"FOGO, a parish in the central part of the Merse district of Berwickshire. It contains a hamlet or small kirktown of its own name, on the Blackadder, 3 1/2 miles south-south-west of Dunse, which is the post-town. It is bounded by Edrom, Swinton, Eccles, Greenlaw, and Polwarth ... Its basin is a sort of huge furrow, seldom closing in upon the river in steepness of banks, yet forming a hollow between parallel ranges of low heights; and having the church immediately on the margin of the stream, it suggested to the early colonists the name Fog-hou, which is the ancient and legitimate form of the word Fogo, and means the foggage pit, den, or hollow."
View a Map of the Area.
from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Fogo monumental inscriptions.
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 1660. 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).
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.
A short article on Fogo's geography and history was printed in the October 1995 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine, written by Sandra Whittaker.
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:
There was a noticable drop in population between Dr Webster's survey of 1755 and the survey undertaken by the parish minister in 1797 as part of Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland. Rev. John Tod explained the drop in Fogo's population as follows:
"The population of this parish has of late been greatly diminished. The vestiges of old houses are to be seen in every part of it. Several villages almost totally demolished, occasioned by the monopoly of farms, now so customary in this country. There are instances in this, and the neighbouring parishes, of one person possessing three, four, or six, very considerable farms, every one of which was formerly considered as sufficiently large for one person to occupy."
from the Statistical Account of Scotland compiled by Sir John Sinclair
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