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"A parish in the county of Berwick, extending 8 miles in length from E. to W. and nearly 6 in breadth ... The river Tweed is the boundary on the S. and possesses a valuable salmon fishing, the property of the Earl of Home. There was an ancient nunnery, of which nothing remains except 2 vaults, in the neighbourhood of the mansion of Eccles. About a mile to the N.E. of the village of Eccles is a monument erected to one of the Percies, who fell in an engagement with one of the rival family of Douglas, in which the slaughter was so dreadful, that tradition reports that a little streamlet in its neighbourhood ran with blood for 24 hours. Population in 1801, 1682."
From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.
Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:
- Free Church
- United Presbyterian Church (Leitholm)
There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.
According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) a congregation was formed here in 1843. By 1848 the membership was 180; by 1900 it was 66.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1699. 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).
In his entry for the Statistical Account of Scotland (compiled 1790s, see the Statistics section of the Berwickshire page for more details) the Rev. Adam Murray made the following comment about deficiencies in the registration of births in the parish of Eccles in the late 18th century:
"There are also many more baptisms than these which are registered; but of late years, since the tax of threepence was paid to the King, over and above the usual fees of registration, many cannot be prevailed on to enrol their childrens names. The minister has done every thing in his power, to convince them of the propriety of the measure; but many individuals still continue obstinate and refractory."
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.
You can see pictures of Eccles which are provided by:
The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:
- 1785: Plan of roads through farm of Loughton from the Newtown to the Kelso road at the Wool burn. Scale 1:3600. Size 96x62cm. Grid (map) reference NT7739. NRS reference RHP.4207
- 1786: An estate plan showing Eccles house and village together with adjacent lands and owners. Scale 1:4800. Size 74x47cm. Grid (map) reference NT7641. NRS reference RHP.3366
- 1806: Homebank. Scale 1:2400. Size 63x37cm. Grid (map) reference NT8039. NRS reference RHP.3663
- 1807: An estate plan showing Eccles House and village together with adjacent lands and owners. Scale 1:2400. Size 126x73cm. Grid (map) reference NT7641. NRS reference RHP.1027
- circa 1810: An estate plan showing Eccles house and village. Scale 1:4000. Size 67x59cm. Grid (map) reference NT7641. NRS reference RHP.3365.
- 1812: Plan of estate of Belchester. Scale 1:6300. Size 54x44cm. Grid (map) reference NT7943. NRS reference RHP.3103/5
- 1812: Belchester. Scale 1:2400. Size 53x43cm. Grid (map) reference NT7943. NRS reference RHP.3103/4
- 1812: Belville. Scale 1:3200. Size 53x43cm. Grid (map) reference NT7943. NRS reference RHP.3103/3
- 1832: Marches betwixt estates of Darnchester and Belchester. Scale 1:2400. Size 72x51cm. Grid (map) reference NT7943. NRS reference RHP.3103/1
- 1833: Marches between estates of Belchester and Boughtridge. Scale 1:1600. Size 55x45cm. Grid (map) reference NT7943. NRS reference RHP.3103/2
- 19th century: Belchester and Anton's Hill. Scale 1:4000. Size 32x33cm. Grid (map) reference NT7932. NRS reference RHP.3103/6
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT763414 (Lat/Lon: 55.665565, -2.378309), Eccles which are provided by:
At the time of the Napoleonic wars, lists of young men in parishes were compiled so that should there be a need for them to fight, they could be drafted into the Militia. If there were not enough volunteers for a list, a ballot was used to select names for it.
In their booklet of Eccles monumental inscriptions, the Borders Family History Society has included a transcript of the Eccles militia list.
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
- 1755 - 1489
- 1801 - 1682
- 1811 - 1820
- 1821 - 1900
- 1831 - 1885
- 1861 - 1861
In the 1690s a tax was levied by Parliament on every hearth in Scotland. Both landowners and tenants had to pay this tax and are therefore recorded in the records which were kept at the time. A transcript of the hearth tax records for Eccles parish (NRS reference E69/5/1) is included with the list of monumental inscriptions published by the Borders Family History Society.
Most taxation records are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.