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Scotland Irving Name Study

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 26 Sep 2021 [unknown]
Location: Scotlandmap
Surname/tag: Irving
Profile manager: Bill Irving private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 134 times.
England and Scotland are the source of the name Irving. By examination of various genealogical sources it should be possible to determine the most obvious location from where the name originated.
This profile is part of the Irving Name Study.


Wikitree Categories of Scotland

This category is part of the Scotland Project and is maintained by the Scotland Geographical Team. All County level sub-categories have been created as of 01 Dec 2019.

Scottish Counties
Select the County and then the City/town/Village, etc.

Scotland Project contains amongst many research areas, advice on Clans, Stickers to use with Biographies, etc.

Scotland Categories and Resources provides a short history.

Irving name distribution within Genealogical sources.

Country Parish Records BMD Census Burials Personal Databases
  • Parish Records taken from / This is incomplete.
  • BMD Births, Marriages and Deaths taken from www,
  • Census England and Wales only, taken from www,freece,org,uk. This is incomplete. Census figures show the number of individual Irving records for that census year. Therefore the same family groups will be repeated.
  • Burials taken from This is incomplete.
  • Personal Database. Everything related to Irving's entered into these databases. Name variations are included in this count.
  • Islands are Aldreney, Gurnsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Sark.
  • Data last Updated 20 September 2021 by Bill Irving (IRVING-332).

Scotland Census source for the surname Irving

Method: Using Irving as the Surname; birth year as 1750 to 1920; Birth County = All Counties; Select the county of the census; Select the year of the census; then search. A count of all the records for that census year appears at the top of the results page.

An official census of population has been taken every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941. Little information about individuals survives for 1801 to 1831. From 1841 to 1911 enumerators copied information from schedules completed by heads of households and of smaller institutions into enumeration books for each district. Larger institutions were districts in their own right and had separate books. The original schedules have been destroyed but the enumeration books are held in the custody of the Registrar General for Scotland in Edinburgh. The records are indexed by personal name and are available as digital images.

The censuses started at midnight on:

  • 6 June 1841
  • 30 March 1851
  • 7 April 1861
  • 2 April 1871
  • 3 April 1881
  • 5 April 1891
  • 31 March 1901
  • 2 April 1911

Source is

County 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 Total
East Lothian12680000026
Ross & Cromartyl000000000
Western Isles000000000
West Lothian300000003

Bold indicates that 100% of census record has been transcribed.

Census transcriptions onto the Internet are not complete. If a record shows 0 this may indicate that no transcriptions have been completed.

Source used is Free UK Genealogy. “FreeCEN.” Last modified [25 September 2021]. Accessed [25 September 1021].

Data last Updated 22 September 2021 by Bill Irving (IRVING-332).

Census Analysis

The County with the largest number of Irving's is:

  • Dumfriesshire 2,602

This is South West Scotland. Dumfriesshire is next to Carlisle in Cumberland.

Scotland Parish Register source for the surname Irving

Method: Using Irving as the Surname; First year as 1500 .last Year as 1950; Select the county of the Parish Record; Record Type = All three types; then search. A count of all the records appears at the top of the results page.

Church registers

Churches have kept registers of baptisms (or births), marriages, burials (or deaths) and other events (such as people moving from one parish to another) for centuries. On this site you can search registers kept by the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic church and other churches.

Old Parish Registers (Church of Scotland) The Old Parish Registers (OPRs) comprise the records of births and baptisms, banns and marriages and deaths and burials kept by individual parishes of the Established Church (Church of Scotland) before the introduction of civil registration in 1855.

The parish minister or the session clerk usually assumed responsibility for maintaining the registers, but since there was no standard format employed, record keeping varied enormously from parish to parish and also from year to year. As a result, the information may be sparse, unreliable and difficult to read. The oldest register dates from 1553 (baptisms and banns from Errol, Perthshire), but although there was a requirement from 1552 that parishes record baptisms and marriages, many did not commence until much later, and some more remote areas only have registers from the early 19th century. Some registers have been lost or destroyed and the condition of the surviving 3500 is variable. The National Records of Scotland holds the surviving original registers.

