Tweedsmuir, Peeblesshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Tweedsmuir (#772)

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


History[edit | edit source]

TWEEDSMUIR, a parish, in county Peebles, 13 miles (S. E. by S.) from Biggar. This place derives its name from the moorish aspect of the ground in that part of the parish through which the river Tweed flows, immediately on issuing from its source. The church, beautifully situated on a peninsula formed by the junction of the rivers Tweed and Tala, was erected in 1648, and is in good repair.[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 Tweedsmuir.  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 Tweedsmuir.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index           
1841 941.46/T1 X2m 1841
1851 941.46/T1 X2m 1851
1861 941.46/T1 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: 1644-1697, 1720-1854 1067923 item 1-3
Marriages: 1644-1683, 1720-1817, 1823-1854 1067923 items 1-3
Deaths: 1645-1692, 1761-1818, 1823-1853 1067923 items 1-3
Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

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: Births are intermixed with marriages and deaths until 1683. No entries exist October 1683–November 1690, November 1691–March 1696, September 1698–December 1720, except one entry, February 1732–April 1734. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1762.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births and deaths until 1683. No entries August 1683–December 1720 or March 1731–April 1734; five entries for December 1744–March 1755, none for 1765; only two 1807 and 1817, November 1795–October 1817; and two entries, 1807–1814, November 1795–1823. They are again intermixed 1720–1731.
Deaths: These records are intermixed with births and marriages until 1683. There are no entries September 1683–June1689 and September 1692–November 1761. There are two entries January 1795–October 1817 and three 1823–1824, February 1818–March 1830.
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:

Transcript Session Minutes 1691–1951
Other Minutes 1691, 1723, 1761–1774, 1761–1791, 1793–1959
Collections 1761–1845
Accounts 1718–1724, 1725–1729, 1734–1774, 1761–1845,
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/613.

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.

There are no known nonconformist groups.

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]

Tweedsmuir 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 library catalog  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 library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' of Peebles and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

Return to the Peeblesshire parish list.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 567-571. Adapted. Date accessed: 06 February 2014.