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"YETHOLM, a parish, containing the post-office station of Yetholm and the villages of Kirk-Yetholm and Town-Yetholm, on the north-east border of Roxburghshire. It is bounded on north-east and east by England, and on the other sides by the parishes of Morebattle and Linton. Its length north-westward is 4¾ miles; and its greatest breadth is 2⅔ miles. Bowmont-water bisects it, nearly through the middle, in a direction to the north-north-east."

From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.

Business and Commerce Records

The account books of a Yetholm millwright, John Kerr, are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. They cover the years 1808-1829 and have NRS reference CS96/1676-78. (source: National Register of Archives).


The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Yetholm 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 Yetholm 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

Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:

  • Free Church
  • United Presbyterian Church

Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory of Scotland published in 1837 lists the following non-conformist churches in the parish:

  • Original Burghers, at Town Yetholm
  • United Secession, at Town Yetholm

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 Original Secession congregation at Yetholm "entered the Free Church in 1852.". He gives the membership of this congregation in 1859 as 139; by 1900 it was 206.

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1689. 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 parish registers available worldwide on microfilm include kirk session minutes for the years 1758-1788 (in part 811/2 of the microfilm). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Roxburghshire page.

Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the Yetholm Burgher (New Light) Parish Register for 1824-1855.

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.

Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the Yetholm Burgher (New Light) Parish Registers 1824-1855.

Description and Travel

See the Yetholm Village site.

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

You can see pictures of Yetholm which are provided by:

Historical Geography

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


Yetholm was for many centuries the home of a large number of gypsies. Writings on this topic include:

  • The Scottish gipsy's advocate: being a short account of the gipsies of Kirk-Yetholm, in connection with a plan proposed to be adopted for the improvement of the gipsy population of Scotland by John Baird (32 pages), published at Edinburgh in 1839
  • Memoir of the late Rev. John Baird, minister of Yetholm, Roxburghshire: with an account of his labours in reforming the gypsy population of that parish by William Baird (80 pages), published at London in 1862 (includes on pages 74-80 a "List of words used by the gypsies of Yetholm, compared with Grellman's list of the continental gypsy language and the corresponding words in Hindostanee")
  • The Yetholm history of the gypsies by Joseph Lucas (152 pages), published at Kelso in 1882
  • The Gypsies of Yetholm: historical, traditional, philological, and humorous by William Brockie (192 pages), published at Kelso in 1884
  • "Bailie Smith of Kelso's account of the Gypsies of Kirk Yetholm in 1815" by John A. Fairley, printed in the 1907 transactions of the Hawick Archaeological Society, pages 5-10
  • An article by A.V. Tokely originally printed in the transactions of Hawick Archaeological Society, and reprinted in the June 1996 and October 1996 editions of the Borders Family History Society magazine (covers earliest times to end of 19th century)
  • "Rev. John Baird, 1799-1861: Friend of the Gypsies" by Donald Whyte, published on pages 2-6 of the October 1994 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine
  • The Scottish Gypsies website includes information about the gypsies at Yetholm

For gypsy history see also Hearts upon the highway: gypsies in south east Scotland by Anne Gordon (139 pages), published circa 1980.


Ordnance Survey maps covering Yetholm include:

  • Landranger 74: Kelso & surrounding area - scale 1:50000, or 1.25inch:1mile, or 2cm:1km
  • Outdoor Leisure Map number 16: "The Cheviot Hills - scale 1:25000, or 2.5inch:1mile, or 4cm:1km
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT820279 (Lat/Lon: 55.544509, -2.286813), Yetholm which are provided by:

Military Records

In their booklet of Yetholm monumental inscriptions, the Borders Family History Society has included a transcript of signatures from the Yetholm Militia Club of 1825.


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

  • 1755 - 699
  • 1786 - 1070
  • 1797 - 976
  • 1801 - 1011
  • 1811 - 1138
  • 1821 - 1280
  • 1831 - 1289
  • 1861 - 1207


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 Yetholm parish (NRS reference E69/21/2) 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.