"ECKFORD, a parish, containing the villages of Eckford, Eckfordmoss, Cessford, and Caverton, in the lower part of Teviotdale, Roxburghshire. It is of nearly triangular form, having its angles to the north, south, and west; and is bounded on the east by Sprouston, Linton, Morebattle, and Hounam; on the south-west by Jedburgh and Crailing; and on the north-west by Roxburgh and Kelso ... Population of the parish in 1831, 1,148; in 1861, 957."
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Eckford monumental inscriptions. Unfortunately an old burial ground at Caverton village was ploughed up earlier this century. All of the gravestones were removed.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1694. 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 Roxburghshire page for more details) the Rev. William Paton made the following comment about deficiencies in the parish registers of Eckford in the late 18th century:
"An accurate state of baptisms cannot be obtained, as dissenters from the establishment seldom order the names of their children to be engrossed; and the register of births, marriages and burials is not regularly kept, as the parish clerk has no allowance for that purpose."
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 Eckford parish (NRS reference E69/21/1) is included with the list of monumental inscriptions published by the Borders Family History Society.