"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.
View a Map of the Area.
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.
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 1694. 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).
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."
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.
An account of the parish (history, topography etc.) may be found in the Borders Family History Society's booklet of monumental inscriptions.
The History of Eckford site is the result of a millennium project by the Eckford SWRI. The website includes articles about the history of Eckford, photographs of the surrounding area, and a forum.
The Morebattle Village site includes information about the history of Eckford parish.
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
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 (NAS reference E69/21/1) is included with the list of monumental inscriptions published by the Borders Family History Society.
Most taxation records are held at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
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