Longformacus, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish # 750

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

History[edit | edit source]

LONGFORMACUS and ELLIM, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from Dunse. The name of this place has been variously written at different periods, and its derivation is involved in much obscurity. The only village is Longformacus. The church, a plain, long, narrow structure, was built in the 17th century; it has lately been repaired, and is in good order. It accommodates 200 persons with seats, and is conveniently situated.[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 Scotland Census Records

Click here[low quality link] to see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Longformacus, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841 and 1851 census surname indexes for Longformacus.  Other surname Indexes will be found on the Berwickshire 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1654-1854 1067902 item 4-5
Marriages: 1654-1854 1067902 item 4-5
Deaths: 1716-1734, 1772-1854 1067902 item 4-5
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 until 1683. There are no entries December 1683–April 1689. After that date, births are intermixed with marriages. Some early pages are damaged. Only two entries exist March 1710–June 1715, after which the records of births and marriages are kept separately. Mothers’ names are not recorded until August 1772.
Marriages: Marriages are intermixed with births prior to 1710. There are no entries July 1683–April 1689 and July 1709–May 1715, after which the record is chiefly proclamations, except entries of irregular marriages.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are recorded until 1734, but then the record is blank until November 1772, after which burials and Mortcloth Dues are recorded.
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:

Minutes 1684–1711, 1715–1866 - with gaps
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/250.

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

In 1834 there were sixteen Dissenter families within the parish who were attending services chiefly in Dunse.

Longformacus Free Church
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In December 1844, forty-four adherents of the Free Church petitioned the Presbytery for the erection of a church and supply of services. A catechist was appointed that year. The church was built in 1848 and enlarged in 1869. The charge was finally sanctioned in 1870.
Membership: 1871, 107; 1900, 91.
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.

Minutes 1845–1941
Account Books 1845–1931
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/221.

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]

Longformacus 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-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. 197-216. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 April 2014.

Return to the Berwickshire parish list.