Historical Records of Scotland -- Church, Census, Taxes, Other


Church Records (OPR). Scottish research is difficult as the records are incomplete. Prior to 1855, when civil registration began, the main source of information in Scotland is OPRs (Old Parochial Registors), but these have significant problems -- incomplete (not compulsory to register, so many events not recorded, especially deaths), missing (some events not records, or records lost or illegible), one church only (few secession church records), insubstantial (little information on records, e.g., often no maiden names). Few records are available prior to 1700 -- but this varies dramatically parish by parish. Additionally, in 1783 the Stamp Act (applicable to the whole of Great Britain) was passed, imposing a tax of 3d (three old pence) on every entry of a birth/baptism, marriage and burial. Although this Act was repealed in 1794 it did have the effect of deterring people from registration for about 11 years. Some Presbyterians, such as the Original Seceders of 1733 and the Relief Church in 1759, ceased to be members of the estabished Church of Scotland and did not always record their births and marriages in the parish register, and only a few "Free Church" records exist.

The census data in Scotland start in 1841, after our ancestors left. Many of the early tax records only recorded taxable persons, and many of the lists of persons have been lost. On the positive side, however, is the fact that in Scotland most married women continued to use their maiden names, and their death records ("mortcloth rentals") and tombstone will include maiden names. But, there are not many death records in existence, and few tombstones prior to the 19th century are still legible; even MI (monument inscription) lists of the early 20th century do not include many stones from prior to 1800.

Since it is impossible to know how many records are in fact missing, it is not adequate to assume that the single possible remaining record is in fact a match, or the lack of a record in a locality means the person/family did not live there ("absence of proof is not proof of absence"). Where the OPR's are found to be lacking, gaps can sometimes be filled by looking at the Kirk Session Minutes, which recorded the fees paid by parishioners for hire of the mortcloth for burial or for proclamation of the banns of marriage. The banns proclamation identified the parish of both parties, the name of the bride's father, the groom's occupation and, if he was a minor, his parents' names. There is also a Register of Neglected Entries, listing some births, marriages and deaths known to have taken place between 1801 and 1854, but for which there are no entries in the parish register. These can be found at the end of the microfilm reel of the appropriate register.

Since additional record books are unlikely to be found after all these years, it is unlikely that any additional headway will be made on the ancestry of the Scottish forebears. The best chance for more information is if distant relatives had family records such as bibles.

Thomas Hay and Jane/Jean Ann Taylor -- Generation #1

Marriage -- 1787 in Makerstoun OPR. Note the actual marriage was "irregular" and occurred in Cornhill, Northumberland, England.
Children: 1788-1789 1 child in Makerstoun OPR; 1792-1804 5 children in Linton OPR (but one Makerstoun birth also listed, for a total of 5 children) -- missing 1 birth in 1809.
Look for the H records -- I thought these were an index, but it looks like something else
Also, look for Andrew Davidson birth on 6/4/1789-- is it thre Davidson in Linton? at Hoselaw? Look for marriage too with Annie and Isabel.

The following Linton records are available:
-- Linton: 1732-1854 for the Church of Scotland Parish Church of Linton (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1732-1854 baptisms; 1818-1854 marriages)
The following Makerstoun records are available:
-- Makerstoun: 1672-1854 for the Church of Scotland Parish Church of Makerstoun (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1692-1854 baptisms, 1716-1854 marriages, 1785-1805 burials)
There were 20 Ann/Anne Hay births in all of Scotland, in the OPRs, in 1808-1812. None were in Roxburghshire; none were for 7/7/1809 (3/12/1809 to William Hay and Jannet McKenzie, 5/6/1809 to James Hay and Barbara Fraser, 2/1/1808 to William Hay and Isabel Henderson).
The monument inscriptions have been published for Linton and Makerstoun and there were no Hay entries, despite the fact that I would have expected Annie to be there. (There is no Annie Davidson listed either, although even wives are usually listed by their maiden names.)
It is thought likely that William and Jean Ann Taylor Hay did not register Ann;s 1809 birth as they knew they were going to imminently emigrate to America. Since the immigrants were known to be 100 Scotch dissidents, perhaps Ann was baptised in a secession church for which records have not been found. Although it appears that four of their five registered children were registered timely, John was clearly registers three years after his birth; and it is unknown if he was born in Makerstoun or Linton. Thus, the lack of a baptism record for Ann is not surprising. It is possible that Ann was even born in England if the group of 100+ Scottish dissidents emigrated from England instead of Edinburgh, but this latter possibility is considered improbable; Ann states on her 1850 and 1860 census data that she was born in Scotland.

