Mordington, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #752

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

History[edit | edit source]

MORDINGTON, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 4 miles (N. W.) from Berwick-on-Tweed. This place, situated on the border, and consequently exposed to frequent hostile incursions, was celebrated for its ancient castle, seated on the summit of a rock rising almost perpendicularly from the bank of the river Whiteadder, which winds round its base. The church, erected in 1757, is a neat plain edifice adapted for a congregation of 170 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 Scotland Census Records.

Click here[low quality link] to see the Family History Library Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Mordington.  Below is a list of the census surname indexes available at the library for Mordington.

Year Surname Index
1841     book 941.455/M2 X2m 1841
1851 book 941.455/M2 X2m 1851
1861 book 941.455/M2 X2m 1861
1881 fiche 6086526 (set of 2)

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: 1721-1854 1067903 item 1-2

1844-1854 - neglected 1067903 item 1-2
Marriages: 1736-1854 1067903 item 1-2
Deaths: 1745-1767, 1783-1794 1067903 item 1-2

1831-1845 1067903 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: The record is in poor condition prior to 1736, and irregular entries are frequent after 1769.
Marriages: After November 1736, marriages are recorded among the births, but there are no entries between April 1771 and June 1784.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are recorded until 1767. There are no entries May 1767–August 1784; then the burials are listed among the births until May 1794, when the record terminates, except four entries of Mortcloth Dues for 1804, 1818, 1820, and 1848.
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:

Accounts 1736–1745, 1767–1784
Various Minutes 1784–1796, 1816–1845, 1848, 1871–1895
Collections 1783–1875
Communicants’ Roll 1842–1843
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1137.

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.

There are no known pre-1855 nonconformist churches or records for this parish. In 1835 there were fourteen Dissenting families living within the parish but they would have attended services elsewhere, possibly Aytoun or in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

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]

Mordington 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.

[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 272-294. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 April 2014.

[Return to the Berwickshire parish list.]