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Rulewater and its People
An Account of the Valley of the Rule and its Inhabitants by George Tancred of Weens


Parish histories, from their purely local [character, receive only a limited amount of attention from the general public. These histories not infrequently omit all detail in regard to individuals whose families for generations have followed their vocation as shepherds, farmers, or labourers, some of whom, or their descendants, have risen to distinction in other parts of the world. In Rulewaier and Us People I have endeavoured not to make this omission. The units in the population of our Border parishes are all much alike—landowners, ministers, farmers, shepherds, tradesmen, gamekeepers, and farm-servants. Some are here to-day and away to-morrow; others cling to their native parish. They may leave it for a time, but generally return—these all find a place in this history of the district. In whatever part of the world this book falls into the hands of a Rulewater man or one who is united to this district by the ties of ancestry or kindred, I trust its perusal may have the effect of intensifying his love, and of drawing him in closer bonds of fellowship with his brethren in the Watergate.

It is sometimes thought necessary, in attempting to write the early history of a place, to dive into remote antiquity and to record circumstances for which there is no sufficient authority. These records of a past age I leave to the scientific archaeologists, who are better able to give an opinion in such matters. I have restricted myself to a few parochial traditions handed down from father to son, which in themselves give some shadow of authentic history to the narrative.

In compiling the family history of Rulewater I have included the lands adjoining the valley and the families connected therewith. I hope those who have a claim to be mentioned but who have been left out will pardon the omission, as space would not allow me to notice even briefly many who were born and bred in the district.

I publish this book, not for the landowners of the valley, but for the descendants of those old residenters who in their day and generation have helped to keep together the clanship of the Borders. If this humble attempt of mine should in any way promote this object, I shall feel well repaid for the trouble I have taken.

I have had assistance from all parts of the county in the preparation of this work, for which I am* most thankful. The old resident families, past and present, have a strong claim to my gratitude for the willing help they have given me in regard to their pedigrees and family histories; and I am much indebted to the officials of His Majesty’s Register House for their courtesy to me on all occasions. I should like to mention specially the names of two old friends of mine now dead, from whom I received much valuable assistance—Walter Deans, mason, Kirk-style, and Thomas Rutherford, blacksmith, Bonchester Bridge, who were born and educated in this valley.


Weens, Rulewatkr,
Christmas 1907

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See also by the same author The Annals of a Border Club (The Jedforest)

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