Peeblesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Peeblesshire County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Peeblesshire County

History[edit | edit source]

Peebleshire, also known as Tweeddale, is an inland county in the southern part of Scotland, bounded on the north by Edinburghshire, on the east by Selkirkshire and Edinburghshire, on the south by the county of Dumfries, and on the west by Lanarkshire. It is 30 miles in length and 22 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of about 360 square miles or 234,400 acres.

The county takes its name from the county town of Peebles, and Tweeddale from the river Tweed which divides it into two nearly equal parts, flowing in a winding course along an ample vale of great fertility and beauty. Secured by their extensive forests, the ancient inhabitants managed to withstand the Romans, the Picts, and the Saxons, until they became identified with the emigrant Scots from the coasts of Ireland who, settling in the peninsula of Cantyre, were soon mingled with the native inhabitants. Afterwards a party of Anglo-Saxons from the Lothians established themselves in the valley of Eddlestone, and from these are descended many of the most ancient families in the county.

Over the next few centuries the county was the scene of many conflicts between the English and the Scots which threatened the peace and independence of the inhabitants. Many of the gentry attended James IV to the battle of Flodden Field (1513) and fell in that disactrous conflict.

The county contains fourteen parishes. Peebles, a royal burgh, is the county town and seat of the sheriff's court. There is also the burgh of barony of Linton, five villages, and a few inconsiderable hamlets.

The population of the county in 1851 was 10,499.[1][2]

ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.

Census[edit | edit source]

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Peeblesshire for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Civil Registration.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the Peebless-shire parish records are indexed in Peebles, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Caithness in the country of Scotland. The 9,100 records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.

Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Peebles.  Click on a parish name to see information about records. Click on this link for an outline map of the parishes of Peeblesshire.

Parish No. Parish No.
Broughton 758 Megget -- see Lyne 765
Drumelzier 759 Newlands 767
Eddlestone 760 Peebles 768
Glenholm 761 Skirling 769
Innerleithen 762 Stobo 770
Kilbucho 763 Traquair 771
Kirkurd 764 Tweedsmuir 772
Lyne & Megget 765 West Linton 773
Manor 766

Court Records[edit | edit source]

The county of Peebles is in the Sheriff's court of Peebles (SC42). The Registers of Deeds for Sheriffs' courts contain much valuable information for family history research such as marriage contracts and deeds of 'disposal and settlement' (or assignment) of property, which both give names and relationships. The records are deposited at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and are not indexed.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are those which deal with the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. In Scotland, until 1868, a person could only pass movable property such as household furniture, farm equipment, livestock, money and clothes through a document known as a 'testament.' Immovable property such as land was passed to the eldest son or heir through a document known as a 'Service of Heir,' which is not a record of probate. Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Until 1823, the parishes of Peeblesshire were under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissariot Court of Peebles (CC18). Since 1823, the county has been under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Court of Peebles (SC42).

Probate records for 1513-1901 (including inventories of goods) 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 library catalog for the 'Place' of Peebles (then select the county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the 'Testaments registers.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poor Law page.

There was one workhouse in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouse today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the link above located on the site entitled The Workhouse: The story of an institution... which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Borders Family History Society
52 Overhaugh St
Phone+44 01896 750387

Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International,, (accessed June 20, 2016).
  2. Samuel Lewis. "Pabay - Peeblesshire," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 337-351. British History Online, (accessed June 4, 2020).