• Jane's brother Robert had 3 children born in Scotland in 1795-1802, and none of these children were found in the OPRs (no children to Robert Taylor and Ellen anywhere in Scotland in 1794-1811).
His marriage record with Ellen was not located in the OPRs anywhere in Scotland, 1780-1795. It is thought they were likely to be from Jedburgh, as no Jedburgh marriages are available for this date, and the majority of Jedburgh residents belonged to one of the secession churches.

• Jane's brother Cranston had two+ children born in Scotland in ~1795-1799 and ~1806, and neither could be found anywhere in Scotland in the OPRs (no children to Cranston/Cranstoun Taylor anywhere in Scotland in 1794-1811).
His 1792 marriage consignation record to Mary Unknown was found in the Makerstoun, Roxburgh OPR, so it is assumed that his wife was likely from Makerstoun.
Look up other Taylor marriages in Cornhill when look up Jane and William

• Jane's sister Janet also had children born in Scotland. 8 born in 1795-1806 in Ancrum, Roxburgh, Scotland were registered in that OPR; however, their 3 daughters born ~1808-1811 were not on any register anywhere in Scotland in the OPRs.
Her 1793 marriage record to John Swan was located in the Ancrum, Roxburgh OPR (and no record in Jedburgh).
Look up Taylors in Ancrum for MIs incase marriage record was correct and moved to Ancrum.

• Jane's brother Thomas also was married and probably had a daughter in Scotland. No OPR marriage record was located for Thomas Taylor and Nancy anywhere in Scotland 1795-1811, and no OPR births of any Taylor children to Thomas and Nancy anywhere in Scotland in 1785-1811.

Robert and Cranston did emigrate 1805-1810, prior to Jane and Janet but it doesn't seem like this would account for the much earlier non-registering of the births of their children. It could well be that they were part of some "seceeder churches," likely the Relief church, which was the single largest church in Jedburgh and for which there are no records.

Thomas Taylor and Ann Cranston -- Generation #2

Marriage ~1760 -- missing -- searched 1750-1812 OPRs in Roxburgh County -- Only one Thomas Taylor marriage but it is too late for this Thomas and the wrong wife name for his son (1802: Thomas Taylor and Christian Telfer in Eckford). In all of Scotland, there is only one OPR record in 1755-1760 for Thomas Taylor and Ann, and it is too far away -- in Renfrew County, west of Glasgow. It is possible Thomas and Ann were married in 1757 or earlier in Jedburgh (there is a skip in marriage records for 1740-1757); however, 1757 would appear to be early for their first child born Sep 1761; and the second one born just 10 months later, suggesting their marriage was more likely circa Dec 1760.
Children: 1761-1772 5 birth records in Jedburgh OPRs -- missing 2 birth records in 1773-1779
Look up Jedburgh marriages -- none in OPR index for Jedburgh -- this also makes me nervous about the OPR index, as there were tons of Cranston births in Jedburgh
The following Jedburgh records are available:
-- Jedburgh: 1639-1857 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Jedburgh (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1639-1857 baptisms; 1669-1739 and 1758-1772 and 1821-1854 marriages; 1641-1649 and 1822-1855 burials) and,
-- Jedburgh: 1737-1839 for the Jedburgh Associate Congregation (Nonconformist) (1737-1839 baptisms).
I searched 1767-1812 OPRs in Roxburgh County for any Taylor births. 90 birth records, but no appropriate one for Thomas or Nelly (Thomas births in 1794 to Thomas Taylor and Jean Trotter in Melrose, 1802 and 1806 to Robert Taylor and Alison Turnbull in Ednam; Nelly birth in 1778 to William Taylor and Christian Kerr in Yetholm).
Check out Associate congregation records -- in case births and marriages are here....

