of these are shown on

The books can be found in the Miscellaneous section of our Online Shop at