These notes outline the
for family history research in the Scottish Borders
Local Registrar Offices
– Statutory registration of birth, marriage and death came into force
in Scotland in 1855 – 18 years later than in England and Wales, but
the records give more detailed information. There is no uniformity on
how far back local registrars hold records, and if you wish to make
searches of the indexes, you are advised to make an appointment in
advance. It may be difficult for some offices to provide this kind of
service in addition to their normal registration duties.
Borders Archive and Local
Studies Centre, Library
Headquarters, St Mary’s Mill, Selkirk. Tel: 01750 20842. Archivist Miss
Open: Monday to Thursday 9.00 am – 1.00
pm 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Friday 9.00 am – 1.00 pm 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Appointments are advisable,
especially when wishing to use the microfilm or microfiche readers.
The centre provides an
opportunity to consult a large reference section of published local
history material and original archives.
The collection includes
records from the Border burghs, local firms, school logs, valuation books,
old maps, individual, family and estate papers, group and society papers,
picture postcards and aerial photographs, printed ephemera and local
newspapers dating back to the early 19th century.
Copies are held of the
census returns 1841 – 1891; old parish records from the four Border
counties plus Stow, Falla, Soutra, Temple and Heriot; the International
Genealogical Index for the UK and the index to pre 1855 Christenings and
Marriages in Scotland – all on microfiche.
Local Libraries in Duns,
Hawick and Galashiels have
collections largely of a county interest.
Wilton Lodge Park Hawick Tel: 01450 373457
Open: April to Sept Mon to Sat 10 am –
12.30 pm 1.30 – 5.00 pm Sunday 2.00 – 5.00 pm
Oct to March Mon to Fri 1.00 – 4.00 pm
Sunday 2.00 – 4.00 pm
The Museum holds churchyard
records of burial grounds in towns and villages in Roxburghshire, also of
Berwickshire tombstones and records of churchyards at Galashiels Old
Cemetery, Ladhope, Bewlie, Ettrick Kirkyard and St Mary’s, Yarrow.
Border Family History
Society, Secretary Mrs Fay Mackay,
Caddonmill, Clovenfords, near Galashiels. Tel: 01896 850264
The Society, established in
1985, cannot assist directly with family research. Its publications
programme includes a regular newsletter with articles and queries, a
register of members’ interests and records of monumental inscriptions.
General Register Office for
Scotland, New Register House, West
Register Street, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 334 0380. (This is at the east end
of Princes Street, up the side street opposite the Balmoral Hotel – not
to be confused with the imposing building with the equestrian statue of
Open: Monday to Friday 9 am – 4.30 pm
The records, held here for the whole of
Scotland, fall into three main categories:
of every birth, marriage and death in Scotland since January 1st
1855. Enquirers need to have a good idea of the date of the event they
are looking for.
of baptisms, banns and marriages, and burials in the Church of
Scotland. Kept by the Parish ministers or session clerks, these
records are far from complete. A charge was made to have the event
recorded, and there was no standard to which clerks were expected to
conform. They are very variable in coverage, quality and legibility.
Enquirers need to know the name of the parish in which their forebears
were baptised, married or buried. A major indexing task is in hand.
Records on microfilm.
Old Parish Records
. The Census records for
1841 and 1851 carry details of many people not covered by the
statutory records begun in 1855. Enquirers do need to know where the
person they are researching was living at the time of the census.
Records on microfilm.
Census Records 1841 –
Accommodation in the Search
Room is limited. A seat may be reserved in advance and it is advisable to
anyone travelling some distance to book ahead.
A general search through
the three different types of records costs an inclusive fee of £17.00 per
day, ½ day search £10.00 after 1 pm subject to seat availability.
Charges as of March 1999. A free leaflet is available from New Register
House, giving general advice on the records and on charges for specific
searches and copies of individual entries.
Produced by Scottish
Borders Tourist Board, Shepherd’s Mill, Whinfield Road, Selkirk TD7 5DT.
Tel (01750) 20555. Fax (01750) 21886. E-mail: email@example.com