Robert Hay and Anne Turnbull -- Generation #2

No record of William's 1763 baptism has been found, so the parentage is not certain either. Family history maintains that Williams parents were Robert Hay who emigrated circa 1818 and Anne Turnbull who died in Scotland just before Robert emigrated in 1818. No marriage record was found. However, it was a common story in the Hay biographies of the late 1800s that William had a sister who died in Canada, and a lively possibility of such a sister was found in the OPRs in Makerstoun in 1793-1812. In Makerstoun there were records for three different sets of Hay's: the Hay-MacDougal family, our William and Jane, and then a single-mom Margaret Hay. The only record for Margaret is the birth of her son William in 1793. This Makerstoun record states the child was baptised in Kelso. Then there is an apparent Makerstoun marriage for this (illegitimate) William with Mary Wilson in 1812. No birth record can be located for this Margaret in Kelso or anywhere else in Roxburghshire (not surprising, since there is no record for William either). It is curious that she should move to Makerstoun for the birth of an illegitimate child, and that she does not marry the father (if she had, William would have changed his last name, even when the marriage occurs after his birth). I suspect that this Margaret could be William's sister, and that she might have emigrated to Canada after 1812, perhaps with her son William and his wife, as no birth records were found for any burial records could be located in Makerstoun or Kelso. If she is a sister, this would confirm a Kelso link for our Hay branch, as the child Williams's birth record probably indicates that her parents lived in Kelso, since he was baptised there and only recorded in Makerstoun.
Look up the 1793 baptism in Linton - see if we get lucky and it lists some other information.

Although son William Hay's brth record was not in the OPR, this does not necessarily mean that Robert Hay and/or Anne Turnbull's records will not be. The secession church began in 1733 in Northern Scotland, and in Kelso in 1750. Therefore, there is actually a good probability that both will be in the OPRs. For Robert there were three possibilities found in Roxburghshire (although he may not have been born here)(1700-1745):
1. 22/02/1713 HAY ROBERT JAMES HAY/ M Smailholm /ROXBURGH 805/ 0010 0079
2. 01/03/1719 HAY ROBERT PATRICK HAY/JANET CUNINGHAME FR585 M Kelso /ROXBURGH 793/ 0020 0421
3. 27/10/1728 HAY ROBERT THOMAS HAY/ISOBEL LAWSON FR41 U Sprouston /ROXBURGH 807/ 0010 0066
and for Anne Turnbull there were 15 possibilities (1720-1745):
1. 03/12/1721 TURNBULL ANNE WILLIAM TURNBULL/ F Bedrule /ROXBURGH 782/ 0010 0247
2. 17/03/1723 TURNBULL ANN WILLIAM TURNBULL/ U Cavers /ROXBURGH 785/ 0010 0095
3. 08/09/1723 TURNBUL ANN THOMAS TURNBUL/ISABEL DARIE FR616 F Kelso /ROXBURGH 793/ 0020 0483
4. 09/07/1727 TURNBUL ANN JOHN TURNBUL/AGNES DAVIDSON FR40 U Sprouston /ROXBURGH 807/ 0010 0065
5. 18/02/1729 TURNBUL ANN WILLIAM TURNBUL/JEAN BYERS FR312 U Hawick /ROXBURGH 789/ 0020 0020
6. 06/08/1729 TURNBULL ANN ROBERT TURNBULL/ F Jedburgh /ROXBURGH 792/ 0030 0267
7. 19/11/1731 TURNBULL ANN JOHN TURNBULL/ F Hobkirk /ROXBURGH 790/ 0010 0009
8. 16/01/1732 TURNBULL ANNE JOHN TURNBULL/ F Kirkton (Roxburgh) /ROXBURGH 794/ 0010 0009
9. 06/04/1735 TURNBULL ANN WALTER TURNBULL/ F ROBERTON /ROXBURGH 777/000 0010 0068
10. 29/07/1735 TURNBUL ANN JAMES TURNBUL/ELIZABETH POTT FR681 F Kelso /ROXBURGH 793/ 0020 0608
11. 20/11/1735 TURNBULL ANNA JAMES TURNBULL/ F Minto /ROXBURGH 800/ 0010 0044
12. 16/04/1738 TURNBUL ANN JOHN TURNBUL/ F ROBERTON /ROXBURGH 777/000 0010 0071
13. 19/09/1738 TURNBULL ANN GEORGE TURNBULL/ U Cavers /ROXBURGH 785/ 0010 0142
14. 03/05/1741 TURNBUL ANNE THOMAS TURNBUL/BETTY SCOTT FR373 U Hawick /ROXBURGH 789/ 0020 0079
15. 25/10/1741 TURNBULL ANN ROBERT TURNBULL/ F Jedburgh /ROXBURGH 792/ 0040 0043
Although I would have expected Robert's father's name to be William, both Thomas and Isobel are names found in the following generation. This might suggest that Ann's father was William. If William had a sister, and if we could confirm her name, and if we find out all the mother's names above, perhaps some headway could be made. As it is, it seems likely we cannot find more nformation. Since the names Ja,es and Patrick are not in our line, the Sprouston 1728 Thomas Hay looks the best. To match up with this, we could definitely count out the first three. From the remaining 12, the Thomas, John and Robert possibilitis look best; but this still leaves 7 possibilities.

