"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.
View a Map of the Area.
See also Bassendean.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of monumental inscriptions for Gordon, Nenthorn and Westruther.
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 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.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1657. 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).
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:
There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.
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 National Archives 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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