"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.
View a Map of the Area.
[Note: Stichill is spelled in a wide variety of ways including Stichill, Stichil, Stichel, Stitchel etc.]
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 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.
The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of monumental inscriptions at Stichill and Hume.
In addition a list of pre-1855 inscriptions in Stichill was printed in the 1973 volume of the Hawick Archaeological Society's Transactions.
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for Stichill and Hume parishes.
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."
Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:
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).
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.
As a Burgh of Barony, Stichill was presided over by a Baron Court. Many of these old court records were published at the start of this century:
Records of the Baron Court of Stitchill, 1655-1807
Published by the Scottish History Society, 1905.
This out of copyright book has been scanned and put online by the Internet Archive.
Other court records relating to Stichill are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.
See the Stichill Village site.
An account of the parish (history, topography etc.) may be found in the Borders Family History Society's booklet of monumental inscriptions.
See the Bibliography section for details of several articles about the history of Stichill and Hume.
The National Records 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:
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.
See also the Bibliography section above.
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.
Most taxation records are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.
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