Other OPR Parish records of interest

-- Ancrum, Roxburgh: 1703-1855 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Ancrum (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1703-1855 baptisms, 1712-1854 marriages, 1719-1850 burials).
-- Bedrule, Roxburgh: 1690-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Bedrule (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1690-1854 baptisms, 1690-1748 and 1751-1854 marriages)
-- Cavers, Roxburgh: 1694-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Cavers (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1694-1854 baptisms, 1695-1854 marriages, 1796-1800 burials)
-- Crailing, Roxburgh: 1708-1854 (1708-1854 baptisms, 1708-1854 marriages, 1820-1854 burials)
-- Gordon, Berwick: 1652-1855 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Gordon (Berwick) (OPR) (1652-1726 and 1748-1754 and 1818-1855 baptisms, 1652-1697 and 1728-1749 and 1818-1855, 1818-1855 burials -- and some records in with sessional accounts 1708-1819)
-- Hawick, Roxburgh: 1634-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Hawick (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1634-1854 baptisms, 1699-1815 and 1821-1854 marriages, and 1758-1841 burials)
-- Roxburgh, Roxburgh: 1624-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Roxburgh (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1624-1854 baptisms, 1654-1794 and 1801 and 1826 and 1849-1854 marriages, 1783-1812 and 1854 burials)
-- Swinton, Berwick: 1665-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Swinton (Berwick) (OPR) (1665-1674 and 1700-1854 baptisms, 1698-1760 and 1769-1854 marriages, 1697-1719 and 1820-1841 burials)
-- Wilton, Roxburgh: 1694-1854 for the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Wilton (Roxburghshire) (OPR) (1694-1854 baptisms, 1707-1854 marriages, 1707-1853 burials)

Dates of first OPRs for entire County of Roxburgh

Abbotrule*-1696, Ancrum-1703, Bedrule-1690, Bowden-1697, Castleton-1749, Cavers-1694, Crailing-1708, Eckford-1694, Ednam-1666, Hawick-1634, Hobkirk-1726, Hownam (Hounam)-1689, Jedburgh-1639, Kelso-1597, Kirkton (Roxburgh)-1707, Lilliesleaf-1737, Linton-1732, Makerstoun (Makerston)-1672, Maxton-1689, Melrose-1632, Minto-1703, Morebattle (and Mow)-1726, Oxnam-1700, Roberton-1679, Roxburgh-1624, Smailholm-1648, Southdean-1696, Sprouston-1633, St. Boswells (Lessudden)-1692, Stichill (and Hume)-1640, [Teviothead-1824], Wilton-1694, and Yetholm-1689.
As can be seen from this list, not all the parish records were available as of 1700. (Note that Teviothead is a parish in SW Roxburghshire, 8 miles SW of Hawick, but it was only created in 1824 ot of the parishes of Roberton, Hawick, Cavers, and Castleton -- so no records are missing and it is not counted.) In general, it should be considered as: prior to 1597-none; by 1650-few (7/32 parishes); by 1700-most (22/32); by 1750-all. So, the omission of William Hay's birth record in 1763 is still surprising, as is his parents' marriage (Robert Hay and Anna Turnbull circa 1760).

*Abbotrule-1696 -- a parish in Roxburghshire, suppressed and divided between the parishes of Bedrule and Southdean prior to 1806.
Ashkirk-1630 -- it lies partly in Roxburgh and partly in Selkirk counties; its records are considered as Selkirkshire and not included in the indexes for Roxburghshire or the summaries in this genealogy for Roxburghshire.

There are no parishes in Roxburghshire whose records are totally missing. So the 1760s missing records are most likely due to participation in a secession church. However, it is also possible that they were omitted, living in another country, or that specific page was lost or illegible.

