Yarrow, Selkirkshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Yarrow (#779)

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

History[edit | edit source]

YARROW, a parish, in the county of Selkirk, 9 miles (W.) from Selkirk; containing the village of Ettrick-Bridge and part of Yarrowford. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, was originally designated as the parish of St. Mary; its present name was acquired from the removal of the church to the banks of the river Yarrow, about the middle of the 17th century, since which time the parish has invariably retained the name of that river. The church erected in 1640, and thoroughly repaired in 1826, is a neat plain edifice adapted for a congregation of 430 persons.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Yarrow.  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 Yarrow.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index        
1841 941.465/E1 X2m 1841
1851 941.465/E1 X2m 1851
1861 941.465/E1 X2m 1861
1881 6086676 ( 2 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 Call Number
Births: 1691-1854 film 1067929
Marriages: 1691-1704, 1724-1854 film 1067929
Deaths: 1731-1732, 1759-1820 film 1067929
Burials: 1791-1837 book 941.465/Y1 K2h (see: www.sgtranscriptions.co.uk)
Condition of Original Registers[edit | edit source]

Index: 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: The greater part of pages at September 1700, at 1726, 1729, 1733, and 1734 are destroyed. There are no entries September 1700–1726, October 1733–December 1734. There is, however, a copy of the record 1691–October 1700 and November 1725–April 1761 made when the original was somewhat less imperfect than it is now. Irregular entries are frequent after 1780. Except for 1732–1733 mothers' names are not recorded until October 1778.
Marriages: There are no entries December 1704–November 1724, December 1728–December 1731, September 1733–December 1750, May 1752–May 1759, after which there are only proclamation fees until July 1775 then no entries until Aug 1791. There is a copy of the record prior to 1818.
Deaths: There are no entries June 1732–October 1759, from which date to 1775 there are only Mortcloth Dues and then no entries until August 1791, after which burials are recorded among the marriages.
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:

No known records.

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.

Yarrow and Meggat Free Church[edit | edit source]

After the Disruption the Presbyteries of Selkirk, Biggar and Peebles co–operated in providing services for the district of Yarrow, until, in 1844, when a preacher was appointed. Church and manse were built at Yarrow Feus in 1845. In this year the charge was sanctioned, the district of Meggat being attached to it. This same year a church was erected at Cappercleuch, St. Mary's Loch, in which services were conducted by the minister of Yarrow. Communion cups were presented for use in this church by the session of Free St. John's, Dr. Guthrie's, Edinburgh. The congregation of Yarrow suffered heavily through the erection of a charge in Ettrick, as many from that district were accustomed to come over the hill.
Membership: 1848, 107; 1900, 63.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Baptismal Register 1843–1873
Kirk Session Minutes 1846–1893
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1846–1883
Collection Book 1845–1894
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, record CH3/1573.

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]

Yarrow was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Peebles until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Selkirk.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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 Selkiek 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 Selkirk.  Look in the library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' of Selkirk 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. 617-622. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 March 2014.

Return to the Selkirkshire parish list.