Why did your Ancestors settle in Stranraer


Old Parish Records

OPR's began in Stranraer in 1695 which was one of the earliest.

The Name

The name is generally believed to come from the Scottish Gaelic An t-Sron Reamhar meaning 'The Fat Nose', or 'the broad headland'.

The Early Years

Stranraer's life as a town really began in 1595 when Ninian Adair applied to King James VI to give Stranraer trading rights and a market. n the 17th and 18th centuries the town quickly expanded due to trade in textiles, tanning and fishing.

The 1700 and 1800s

Stranraer, much like Cairnryan, has it's history centred around the port with the first harbour being present in the mid 18th century. Further construction of the port occurred in the 1820s with the construction of the west pier. By the 1830s steam packets were making regular trips to Glasgow, Girvan and Belfast. Next came the railway to Stranraer in 1861, which, in those days came direct from Dumfries. The following year, the railway was extended to meet right up with the harbour and link up Portpatrick too. It was in 1862 when the official ferry service to Belfast in Northern Ireland began. In 1863 the east pier was constructed and Stranraer was designated as the Royal Mail office for Ireland. In 1872 the ferries to Ireland changed their destination to Larne whereas today the ferries go to Belfast again.

Stranraer and nearby Kirkcolm played an important role in the war with Winston Churchill himself taking a trip in a Boeing flying boat from Stranraer to the USA in 1942. Flying boats were stationed at Kirkcolm and the Supermarine Stranraer was named after the town.

If you would to know where your ancestors came from and what they did there then we offer three packages to suit all needs and budgets.

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