Coldstream, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #733

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

History[edit | edit source]

COLDSTREAM, a burgh of barony, market-town, and parish, in the county of Berwick, 14 miles (S. W.) from Berwick; containing the village of New Coldstream. This parish, which is of considerable antiquity, was originally called Leinhal, or Lennel, a name of Saxon etymology, signifying "a great hall," and supposed to have been derived from the foundation of a Cistercian monastery. The town is pleasantly situated on the river Tweed. The church, erected in the year 1795, is a plain substantial edifice, and is adapted for a congregation of 1100 persons. There are places of worship for members of the United Associate and Relief Synods.[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 edina.  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 Family History Library entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Coldstream, and well as the catalog entry for the 1841,1851, and 1861 census surmane indexes for Coldstream.  Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwickshire county page.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople 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: 1690-1777 1067870 item 3-4

1777-1854 1067870 item 1-2
Marriages: 1693-1694 1067870 item 3-4

1677-1855 1067871 item 1-2

1733-1783 - Proclamation fees 1067870 item 3-4

1731-1849 - irregular marriages 1067871 item 1-2
Deaths: 1733-1783 - Mortcloth dues 1067870 item 3-4

1785-1856 - deaths and burials 1067871 item 1-2


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: There are no records November 1704–February 1710. Entries are frequently out of chronological order. Mothers’ names are rarely recorded until 1804.
Marriages: Some proclamation fees, etc., are intermixed with other matters until 1713. The records are missing November 1713–October 1766, after which the records are separated. There are only five entries for January 1767–November 1784.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are intermixed with other matters until 1713.
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 Kirk 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:

Early minutes, disciplinary matters, and distribution of funds are intermixed with the parish registers to 1714 on the first film above.

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.

Coldstream, West Associate Burgher Church
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A few residents of Coldstream attending the Stitchel congregation applied for and obtained supply of sermon in 1767 from the Associate, Burgher Presbytery of Edinburgh. They built their first church in 1768 and another one in 1806.
Membership: 1834, 155 families.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

Extent of the records is unknown.

Coldstream, East Relief Church[edit | edit source]

When several families who belonged to the Relief Church moved to Coldstream in 1824, they applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Relief Presbytery of Kelso. They built a church in 1826.
Membership: 1836, 55 families.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details are given in the source.

The extent of records is unknown.

Coldstream Free Church
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History—Occasional services were supplied here in 1843 under the Presbytery of Duns and Chirnside. The charge was sanctioned in 1845 and the first minister installed in 1847. Membership: 1848, 221; 1900, 360.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.

Extent of the records is unknown.

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]

Coldstream 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 scotlandspeople 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. 200-218. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 March 2014.

Return to the Berwickshire Parish list.