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"A parish on the sea coast in the county of Berwick. It consists of two parts; one high and mountainous, the other comparatively low and even. The upper division makes part of the Lammermuir hills, which approach within 3 miles of the shore towards the W.; the lower division on the sea coast is light and sandy, interspersed with fields of rich deep clay. The shore is high, presenting a sea of cliffs about 100 feet above the level of the sea ... Situated near the boundary of the kingdom, and possessing many strong military passes, this parish has been frequently the scene of war: this appears from the camps still visible on the rising grounds, and the marks of military entrenchments in the glens ...Population in 1801, 930." from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.


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.

Church History

The following quotation comes from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published in 1868. This reference was found in volume I, p.286:

"At a former period, it was a small parish, but was afterwards - though at what particular date cannot be ascertained - incorporated with the parish of Auldcambus."

Edward Hay's article on the history of "Cockburnspath Parish Church" was published in the History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, Volume 45 (part 3 - 1992) pp.258-261.

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1642. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the National Records of 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 Records of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).

Surviving non-conformist church records for the area include the parish registers of Stockbridge Associate Session which was later known as the Cockburnspath and Stockbridge United Free Church and also the Cockburnspath and Oldhamstocks Free Church. The registers cover the years 1795-1937 and include parish registers, session minutes etc. Their NAS reference is CH3/57/1-2,4-5 and CH3/58/9-12,14 and they can be ordered on microfilm (two 35mm reels) through LDS family history centres around the world.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.


Two relevant books are:


The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:


Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

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Last updated: 9th September 2011

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