- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
The parish of Lauder was situated in the northwest corner of the former county of Berwickshire. It was bounded on the north by Midlothian, on the east by the parishes of Longformacus, Westruther and Legerwood, on the south by the parish of Melrose and on the west by the parishes of Stow (once in Midlothian and now in Scottish Borders) and Channelkirk. It is the location of Thirlestane Castle.
It wss a large parish of 136.1km2 (52.5 sq. miles) and contained the village of Lauder, a hamlet named Bruntaburn, and the estate of Thirlestane Castle. Some parish records exist from 1680.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Near to the old Crown Fort stood the ancient parish church of St.Mary (a dependency of Dryburgh Abbey). In a Writ of c1217 an "Everardus" is recorded as pastor of Laweder, and in 1245 there was a Chapter of the Clergy of East Lothian at Lauder on Saturday after the Feast of Saint Peter, ad vincula, when a dispute was settled between the Priory of St. Andrews and the nuns of Haddington, regarding the tithes of Stevenstoun, nr.Haddington. In this original church many of the old Lauder family were interred, including two bishops, William de Lawedre, Bishop of Glasgow and Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and Alexander Lauder, Bishop of Dunkeld. It was from this church, in 1482, that James III's favourites, including the architect Robert Cochrane, were dragged by envious nobles led by Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus and hanged from the (earlier) Lauder Bridge. The sites of the ancient kirk and the bridge from which Cochrane and his colleagues met their demise, are now within the immediate policies of Thirlestane Castle, the church some 60 yards from the west front, and the bridge some quarter-mile to the north-east.
With their local ascendancy, and with Thirlestane Castle becoming even grander, John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale decided he would demolish the ancient kirk, and had a new church erected by Sir William Bruce in 1673 in the centre of the Royal Burgh. Around it is a walled graveyard, with a watchhouse built after a bodysnatching raid in 1830.
There was also (now demolished) a large United Presbyterian Church at the West Port. The manse still stands, but is now a private residence.
Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses
- Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.
Notes for Berwickshire
- GENUKI has a list of references for Berwickshire. Some of these may be superseded by more modern material.
- The Borders Family History Society provides a page of facts and publications for each of the parishes in its area. They have a lot of material. On each parish page is a map of the local area taken from either the ‘’Ordnance Survey Quarter-inch to the mile, Scotland, 1921-1923 series’’ or ‘’the Ordnance Survey One-inch to the mile, Popular edition, Scotland, 1920-1930 series’’. These maps are not visible immediately upon opening a page, but worthwhile scrolling down to find.
- There are no records for Berwickshire in the FreeCen Project.
- The Lauder Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide records of baptisms (1680-1854), marriages (1677-1796 and 1844-1854) and burials (1785-1794 and 1836-1855). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Lauder for other church denominations.
Further Sources of Reference
Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.
- GENUKI article on Lauder. These articles often include a bibliography.
- Scottish Places article on the parish of Lauder. The tabs of the right provide more information, and a map of the parish within its surrounding area, with small settlements highlighted and linked to more information.
- The FamilySearch Wiki article on Lauder provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish.
- The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
- The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
- Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.