Place:Selkirkshire, Scotland

Alt namesSiorrachd Shalcraigsource: Wikipedia
TypeTraditional county
Coordinates55.55°N 2.8384°W
Located inScotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoBorders, Scotlandregional authority 1975-1996
Scottish Borders, Scotlandunitary council area since 1996
Contained Places
Cappercleuch ( - 1975 )
Hutlerburn ( - 1975 )
Philiphaugh ( - 1975 )
Inhabited place
Caddonfoot (village) ( 1898 - 1975 )
Galashiels (town) ( - 1975 )
Selkirk (town) ( - 1975 )
Yarrow (village) ( - 1975 )
Ashkirk ( 1891 - 1975 )
Caddonfoot ( 1898 - 1975 )
Ettrick ( 1693 - 1975 )
Galashiels ( 1714 - 1975 )
Kirkhope ( 1851 - 1975 )
Roberton ( - 1975 )
Selkirk ( 1697 - 1975 )
Yarrow ( - 1975 )
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a historic county and registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfriesshire to the south. It derives its name from its county town, the Royal burgh of Selkirk.

Between 1890 and 1975, it was one of the thirty-three administrative counties of Scotland, with a county council formed by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the use of counties as local government areas was abolished across Scotland, with administration being transferred to the Ettrick and Lauderdale district of the Borders Region. Unlike many historic counties, Selkirkshire does not have its own lieutenancy area, but shares one with Roxburghshire: the Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale lieutenancy area.

end of Wikipedia contribution

In 1996 there was another round of local government reorganization in Scotland in which the district of Ettick and Lauderdale along with the rest of the Borders Region became a unitary authority named the Scottish Borders Council Area.



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

In the 1st Century AD Selkirk formed part of the lands of the native people who hunted it rather than settled there. Neither the Romans, Angles, or the Saxons cleared much of the forestry there and for centuries Selkirk was known for its forest coverage. Indeed, an alternative name for the county was Ettrick Forest. Under the Scottish kings the forest was regarded as Royal. Despite this it was not until the reign of James V that sheriffs were appointed to administer the county on the Crown's behalf. During the military occupation of Scotland by Edward I of England, the forest was granted to the Earl of Gloucester.

The first recorded sheriff is Andrew de Synton, appointed by William the Lion (d. 1214). Synton in the parish of Ashkirk, just east of the village centre, was an enclave of Selkirkshire surrounded by Roxburghshire. Later, the Earl of Pembroke assumed the hereditary sheriffdom. Under and after King Robert the Bruce, the Earls of Douglas, and later Earls of Angus administered the county. In 1501 John Murray (d. 1510), laird of Falahill, was made sheriff of Selkirkshire and on 30 Nov. 1509 he obtained a grant of the hereditary sheriffdom of Selkirkshire. His descendant Sir James Murray was deprived of office in 1681 for being remiss in punishing conventicles, but at the Glorious Revolution was raised to the session bench as Lord Philiphaugh and reinstated as sheriff. His son John Murray (died 1753) was the hereditary Sheriff of Selkirk from 1708 to 1734, when he was returned unopposed as MP for Selkirkshire, having resigned his hereditary sheriffdom to one of his sons. When in 1747 the heritable jurisdictions were abolished, Murray of Philiphaugh received £4,000 in compensation.The Sheriff-Deputes, previously appointed by the hereditary sheriffs, were now appointed by the crown and acted in place of the hereditary sheriffs One such sheriff of Selkirkshire was Sir Walter Scott who was appointed Sheriff-Depute in 1799, an office he held until his death in 1832.

Folk ballads written of the county commemorate the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645, the 'Dowie Dens' at Yarrow and Tibbie Shiels at St Mary's Loch.

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 Selkirkshire

  • GENUKI has a list of references for Selkirkshire. Some of these may be superseded by more modern material. GENUKI places Caddonfoot in Roxburghshire.
  • 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 Selkirkshire online for 1841, 1851 and 1861.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • Scottish Places article on the county of Selkirkshire. 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 Selkirkshire 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.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Selkirkshire. 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.