Kelso Presbytery Minutes, 1782-1796. Kelso Presbytery Minutes, 1796-1798; Coldwater Presbytery Minutes, 1798-1820. FHL BRITISH Film 1562919 Items 2 - 3
also Kelso: English Friends records, Scotland FHL BRITISH Film 441406 Item 3


Other records of interest -- taxes, census, land sales, deaths

1690s Hearth Tax Records. This tax list supposedly lists all household heads, since virtually every home had a hearth (fireplace) for heatin and cooking. In 1690 Parliament imposed a tax of 12s. on every hearth in each dwelling within the kingdom for one year, the proceeds to be applied towards paying off the sums advanced by the shires and burghs and the arrears of the army. Hospitals and the poor were exempt, but are often still listed even if exempt from the tax. The tax was due by Candlemas (2nd February) 1691. The records are incomplete and usually merely state the number of hearths belonging to the head of the household, but still are useful in confirming the presence of a family in a parish. -- the whole hearth tax record is on three LDS microfilms: 0559524, 0559525 and 0559526. Just for the county of Roxburghshire, the 1690 entries of names of interest are: Look up all three microfilms to extract these families from all areas of Roxburgh

Hearth tax records, 1694-1695 for Perthshire, Renfrewshire, Roxburghshire, Stirlingshire, Sutherland, West Lothian, (Linlithgowshire) and Wigtownshire, (Galloway) FHL BRITISH Film 559525 -- NO
HAY entries on the Hearth Tax:
-- Kelso Parish, Eister Quarter: Wm Haye (01), Wm Hoye (01)
-- Kelso Parish, Mylne Quarter: Margrat Hay (01)
-- Kelso Parish, the Poor in Kelso, the Over Quarter: James Hay (01)
-- Hounam Parish, Kopup: George Hay (01), Andrew Hay (01)
-- Linton Parish: none
TAYLOR entries on the Hearth Tax:
-- Hounam Parish, Nether Chatto: Rot Tyllor yr (01)
-- Jedburgh Parish:
TURNBULL entries on the Hearth Tax:
-- Kelso Parish, Eister Quarter: Wm Turnbull (01), Andrew Turnbull (02)
-- Kelso Parish, Kelso Toun, the Over Quarter: Mark Turnbull (01)
-- Kelso Parish, Kelso Toun, Maxuell Heugh: James Turnbull wt an oven & an kiln (04)
-- Hounam Parish, Kopup: Walter Turnbull (01)
-- Hounam Parish, Mainside in Kopup: Rot Turnbull
-- Hounam Parish, Hounam Milne: James Turnbull yr (01)
-- Linton parish: none
CRANSTON entries on the Hearth tax:
-- Kelso Parish, Eister Quarter: Tho Cranston (04)
-- Kekso Parish, Kelso Toun, Chappell: Adam Cranstone (01)
LYLE entries on the Hearth tax:
-- Linton Parish, Lintons Interest Younger: George Lyell (01)

1690s Poll Tax Records. These were special assessments made of all but the poor. Poll Tax (poll money) was first imposed by Parliament in 1693, for paying debts due to the country, and the arrears of the army from 1 November 1689 to 1 February 1691. It was to be levied at the rate of 6s. per capita and upwards according to a scale based on rank and means, poor persons living on charity and children being exempt. The Commissioners of Assessment for the shires and the magistrates of burghs were to make up lists of pollable persons (over age 16), and payment was to be made at or before Martinmas (11 November) 1694. In 1695, a second Poll Tax was imposed for providing ships of war and maintaining seamen. Two Poll Taxes were imposed in 1698 for clearing the arrears due to land and sea offices and seamen. Unfortunately, not all the records have survived. There is no uniform format, but the records can name wives, children & servants as well as indicating the amount of tax, a useful measure of the family's status.

1740s-1790s Assessed Taxes. These 14 taxes, all of which were levied in the 1790s, applied only to a small percentage of the population; however, if an ancestor is on the list, it will provide a fascinating insight into th type of dwelling and/or occupation and/or possessions. By the Act 20 Geo. II, cap. 3 (1747) under which assessed taxes were first levied in Scotland, duplicates of all assessments (otherwise called surveys) were ordered to be transmitted to the Office of the King's Remembrancer. These special taxes include:

  1. Window Tax (duties on houses and windows) 1748-98
  2. Commutation Tax (additional duties on houses and windows) 1784-98
  3. Inhabited House Tax 1778-98
  4. Shop Tax (duties on retail shops) 1785-92
  5. Servants Tax (duties on male servants) 1777-98
  6. Female Servants Tax, 1785-92
  7. Cart Tax (duties on carts and waggons) 1785-92
  8. Wheel Carriage Tax (duties on carriages with two wheels and four wheels) 1785-98
  9. Horse Tax (duties on carriage and saddle horses) 1797-8
10. Farm Horse Tax (duties on workhourses and mules) 1797-8
11. Dog Tax 1797-8
12. Clock and Watch Tax 1797-8
13. Aid and Contribution Tax 1798-9
14. Income Tax 1799-1802.
Summary: 1740s -- one tax added; 1770s -- two taxes added; 1780s -- five taxes added; 1790s -- six taxes added.
Window tax -- A tax of the period 1748-98, imposed on houses having more than 7 separate panes of glass as windows, often avoided by blocking up the windows. The tax affected only a fairly small proportion of the population.
Farm Horse tax -- A tax introduced in 1797, and abandoned soon after, but valuable as a source of information about the many tenant farmers throughout Scotland.

