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Help and advice for Westruther

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Westruther

"WESTRUTHER, a parish, lying debateably between the Lauderdale and the Lammermoor districts of Berwickshire. It contains the post-office village of Westruther and the village of Hounslow. It is bounded on the north by Cranshaw; on the east by Longformacus and Greenlaw; on the south by Gordon and Legerwood; and on the west by Legerwood and Lauder ... The parish of Westruther was formed in the 17th century by uniting to the parish of Bassendean the lands of Westruther and the ancient territory of Spottiswoode, which had belonded to the parish of Gordon"
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.

Census

Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Westruther area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

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 II, p.844:

"The parish of Westruther was formed in the 17th century by uniting to the parish of Bassendean the lands of Westruther and the ancient territory of Spottiswoode, which had belonged to the parish of Gordon. See BASSENDEAN. A new church being, soon after the annexation, built at the village of Westruther, that site, more central than the old church of Bassendean, gave its name to the enlarged parish."

According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) Walter Wood, the then minister of Westruther, along with "a large part of his congregation" left the Church of Scotland for the Free Church in 1843. The membership of the Free Church congregation here in 1848 was 175; by 1900 it was 101.

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1657. 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).

The parish registers available worldwide on microfilm include kirk session accounts for the years 1657-1660 (in part 756/1). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Berwickshire page.

The presence of non-conformist churches in the parish is revealed by Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory which lists the following in the year 1866:

  • Free Church

There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.

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.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Westruther which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Westruther has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Maps

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

  • 1935: The Spottiswood Estate for sale by Auction. Scale circa 1:8000. Size 72x47cm. Grid (map) reference NT6150. NRS reference RHP.4306
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT633500 (Lat/Lon: 55.742024, -2.586113), Westruther which are provided by:

Population

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

  • 1755 - 591
  • 1783 - 685
  • 1791 - 770
  • 1801 - 779
  • 1811 - 822
  • 1821 - 870
  • 1831 - 830
  • 1861 - 786