Registration in the Church of Scotland's registers was costly and unpopular, so many people did not bother to register events at all. Although details of some non-conformists can be found in Established Church registers, many members of other religious denominations chose to have events registered in their own churches. In addition, rapid urbanisation during the 19th century contributed to the diminishing influence of the Church and a decrease in registration in these areas. It was estimated at the time that as few as 30% of events actually occurring were being recorded for some urban parishes.

Civil registration started in 1855. However in a small number of districts the local registrar was not in place at the very beginning and therefore there are a small number of events that are recorded in Old Parish Registers but are not featured in our statutory records.

Roman Catholic parish registers

Roman Catholic parish registers comprise records of:

  • births and baptisms
  • marriages
  • confirmations
  • deaths and burials
  • communicants
  • sick calls
  • status animarum
  • converts
  • first confessions
  • seat rents

The records cover all Scottish parishes in existence by 1855 – before the introduction of civil registration; the records of Glasgow's Catholic cemetery; and the records of the RC Bi*shopric of the Forces, which records all sacramental events for British service men and women serving in the armed forces worldwide.

Under the provisions of Church Law, all faithful are to have sacramental information recorded in the registers of the parish. Record format and content varied over time, with the responsibility for the information gathered being placed with the parish priest - since there was no standard format prescribed, record keeping varied enormously from parish to parish and also from year to year.

As a result, the information may be sparse, unreliable and difficult to read. Approximately 700 registers have survived, the earliest dating from 1703, but most records only begin in the 30 years following the relaxation of legislation against Catholics in the 1790s up to the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 when it was permitted to be a member of a Catholic church.

The Church of Scotland parishes did not cover the same areas as Roman Catholic parishes and the parishes of other churches.

For further information about the content of these records see the National Records of Scotland's guide on Catholic parish registers.

Other church registers As well as the Church of Scotland, other Presbyterian churches in Scotland kept registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1716 onwards. These other church registers are in the course of being added to the ScotlandsPeople site. The churches concerned were Presbyterian churches that were originally outside the Church of Scotland (or left the Church of Scotland) but joined (or re-joined) the Church of Scotland at various points. These churches were as follows:

  • The Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • The Original Secession (or First Secession) Church
  • The Associate Synods (Burghers and Antiburghers, and the Auld Licht Burghers, New Licht *Burghers, Auld Licht Antiburghers and New Licht Antiburghers)
  • The Relief Church
  • The United Secession Church
  • The United Presbyterian Church
  • The Free Church

These other churches did not have the same parish structure as the Church of Scotland.

Source is

County 1500-1599 1600-1699 1700-1799 1800-1899 1900-1950 Total Notes
Argyll000000Only 3 Parishes listed
Berwickl000000Only 2 Parishes listed
East Lothian00174021
Kincardine000000Only 1 Parish listed
Kinross000000No Parishes listed
Kirkcudbrightshire000000Only 1 Parish listed
Lanark000000Only 3 Parishes listed
Moray000000No Parishes listed
Nairn000000No Parishes listed
Peeble000000No Parishes listed
Perth000000Only 2 Parishes listed
Renfrew000000Only 1 Parish listed
Ross & Cromarty000000
Selkirk000000No Parishes listed
Shetland000000Only 4 Parishes listed
Stirling000000Only 1 Parishes listed
Sutherland000000Only 2 Parishes listed
West Lothian000000Only 2 Parishes listed
Wigton000000No Parishes listed

Source: Free UK Genealogy. “FreeREG.” Last modified [26 September 2021]. Accessed [26 September 2021].

Counties and their Place names are based on:

  • The digital Gazetteer published by the Association of British Counties.
  • The 1834 Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales: Counties and Places, by James Bell
  • Phillimore's Atlas of pre-1832 parishes.

Data last Updated 26 September 2021 by Bill Irving (IRVING-332).

Parish Reregister Analysis

There is no recorded method of identifying if the parish Record transcriptions are complete. Therefore all records may not be included.

There is insufficient evidence from the Parish Registers data to reach any conclusion. Currently the highest numbers are in Dumfriesshire and Orkney.

Conclusion for Scotland data

From the currently available data for Scotland the name IRVING originates in the South West of Scotland. Most probably in Dumfriesshire.


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