Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Innerleithen (#762)

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Innerleithen.  To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.


History[edit | edit source]

INNERLEITHEN, a parish, chiefly in the county of Peebles, but partly in the county of Selkirk, 6½ miles (E. S. E.) from Peebles. This place, properly Inverleithen, derives its name from one of the numerous streams that flow through the lands into the river Tweed. The church, built in 1786, is a neat substantial edifice, conveniently situated, and adapted for a congregation of 350 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Innerleithern.  Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Innerleithen.  

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index           
1841 941.46/B1 X2m 1841
1851 941.46/B1 X2m 1851
1861 941.46/B1 X2m 1861
1881 6086640 ( 1 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.


Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1643-1681, 1706-1819 1067917
1820-1854 1067918 item 1
Marriages: 1642-1693, 1706-1819 1067917
1820-1854 1067918 item 1
Deaths: 1706-1763 1067917
1824-1854 1067918 item 1

Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are only nine entries February 1681–May 1706. One page of entries for 1703–1717 is entered after May 1725; the entry at 1669 is crossed out with ink. Entries for 1791–1805 occur on alternate pages of the register for the period 1789–1794. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1761.
Marriages: Proclamations are intermixed with other matters until 1676. No entries exist April 1648–June1651. There is a separate record of marriages June1651–December 1666. No entries exist July 1695–July 1706 or June1726–June1727, after which date the record is again intermixed with other matters.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are recorded until 1763. Then there are only a few entries until July 1824, after which deaths are recorded.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Accounts (latter only collections) 1642–1667, 1807–1851
Poor Fund Minutes 1774–1778
Accounts 1807–1851
Communion Rolls 1835–1836
Cash Book 1851–1877
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/974.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.

Innerleithen Free Church[edit | edit source]

Although the minister of this parish did not leave the Established Church in 1843, some parish members formed a Free Church congregation, and a minister was settled in 1844. Sunday schools were conducted at Innerleithen, Glenormiston, Henderland, and Whitehope. A church was built in 1844 and later remodeled in 1878. The manse was built in 1876.
Membership: 1848, 120; 1900, 191.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Minutes 1844–1863
Deacon's Court Minutes 1844–1906
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/937.

Innerleithen United Presbyterian Church[edit | edit source]

In September 1847, following the Union of the Secession and Relief Churches, about 100 members of the United Presbyterian Church petitioned for a preaching station to be established in Innerleithen. The Selkirk Presbytery appointed a minister, and the first Sabbath service began in April 1848. Regular supply of sermon was continued, and a congregation was formally organized in November 1848.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

Extent of records is unknown.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Innerleithen was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Peebles until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Peebles. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at  You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the librarycatalog for the 'Place-names' of Peebles and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Peebles.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Peebles. Look in the librarycatalog for the 'Place-names' of Peebles and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 555-584. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 February 2014.

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