Abbey St. Bathans, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #726

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

Also see Edrom parish.

History[edit | edit source]

BATHAN'S, ABBEY ST., a parish, in the county of Berwick, 7 miles (N. by W.) from Dunse. The name of this place has been successively written St. Boythan's, Bothan's, and Bathan's, which last form it has preserved since the earlier part of the last century. There is no village; but a group of pleasing and interesting objects in the beautiful and romantic vale through which the Whiteadder runs. The church, which is an ancient edifice in good repair, is conveniently situated, and accommodates 140 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 Family History Library microfilm numbers for the 1841 -1891 census records of Abbey St. Bathans, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841,1851, and 1861surname indexes for Abbey St. Bathans. Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwickshire county page.

The 1841 through 1911 censuses of Scotland are indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. You may then view the images of the census and print them. The 1841 through 1901 censuses of Scotland are also indexed on This is a membership fee-based website. Images are not available.

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]

Years Covered

FHL Film Number

Births: 1715–1854 1067864
Marriages: 1720–1775, 1821–1854 1067864
Deaths: 1755–1760 1067864
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: Only four entries exist prior to March 1720 and one entry between December 1725 and January 1727. There are no entries September 1730–February 1732, December 1754–November 1760, except for one page of irregular entries for 1756–1760, December 1785–August 1787, and two entries April 1788–May 1794. Only two entries exist April 1741–June 1747. Entries are out of chronological order after 1802.
Marriages: These are chiefly proclamations. No entries exist May 1726–October 1729, February 1731–April 1734, January 1752–October 1755, December 1763–January 1765, November 1765–April 1768, or May 1775–August 1821. There are only nine entries for 1742–1752 inclusive. The entries for 1756–1760 contain only the name of the bridegroom.
Deaths:  Mortcloth Dues entries have no particular dates attached to them.
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 and Accounts 1720–1776, 1832–1927
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/596.

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.

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]

Abbey St. Bathans 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' 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' 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. 101-123. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 March 2014.

Return to the Berwickshire Parish List.