Place:Melrose, Roxburghshire, Scotland

NameMelrose
TypeParish
Coordinates55.583°N 2.717°W
Located inRoxburghshire, Scotland     (1642 - 1975)
See alsoBorders, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
Scottish Borders, Scotlandunitary authority since 1996
Contained Places
Cemetery
Melrose Abbey
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Melrose is a large parish which was split between the old counties of Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire, which ceased to exist following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 108.7km2 (41.9 sq. miles) and had 9 neighbouring parishes: Bowden and St. Boswells in Roxburghshire, Caddonfoot and Galashiels in Selkirkshire; Earlston, Lauder, Legerwood and Mertoun in Berwickshire; and Stow in Midlothian. The boundaries of this parish were modified among significant changes recommended by the Boundary Commissioners after the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 and again by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1894.


Melrose is now located in the Scottish Borders Council Area, some 13 miles (21 km) west of Kelso and 14 miles (22 km) northwest of Jedburgh. It included the towns of Melrose and Newtown St. Boswells, as well as the smaller settlements of Blainslie, Darnick, Dingleton, Gattonside, Langlee, Langshaw, Leaderfoot, Nether Blainslie, Newstead, Tweedbank, and Wooplaw.

Melrose and Bowden have now been combined into a single [ecclesiastical] parish.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Melrose is the location of Melrose Abbey, re-founded for the Cistercian order by David I in the early 12th century, one of the most beautiful monastic ruins in Great Britain. It is the site of the burial of the heart of Scottish king Robert the Bruce. An excavation was led to find a sealed casket, but it was not opened, and it was actually discovered by high school students involved in the dig. The casket was placed in a sealed lead cylinder, and was then re-buried in the abbey back at its proper resting place. The remains of the Abbey are cared for by Historic Scotland (open all year; entrance charge).

Nearby is the Roman fort of Trimontium, and Dryburgh Abbey. Melrose is surrounded by the small villages of Darnick, Gattonside, Newstead, Lilliesleaf and Bowden.

Research Tips

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 Roxburghshire

  • GENUKI has a list of references for Roxburghshire. 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 and they publish monumental inscription books or CDs for many parishes. 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.
  • The FreeCen Project has transcriptions of the whole of Roxburghshire online for the 1841 and 1851 censuses and 87% of the 1861 census.
  • The Melrose Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide records of baptisms (1642-1854), marriages (1642-1855) and burials (1669-1702, 1734-1741, 1760, 1763--1854). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Melrose for other church denominations.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on Melrose. These articles often include a bibliography.
  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Melrose. 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 Melrose 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Melrose, Scotland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.