Those wishing to trace family connections in the area will find that, since population movement in the Machars was relatively limited in the nineteenth century and since many families both in villages and farms have remained resident for well over a century, the Machars is an ideal place to begin ancestral research. The local registrar (Archie Taylor , 75 George Street, Whithorn) and local libraries have amassed considerable amounts of relevant archive material. There are several volumes of names and inscriptions from Whithorn’s cemetery painstakingly composed by Mr. Birchman, and you will also find that local people are approachable and knowledgeable on the subject of family history. Some prominent local families, like the Hannays (Hannahs, Hannas) of Sorbie and the Vances (Vans, Vaux) of Barnbarroch, occasionally have family gatherings of members from the local area and from as far afield as Canada and Australia. The Ewart Library at Dumfries also provides a professional genealogical research service, and details can be obtained from libraries at Whithorn and Port William.
The ‘Through the Lens’ series of old photographs of Dumfries and Galloway has done much to publish vintage pictures of the area, and volumes relating to Whithorn and the South Machars, farming, ports and characters are all on sale from bookshops and the local libraries.
For on-line listings of those buried in Whithorn, please visit: http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~scottish/indexstninian2.html