"STITCHEL and HUME, an united parish in the district of the Merse, on the mutual border of Roxburghshire and Berwickshire. Stitchel is in Roxburghshire, and Hume is in Berwickshire; they were united in 1640; and each contains a village of its own name. The united parish is bounded by Gordon, Greenlaw, Eccles, Ednam, Nenthorn, and Earlston. Its length from north to south is between 5 and 6 miles; and its breadth is between 3 and 4 miles."
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
In 1901 a collection of writings of the late Rev. George Gunn (1851-1900), minister of Stichill and Hume, was published at Alnwick by Henry Hunter Blair. The publication covers a number of topics and is divided into several sections whose headings are as follows:
"The Early History of Stichill", pp 1-22
"Domestic life and manners in the Border village of Stichill during the Commonwealth, from 1649-1660", pp 23-51
"The Church of Hume", pp 52-62
"A Century of Church Life in the Borders", pp 63-71 (covering 19th century)
"Notes upon the Kirk Session Records of the parish of Bunkle", pp 72-78
The remainder of the book consists of sections about the late minister himself. The book is listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfilm format, so is hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres.
See the Bibliography section for details of articles on the history of the two parishes.
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.95:
"HUME, or HOME, an ancient parish at the southern verge of Berwickshire, now annexed to Stitchel in Roxburghshire. See STITCHEL. This parish was anciently four times its present extent, and, in the 12th century, comprehended a considerable part of Gordon and Westruther. The Earls of Dunbar, who were of old the lords of the manor, originally held the patronage of the church. But, in the 12th century, the monks of Kelso obtained possession, not only of the church, but of the whole parish; and they obtained the territory of Gordon and a large part of Westruther, to be erected into parochial independence. The old parish of Hume was, in consequence, reduced to nearly its present limits."
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):
"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 1640. 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).
An article entitled "Life in a Border Manse 160 years ago" was printed in the 1923 transactions of Hawick Archaeological Society. This was a summary of a talk given by Sir James Balfour Paul (the then Lord Lyon King of Arms in Scotland) to the society based upon the diaries of George Ridpath, minister of Stichill, which had been published in the previous year:
Diary of George Ridpath, 1755-1761
Scottish History Society publications, third series, volume II, 1922.
The transcript published by the Scottish History Society is 393 pages long and is accompanied by a comprehensive index. This out of copyright book has been scanned and put online by the Internet Archive.
The diary's original manuscript volumes are in the National Records of Scotland, CH1/5/122 (1755-1758) and CH1/5/123 (1758-1761). The diary is full of the minister's day to day activities, including his interactions with parishioners, fellow ministers and local gentry. He was also an avid reader, and records this activity frequently in his diary.
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 Stichill (NAS ref E69/21/1) and Hume (NAS ref E69/5/1) are included with the list of monumental inscriptions published by the Borders Family History Society.