It is known that our ancestors and their friends, 100+ persons, who emigrated in 1811 were "Scotch dissidents" but the source of their dissent has not been handed down in family stories. It could have been religious, especially since it seems that all had stopped registering their children's births and even marriages in the OPRs. Or it could have been eco-political -- all 14 of these taxes were collectable in the 1790s, and our Scotch relatives emigrated >1800-1811. And, it was a time of world-wide democratic awakening, especially Scotland since the still-disliked British were involved in both the American and French revolutions.

1831+ Census. National census enumerations began in 1801 and continued on a decennial basis. Up to 1831 the information recorded was restricted and most of the records were destroyed. All that remains of those census years, with a few exceptions, are the statistical summaries. Very few fully detailed enumerations have survived, but it is always worth checking just in case. In Scotland it was the parish schoolmasters who carried out the Census until 1831. Since our family emigrated in 1811, the 1831 and later censuses are not relevant for our research.

Tombstones. 90%+ of the early (1700s and earlier) tombstones have disappeared. One reason for this is that no one compiled a listing of tombstones until the 20th century; MIs (Monumental Inscriptions) are still being compiled in the 21st century. The results, at least in Roxburghshire, are usually published in Parish books which detail a brief history of the parish, interesting facts, 1690s hearth taxes for the parish, and a list of all the readable MIs. Property inheritance and transfer records (sasines and retours or services of heirs) can be most valuable in terms of genealogical information, as can records relating to wills -- these exist for some five percent of the population. In Linton/Makerstoun there were no Hay/Davidson Monument inscriptions found.

Sasines. These were land-sale records, and only about 5% (the upper class) of Scotland were land owners. All land transfers (sales or inheritance) were registered by a document called a sasine. A notary public or lawyer prepared the document. A bailie or magistrate was present at the property during the transaction and there were also witnesses to the document. Property inheritance and transfer records (sasines and retours or services of heirs) are not completely indexed and have not been microfilmed; however, an abbreviated version—a sasine minute book— is available on microfilm at the FHC

Wills and testaments. Perhaps 5% (and the richer 5%) of the population left documents upon their demise. A testament is a collective term used to describe all the documents relating to the executry of a deceased person. Where there was a will, the document was known as a “testament testamentary.” If there were no will, it was called a “testament dative.” Each had an inventory of the dead person’s property, although some are very brief. Property inheritance and transfer records (sasines and retours or services of heirs) -- does service of heirs belong here or above??????????
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Testament registers, 1678-1820 FHL BRITISH Film 231225 --
Also on microfilm. Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971. on 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. FHL BRITISH Film 844781 Item 4 -- 941 B4 --

Ministers. The Presbyterian Church kept a lot of special information on ministers, specifically, where educated, when graduated, where assigned, when and where transferred, etc. And they even published quite a bit of information on family composition. For example, one entry for John Cranstoun (no direct relation found) is:

1733. JOHN CRANSTOUN, son of the preceding, licen. by the Presb. 1st July 1730, pres. by John Scott of Ancrum, Esq., in Dec. 1732, and ord. (colleague and suc.) 21st March thereafter; died 7th Jan. 1790, in his 85th year and 57th min. During the first fifty years of his min. lie was never prevented from performing his duty by indisposition. A comprehensive understanding and a. penetrating discernment of character, improved by wide observation, joined to great facility and force of expression, rendered his conversation at once agreeable and instructive, while his piety, extensive knowledge, and sound judgment, rendered him useful and eminent in the Church. He marr. 9th March 1743 Anne, only daugh. of Mr James Gilchrist, min. of Bedrule; she died 14th Oct. 1795, aged 78, and had John, captain of an East Indiaman, Daniel, Andrew, William, Gideon, Robert, George, Ann, and Elonora, who marr. the Rev. Andrew Scott, min. of Stitchell.-[Presb. Reg, Sinclair's, St Acc. x., Tombst., &c.]

