"DUMFRIES, a parish on the south-west border of Dumfries-shire. It contains the royal burgh of Dumfries, the villages of Georgeton, Gaston, Locharbriggs, and Lochthorn, and part of the village of Kelton. It is bounded on the west by Kirkcudbrightshire, and on other sides by the parishes of Holywood, Kirkmahoe, Tinwald, Torthorwald, and Caerlaverock."
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson,
Rev. Robert Wallace and Rev. Thomas T. Duncan noted the following in the New Statistical Account compiled in the 1840s:
"The landward district, and part of the town, is under the minister of St. Michael's, and the remainder of the town is under the care of the minister of the New Church... There are no free sittings in either of the churches; 1000 families attend the two established churches... There are eight dissenting places of worship in the parish... 125 families attend the Relief chapel, of whom 102 live within the parish; 70 families attend the Cameronian chapel, of whom only 12 live within the parish; 56 families attend the Episcopalian chapel, one-third of whom are without the bounds of the parish; 43 families, all within the parish, attend the Methodist chapel. It is supposed that the total number of individuals attending the dissenting places of worship may be about 700."
Church of Scotland parish registers are held in the General Register Office in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world.
Here are some surviving church records available for Dumfries (this list may not be complete):
Church of Scotland
1616 - 1855
The Kirk Session records for the parish start in 1635, and are kept at the National Records of Scotland. Much of the records speak of church discipline. Irregular marriages and care for the poor are mentioned as well.
Dumfries has had a local newspaper since 1777. The first was the Dumfries Weekly Journal, which was followed by the Dumfries Times, the Dumfries Courier, and the Dumfries Standard. These newspapers covered events in Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire. A surname and subject index (1777 to 1925) has been compiled for these papers. The index (in book form) and the newspapers (on microfiche) are available at the Ewart Library.