"These united parishes, lying in Berwickshire, form a square of nearly 6 miles. The soil on the high lands, towards the Lammermuir hills, is thin, dry, and poor; but has of late been much improved with lime and marl. The rest of the parish, particularly on the banks of the Whittader, which runs through it, is a fertile loam. A considerable number of sheep are fed for the English market. Clay marl is found in great abundance on the banks of the Whittader, which has been of great use as a manure. There is plenty of moor and freestone. A copper mine was lately discovered on Lord Douglas' estate; but, though very rich at first, it became so poor that it was given up. Population in 1801, 674." from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.
View a Map of the Area.
Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855).
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1704. 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).
A transcript of Bunkle's Kirk Session records between 1665 and 1690 was published in 1899 at Alnwick by the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club:
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the Bunkle & Preston Baptisms and Marriages 1684-1690.
See also details of an article about these records by Rev. George Gunn.
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 Bunkle and Preston include:
Four Pathfinder maps are listed because the parish lies roughly at the boundary of the four maps and it is therefore spread across all of them. For a single map covering the whole parish, choose the Explorer map (at the same scale as the Pathfinders) or the Landranger map or the old Victorian 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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