Gordon, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Parish #742

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

History[edit | edit source]

GORDON, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 8½ miles (N. W.) from Kelso. The name of this place is derived from the Gaelic word Goirtean, signifying "a little farm or field," probably in reference to a particular tract appropriated to the growth of corn, or under some kind of superior cultivation. The only village is West Gordon. The church, built in 1736, and repaired in 1834, is conveniently placed in the centre of the parish; it contains 400 sittings.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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 Gordon, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841,1851, and 1861 census surname indexes for Gordon.  Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwickshire Parishes county page.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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: 1651-1726 1067898 item 3-5

1728-1749 - incomplete 1067898 item 3-5

1749-1819 - incomplete 1067899 item 1-3

1818-1855 1067899 item 1-3
Marriages: 1652-1697 1067898 item 3-5

1708-1749 - incomplete 1067898 item 3-5

1749-1819 -incomplete 1067899 item 1-3

1818-1855 1067899 item 1-3
Deaths: 1728-1749 - burials incomplete 1067898 item 3-5

1749-1819 - incomplete 1067899 item 1-3

1818-1855 1067899 item 1-3
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: Births are intermixed with other matters and marriages until 1677. The records are separate July 1677–August 1689 at the end of volume one. They are again intermixed 1708–March 1818. There are two entries only for May 1726–June 1728.
Marriages: After the October 1708 births, there is a record of marriages from February 1690–May 1697. No entries exist February 1689–February 1690, May 1697–August 1708 except for a few testimonials of proclamations from other parishes, and May 1726–June 1728.
Deaths: Only Mortcloth Dues are recorded 1748–1753. Burials 1784–1794 are recorded among the births and marriages for that same period. No entries exist 1794–December 1818, after which a separate record of deaths is kept.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records
[edit | edit source]

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:

Minutes 1652–1718, 1818–1899
Accounts 1690–1748, 1753–1875
Names of Heads of Families 1834–1842
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/457.

Nonconformist Church Records
[edit | edit source]

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

Gordon Free Church
[edit | edit source]

This congregation began in 1843. They built a church that year which they improved in 1892. In 1834 there were only about 50 Dissenters and Seceders within the parish, and they would have attended services in neighboring parishes.
Membership: 1848, 128; 1900, 159.
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.

                                                                                          Family History Library Film Number
Roll of Children with Baptismal Dates                 1864–1886     0889474 item 9 X
Session Minutes                                               1844–1883    1484619 item 5–6
Roll of Members                                                1843–1880    1484619 item 5–6
Roll of Members                                                1880–1887    1484620 item 1
Register of Deaths and Burials                            1843–1887    1484620 item 1
Note: The X means the records have been extracted.
Account Book 1851–1871
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/165.


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 Registrationfor more information and to access the records.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Gordon 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  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' of Gordon 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' 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. 499-514. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 April 2014.

Return to the Berwickshire parish list.