"A small parish in the county of Roxburgh, lying at the foot of the Cheviot hills, and watered by the rivulets Bowmont and Kail, both of which fall into the Tweed. The village of Morbattle, which contains about 200 inhabitants, lies about 8 miles E. from Jedburgh, and 7 S. from Kelso. There are the remains of several encampments, and the ruins of Corbet House and Whitton Castle still shew they have been places of great extent and strength. Population in 1801, 785." from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.
View a Map of the Area.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Morebattle monumental inscriptions.
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.
A 19th century account of the history of Morebattle parish can be read online.
Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:
Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory of Scotland published in 1837 lists the following non-conformist churches in the parish:
There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.
According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) a Free Church congregation was formed here in 1843, worshipping for a time in the open air at Heughhead farmstead before the church was built in 1845. The 1848 membership of this congregation was 128; in 1900 it was 158.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1726. These are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world.
Registers for a number of non-conformist Morebattle churches are available in LDS family history centres around the world. These include the Free Church (christenings for 1847-1854) and the Gateshaw Associated Session (christenings for 1775-1866, 1900-1907; marriages for 1775-1783).
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 Morebattle Village site.
A short article on Morebattle's geography and history was printed in the March 1992 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine, written by Elspeth Ewan. The society's booklet of monumental inscriptions also contains a short article about the parish.
The Morebattle Village site includes information about the history of Morebattle parish, including the ancient parish of Mow or Molle.
History of Morebattle and District was published by the S.W.R.I. in 1966, full of information about Morebattle and Linton history, as well as a number of old photos.
In 1999 the Morebattle Millennium Committee produced Kalewater: A Miscellany. Although not strictly a history book (or indeed a guidebook) the compilers hope the book gives an insight into life in the Kale valley in the past and present. Its ISBN is 095376320X.
Rudolf Zai's The phonology of the Morebattle dialect (East Roxburghshire) (277 pages) was published at Lucerne in 1942.
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
The Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre has an admission register for Mowhaugh Public School covering the years 1873-1943 (reference R/ED/3/30). They also have Mowhaugh Log Book for the years 1923-1945 (reference R/ED/2/65).
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 Morebattle 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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