- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the following section is based on an article in Wikipedia
Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh was a traditional county of Scotland. It bordered Dumfrieshire to the west, Selkirkshire to the northwest, and Berwickshire to the north. Its southeast border was with Cumbria and Northumberland in England. From 1890 to 1975 it was governed, like all tradtional Scottish counties, by a county council. The county seat was Newtown St. Boswells, and contained the royal burgh of Jedburgh, the burghs of Hawick, Kelso and Melrose, and the [rural] Districts of Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose.
Roxburghshire was named after the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh which was repeatedly captured and recaptured by English and Scots forcesduring the Scottish Wars of Independence. Its final recapture in 1460 saw the town and castle destroyed.
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 abolished the county and incorporated its area into the Borders Region. The Borders Region was divided into four districts, one of which was named Roxburgh and consisted of the former county less the Melrose area or parish, plus the parish of Nenthorn from Berwickshire. Melrose was then taken into Ettrick and Lauderdale District. (The redrawing of the boundaries smoothed the northwestern border illustrated in the map on the left.)
In 1996 the regional council and the four district councils were abolished, and the area was merged with the former counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire to form the present Scottish Borders Council Area.
WeRelate practice is to describe geographical places and their relationships to each other in terms of the way things were in 1900. Therefore, discussion of the regional government of Scotland (1975-1996) and the era of Council Areas (since 1996) is only included to permit comparisons between the old and the new. Old Parish Registers, civil registration (which began in 1855) and censuses refer to parishes and districts within traditional counties.
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 Some of these may be superseded by more modern material.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.
Further Sources of Reference
Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.
- GENUKI article on Roxburghshire. These articles often include a bibliography.
- Scottish Places article on the County of Roxburgh (or Roxburghshire). The tabs of the right provide more information, and maps of the county in the early 20th century and in the modern day within its surrounding area, indicating all the parishes.
- The FamilySearch Wiki article on Roxburghshire provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the county.
- 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.