Selkirkshire, Scotland Genealogy
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Guide to Selkirkshire County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
Selkirkshire is an inland county in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Peebles and Edinburgh, on the south by Dumfriesshire, on the east by Roxburghshire, and on the west by Peeblesshire. It is 27 miles in length from south-west to north-east and 16 miles in breadth comprising an area of 263 square miles or 168,320 acres.
This county, along with Roxburgh, anciently formed part of the forest of Ettrick, which was a favorite resort of the Scottish sovereigns for the purpose of hunting. About two-thirds of the county is now the property of the Duke of Buccleuch. The county includes nine parishes. Selkirk is the county town and a royal burgh. It also contains part of the market town of Galashiels and numerous small hamlets.
ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online 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:
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.
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 Selkirkshire for 1881. Click here for other census indexes available at the library.
- ScotlandsPeople, index, images, free index, pay per view ($)
- Scotland Census, 1841, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1851, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1861, no images. Also at MyHeritage, index, ($). Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1871, no images. Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1881, no images. Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1891, no images. Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1901 at FamilySearch — index.
- Scotland Census, 1901, index and images, ($). Also at FindMyPast, index, ($). Also at Ancestry.com, index, ($).
- Scotland Census, 1911, index and images, ($).
- 1658 - 1919 - Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 at FamilySearch — index
- 1736 - 1990 - Scotland Presbyterian & Protestant Church Records, 1736-1990 at FamilySearch — index
Civil Registration or Statutory Registers
For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.
Some of the Selkirkshire parish records are indexed in Selkirk, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.
This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Selkirk in the country of Scotland. The 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 the historic parishes for the county of Selkirk. Click on the parish name to see information about records. Click this link for an outline map of the parishes of Selkirkshire.
The county of Selkirk is in the Sheriff's court of Selkirk (SC63). 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 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 Selkirkshire 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 Selkirk (SC63).
Probate records for 1513-1901 (including inventories of goods) 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' of Selkirk (then select the county) and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the 'Testaments registers.'
NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poorhouses, Poor Law, Etc 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.
Borders Family History Society
52 Overhaugh St
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677
- Selkirkshire Resources and help pages on RootsChat Selkirkshire Resources and help pages. (Free).
- Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International, FamilySearch.org, https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/216925 (accessed June 20, 2016).
- Samuel Lewis. "Saddell - Selkirkshire," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 445-461. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/scotland/pp445-461 (accessed June 7, 2020).