"EDNAM, a parish, containing a village of the same name, on the northern verge of Roxburghshire. It is bounded by Berwickshire, and by the parishes of Sprouston, Kelso, and Stitchell ... The Tweed forms the south-east boundary-line; and the Eden intersects the parish from east to west, dividing it into not very unequal parts. Along the banks of both rivers are beautiful and rich low grounds. The district, as a whole, is low and level, but delightfully diversified. The generally flat ground gently rises, in some places, into inclined plains; and, in two spots, swells into fine elevations, one near the village called Ednam hill, and the other between the Tweed and the Eden called Henderside hill. The land is among the best in the Merse, and is well-cultivated, well-enclosed, and agreeably variegated with plantation ... Population of the parish in 1831, 637; in 1861, 599." from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
View a Map of the Area.
Ednam and its indwellers
by John Burleigh
Published Glasgow, 1912.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Ednam monumental inscriptions.
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841 and 1851 census returns for this parish.
According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh):
"The congregation formed here [Nenthorn] in 1843 embraced adherents also from the parishes of Stitchel, Smailholm, and Ednam. A site for a church in Smailholm was refused. The congregation at Nenthorn was therefore largely drawn from that parish."
Rev. Ewing writes that by 1848 the membership of this congregation was 170; by 1900 it was 115.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1666. 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. David Dickson made the following comment about deficiencies in the parish registers of Ednam in the late 18th century:
"The number of births, burials, and marriages is not easily ascertained. Seceders, though obliged by law to register the births of their children in the parish register, consider the tax on baptisms as a profanation, and often neglect it on that account; though afterwards it may be prejudicial to their children. And marriages are often made so irregularly, by persons not legally qualified, that those, who belong to the Secession, do not willingly submit to the discipline of the Church."
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.
See the Ednam Village site.
A short article on Ednam's geography and history was printed in the February 1994 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine, written by Audrey Mitchell.
For another account, see the society's booklet of monumental inscriptions in the parish.
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:
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 Ednam 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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