University Records. For Edinbrugh University graduates, such as John Cranstoun (no direct relation found) above on 22 May 1685, there is an A.M. graduation record, but it consists of only a signature. The surviving records of Edinburgh University students between 1583 (when the University was established) and the present day vary greatly. Until the 1730's, the only evidence of a student's presence is a signature in the matriculation or enrolment books, dating from 1627, and, if the student graduated, a signature in the graduation album, dating from 1587. At no time was any information about family, parents, or anything else of a genealogical nature recorded. \ Only a few class lists survive for the eighteenth century, which give the place of origin of a student and it was not until after 1811 that this was methodically noted when the student enrolled.

Newspapers. Almost all the local newspapers all post-date our ancestor's emigration in 1811, with the exception of Kelso. The earliest newspapers in the other parishes are: Jedburgh Gazette (1870-1964), Jed Forest and Teviotdale Record (1855-1857), Border Watch (1843-1846), Peeblesshire Herald (1878-1880). There were three Kelso papers that were the only papers published prior to the 1830s:
     • Kelso Chronicle, 1783-1784
     • Kelso Mail & Border Gazette for Roxburgh, Selkirk, Berwick & Northumberland, 1797-1945
     • Kelso Weekly Journal, 1808-1829.
These papers are only available in the National Library of Scotland, the British Library and local archives. It is not clear if news in Makerstoun and Linton would be reported in these papers which may not have had distribution outside of the major towns.

Thank you for submitting your question to National Library of Scotland Question ID: 2664727 Your question: I am researching my ancestors who lived in the Kelso area prior to 1811 when they emigrated to America. I know there are three Kelso newspapers that were in operation then: ? Kelso Chronicle, 1783-1784 ? Kelso Mail & Border Gazette for Roxburgh, Selkirk, Berwick & Northumberland, 1797-1945 ? Kelso Weekly Journal, 1808-1829. Do you have the oldest issues of these on microfilm? Is there any way I could inter-library loan a microfilm to America? Any plans to put such information on the internet? Any place else I could access this information? Since they actually lived in Makerstoun and Linton in 1787-1808 it is more of a fishing expedition than true research. I am hoping they might list emigrants, or my family may have moved into Kelso prior to the emigration. Any advice would be most welcome and appreciated. I am researching William and Jane Anne Taylor Hay who were married in Cornhill, Northumberland in 1786 (but paid their consignment in Makerstoun), had one child in Makerstoun the following year, then moved to Linton for 19 years. Thank you again, in advance, for any help. Sincerely, Donna Hay, Los Angeles, USA You will receive acknowledgement of question receipt and an answer to your question at the e-mail address you provided: dhay16301@sbcglobal.net To check the status of your question(s): http://www.questionpoint.org/crs/servlet/org.oclc.home.BuildPage?&show=patron_authorize

Magazines. The only period magazine known of is "The Scots Magazine," first published in 1739, the "world's most widely-read Scottish interest publication. The Scots Magazine has evolved into a colourful, authoritative, thought-provoking monthly periodical with many thousands of readers worldwide. Scotland: the country, the people, the culture are all in The Scots Magazine." "The Scots Magazine is the oldest magazine in the world still in publication although there have been several gaps in its publication history. It has reported on events from the defeat of the Jacobites through the Napoleonic wars to the Second World War and on to the creation of the new Scottish Parliament. It was originally published in January 1739 and publication continued until 1826 at which point sales had declined to such a point that it was withdrawn. However in 1888 publication resumed under a new owner and continued until 1893 when once again it was withdrawn. In 1924 publication resumed once again, this time by the third owner, D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd who have continued to publish it ever since. "

