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Help and advice for Sprouston

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"SPROUSTON, a parish, containing the post-office village of Sprouston and the village of Lempitlaw, in the extreme north-east of Roxburghshire. It is bounded by Berwickshire, by England, and by the parishes of Linton, Eckford, Kelso, and Ednam. Its length north-eastward is 4½ miles; and its greatest breadth is 3¾ miles. The river Tweed traces all the north-western and the northern boundary"
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.


The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Sprouston monumental inscriptions.


Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Sprouston area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

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.734:

"The present parish of Sprouston comprehends the ancient parishes of Sprouston on the north-west, and Lempitlaw on the south-east. The church of Sprouston was given by David I. to the monks of Kelso. Chapels subordinate to it anciently stood at Hadden, and on the manor of Sprouston, and were more or less enthralled to the same monks. The parish of Lempitlaw was at an early period annexed to Sprouston. Its church belonged to the hospital of Soutra."

According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) the minister of Sprouston together with some of his congregation left the Church of Scotland in 1843 to join the breakaway Free Church. They worshipped in the old Original Secession Church in Kelso until their new church was opened in 1846 in the outskirts of Kelso In 1883 this Free Church congregation was renamed from Sprouston to Kelso East. The church's membership in 1848 was 414; by 1900 it was 221.

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1635. 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).

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:

  • Free Church

There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.

Description and Travel

See the Sprouston Village site.

An account of the parish (history, topography etc.) may be found in the Borders Family History Society's booklet of monumental inscriptions.

You can see pictures of Sprouston which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Sprouston has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

  • late 19th century: Ordnance Survey sheet (25-inch) with the River Tweed marked at Bamff Mill to show the position of two weirs. NRS reference RHP.4224
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT756352 (Lat/Lon: 55.609822, -2.388885), Sprouston which are provided by:


Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

  • 1755 - 1098
  • 1801 - 1105
  • 1811 - 1199
  • 1821 - 1371
  • 1831 - 1384
  • 1861 - 1295


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 Sprouston parish (NRS 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 Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.