Channelkirk, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #729

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Channelkirk. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

History[edit | edit source]

CHANNELKIRK, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 6 miles (N. N. W.) from Lauder, on the road between Edinburgh and Kelso. The name of this place is said to have been originally Childer-kirk, signifying "the children's kirk," some supposing it to have been so called from the dedication of its church to the Innocents; it has also been written Childin-kirk, meaning, according to others, "the church at the fort," on account of the church and village standing within the area of a Roman camp. The church is situated in the hamlet of Channelkirk, nearly in the middle of the parish, but somewhat inconveniently, being too distant for the bulk of the population, and seated on a hill about 800 feet above the level of the sea; it was built in 1817, in the Elizabethan style, and accommodates 300 persons.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

A census record is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Click here[low quality link] to see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Channelkirk, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841,1851, and 1861  surname indexes available for Channelkirk.  Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwick county page.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]


Event Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1651-1854 1067866
Marriages: 1653-1854 1067866
Deaths: 1730-1849 1067866

Condition of Original Registers— =[edit | edit source]

Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland. 
Births: These are intermixed with marriages and other matters until 1733. The pages are blank July 1682–May 1689. No entries exist, except for two, May 1695–June 1700. There is a duplicate of births for May 1730–September 1733. Mothers’ names are not recorded until about 1760.
Marriages: As stated above, marriages are intermixed with births and other matters until 1733. A separate marriage record commences April 1734. No entries November 1754–November 1758, May 1774–April 1775, June 1777–July 1784. The record contains only transcribed entries of proclamation money from June 1794–June 1815.
Deaths: Only Mortcloth Dues were recorded until November 1783. There are no entries September 1754–January 1775. Burials only are recorded November 1783–August 1794, after which there are only transcribed entries of Mortcloth Dues.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records
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The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of he minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Accounts 1650–1665, 1681–1684, 1706–1755
Minutes 1803–1850
Testificates 1761–1822
Discipline Matters 1734–1800
Poor Fund Minutes and Accounts 1752–1854
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/769.

Nonconformist Church Records
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A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List

None are known to exist. In 1834, about 34 families of dissenters attended services in neighboring parishes.

Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called Statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Channelkirk was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Lauder until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Duns. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Berwick and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Lauder.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Berwick. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Berwick and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 185-200. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 March 2014.

Return to the Berwickshire parish list.