I emailed them in 2007 to request information on John Cranstoun from their 59th issue: Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 09:36:17 -0700 (PDT) From: "Donna Hay" Subject: Scots Magazine -- issue lix To: subscriptions@dcthomson.co.uk Hi. I live in Los Angeles, and am researching my family tree. An ancestor of mine, John Cranstoun (1664-1748) was included in what I assume is a very early issue of your magazine. He was the minister of Crailing and then Ancrum in Roxburghshire. I would love to know if there was any addtional information on him in the article. The reference I have is from registers from the Church of Scotland: 1692. JOHN CRANSTOUNE, A.M., was laureated at the Univ. of Edinburgh 22d May 1685, ord. 20th Jan. 1692; trans. to Ancrum 2d Feb. 1704.-[Edin. Grad., Presb., and Kelso Presb. Reg.] 1704. JOHN CRANSTOUNE, A.M., trans. from Crailing, called 25th Nov. 1703, and adm. 1st March following; died FATHER of the Church 17th Oct. 1748, aged 84, in 57th min. By his 1st marr. he had Dr William, who in early life was the friend and confidant of the author of the Seasons, John, who succeeded to the cure, Andrew, who was in the Life Guards, -, marr. Mr Dan. M'Kay, min. of Jedburgh, Anne marr. Mr James Simpson, min. of Wilton; 2dly, 29th April 1714, Jean Turnbull, who died 30th Oct. 1760, and had Helen, who marr. Mr Ker.-[Presb. Reg., Scots Mag. lix.] Since you were first published in 1739, I would assue that lix is issue 59 and is about 1743. Is there a way I could get a copy of the article? Are your old issued on microfilm? Do you have indexes for the names in the old magazines? It is so exciting to find a resource that is written at that time, and not just historical recollections! I am particularly interested in the name of his first wife and any information on his parents or where he was born -- this is my "brick wall." Any advice you can lend would be most appreciated. Sincerely, Donna Hay Los Angeles, USA

1791 Statistical Abstracts. The 'Old' or 'First' Statistical Account of Scotland was undertaken in the 18th century under the direction of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster (1754-1835), MP for Caithness. Known as 'Agricultural Sir John', he conceived a plan to ask parish ministers of the Church of Scotland all over Scotland to reply to a set of planned questions dealing with subjects such as the geography, climate, natural resources, and social customs of each parish. He defined his aim in 1790 as 'to elucidate the Natural History and Political State of Scotland'. The returns from the parishes were published as they were received back from different parts of Scotland in a series of twenty-one volumes between 1791 and 1799.

The 'New' or 'Second' Statistical Account was suggested to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1832 by the Committee of the Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy. Broadly, the 'New' Statistical Account followed the structure of the 'Old', but it also differed in that it included maps of the counties, and while the parish reports in the 'Old' were mostly prepared by the parish ministers, the 'New' Statistical Account also included contributions from other local figures such as schoolmasters and doctors. It was mostly written in the 1830s and published in fifty-two quarterly parts from 1834, culminating in being issued in 15 vol. in 1845. When it was published, the Committee presented it as 'in great measure, the Statistical Account of a new country'.

Together, the Statistical Accounts provide vitally important reference sources for a critical half century spanning the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. They are locally created and factually based; the two Accounts allow comparisons to be made parish by parish at a time of rapid and significant change; and they offer a unique reference and research source for the study of local and national life in Scotland in this period.

These accounts are available online through EDINA (Edinburgh Data and Information Access), and the 1791-99 accounts for the parishes of interest in this genealogy have been appended to the pages about the towns.

Jean/Jane Ann Taylor was baptised at the "Established Church" as confirmed in the 1765 OPR entry. She was the 3rd of seven children -- with records for the first five in 1761-1772 found in the OPRs, all born to tailor Thomas Taylor and unspecified wife. However, the last two children born in the late 1770s are not present in the OPRs, and in fact, no further Taylor records are found in Jedburgh after 1772. Marriages were usually recorded in both the bride's and the groom's parishes, but the Jedburgh OPR marriage records are missing for 1773-1820, years covering the marriages of all the children. Although five Taylor children are known to have married in Scotland, only three marriage records were found elsewhere -- for Cranston and Jane in Makerstoun and Janet in Ancrum. Jane's 1787 marriage record states she is from the Jedburgh parish. Therefore, it does not appear that the Taylors moved from the Jedburgh area after 1772, but rather that they likely became members of one of the secession churches (probably the Relief church), whose records are probably lost -- there are simply too many consistent records prior to 1772 (all 5 birth records) and a complete dearth of records after 1772 (none of the 2 births in 1770s, or the 7+ grandchildren births in 1790s and 1800s (to the three boys -- Robert, Cranston and Thomas). Find Janet's marriage records to see if it mentions Jedburgh (No it doesn't, but copy anyway) -- births too in Ancrum. Order in Jedburgh to examine it myself

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MISCELLANEOUS -- Old Scots Money. Scots money used to be expressed in pounds or merks, a merk being 13 shillings and 4 pence. The value between a pound Scots and a pound Sterling was considerable. After 1600, the former was worth about 1 shilling and eight pence in the latter currency, the value it remained at before the abolition of the currency in the following century.

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