"A parish in Berwickshire, situated in the midst of the Lammermuir hills, about 6 1/2; miles in length, and 3 in breadth. The soil is light and dry, and, on the banks of the Whittader, fertile and well cultivated; but the hilly district is barren, and covered with heath. Here are the remains of the ancient abbey of Bernardines, founded in 1170, for which Ada Countess of March swore fealty to Edward I of England, in 1296. The Earl of Wemyss has lately built an elegant sporting villa, called the retreat, about a mile from the small kirkton of Abbay. Population in 1801, 138." from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.
View a Map of the Area.
See Abbey St Bathans by James Logan Mack, published at Edinburgh in 1925.
Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855).
Nigel Hardie has transcribed and published parish of Abbey St Bathans mortcloth records for 1755-1760.
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.
A 19th century account of the history of Abbey St Bathans parish can be read online.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1715. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Archives of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the General Register Office for Scotland website.
The Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl and Preston Community Council website includes some historical and geographical links.
Ordnance Survey maps covering Abbey St Bathans include:
Abbey St Bathans is also covered by an old Victorian one-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map published by Caledonian Maps. The relevant sheet is sheet number 34 "Eyemouth" which also includes Burnmouth, Chirnside, Cockburnspath, Coldingham, Edrom, Foulden, Grantshouse, Preston and St Abb's Head.
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
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