Yetholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Yetholm (#811)

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

History[edit | edit source]

YETHOLM, a parish, in the district of Kelso, county of Roxburgh; containing Kirk-Yetholm and TownYetholm, 8 miles (S. E. by E.) from Kelso. This place derives its name, signifying "the Hamlet of the Gate," from its position on the confines of Northumberland, from which its two villages are separated only by an open narrow valley. The old church, situated in the village of Kirk-Yetholm, was a very indifferent building, and although enlarged to more than twice its original size, in 1609, was insufficient for the accommodation of the parishioners. A new church was therefore erected in 1837, well adapted for a congregation of 750 persons. There are also places of worship for a congregation of Old-Light Burghers, and one of the United Associate Synod.[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 Yetholm.  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 Yetholm.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:

Years Surname Index        
1841 941.47/B3 X2m 1841
1851 941.47/B3 X2m 1851
1861 941.47/B3 X2m 1861
1881 6086664 ( 3 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 with their Family History Library call numbers.

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

Event Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1689-1854 1067954 items 4-6
Marriages: 1693-1854 1067954 items 4-6
Deaths: No entries
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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: No entries, except a few, September 1731–March 1733. The record 1758–1805 is intermixed with other matters. Irregular entries are frequent after 1795. Mothers' names not recorded until November 1695.
Marriages: Entries prior to 1721 are intermixed with births for the same period. No entries August 1721–December 1726. From 1758–1805 the record is again intermixed with births, but there are very few entries of marriage December 1795–August 1805, at which last date a separate register begins. Prior to 1805, except in the cases of irregular marriages, the record is chiefly one of proclamations.
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:

Minutes 1691–1734, 1805–1836, 1832–1861
Disbursements 1693–1734, 1733–1740,
Accounts 1691–1732, 1758–1837
Accounts, Charge and Discharge 1741–1758
Collections 1731–1740
Testimonials 1693–1695, 1836–1853
Testificates 1735–1753
Register of Church Censure 1734–1758
Register of Church Discipline 1789–1794
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/671.

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.

Yetholm First Associate Burgher Church, then Original Associate Church, and then Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation originated in the intrusion of an unacceptable minister into the parish of Yetholm in 1786. Church built the same year. The minister was one who withdrew from the Associate Burgher Synod, and formed "The Original Associate Synod" in 1799; his congregation at the same time adhering to him. He died in 1840. This congregation joined in connection with the Free Church in 1852. New church built in 1882 on the same site as the old.
Membership: 1859, 139; 1900, 206.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873.Film #477618. ALSO: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Minutes 1787–1820, 1834–1860
Communicans 1834–1856
Baptisms 1834–1856
Accounts 1834–1837
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/577.

Second Associate Burgher, New Light Church[edit | edit source]

Some misunderstanding having taken place between the minister and elders of the First Congregation of Yetholm, about 200 persons withdrew from it in consequence, and applied to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Coldstream for supply of sermon, which was granted in 1814. Church built in 1818.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Records—                                         FHL Call Number
Baptisms 1824–1855                                  Book 941.47/Y1 K2m
Marriage proclamations 1829–1850            same

Minutes 1818–1879
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/578.

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]

Yetholm was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Peebles until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Jedburgh.  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 Roxburgh 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 Roxburgh.  Look in the library catalog
 for the 'Place-names' of Roxburgh 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 Roxburghshire parish list.