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Help and advice for Peebles

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"PEEBLES, a parish containing the post-town of Peebles, and lying principally in Peebles-shire, but having a small part in Selkirkshire. It is bounded by Eddlestone, Innerleithen, Traquair, Yarrow, Manor, Stobo, and Lyne. Its length southward is 10 miles; and its greatest breadth is 6 miles ... Population of the entire parish in 1831, 2,750; in 1861, 2,850."
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.


Nigel Hardie has transcribed and published parish of Peebles deaths for 1820-1829 and 1830-1847.

Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions.



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


Episcopal Church of Scotland
St Peter, Peebles, Scottish Episcopal
Presbyterian / Unitarian
Peebles, Church of Scotland
Roman Catholic
St Joseph, Peebles, Roman Catholic

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Peebles area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

  • The book of Peebles Church: St Andrew's Collegiate Parish Church, A.D. 1195-1560: shewing the rise, prosperity, decline and ruin of the pre-Reformation church of Peebles by C.B. Gunn, published 1908 at Peebles
  • The book of the Cross Kirk, Peebles, A.D. 1560-1690: presbyterianism and episcopacy by C.B. Gunn, published 1912 at Peebles
  • The parish church of Peebles, A.D. 1784-1885: presbyterianism by C.B. Gunn, published 1917 at Peebles
  • The Ministry of the Presbytery of Peebles, A.D. 296-1910 by C.B. Gunn, published 1910 at Peebles

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1622. 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).


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.


Correctional Institutions

Graham and Emma Maxwell have indexed the prison registers of Peebles Prison for 1848-1862.


Description and Travel

In issue 26 (October 1994) of the Borders Family History Society magazine Jean Moffat's "Know your parish - Peebles" was published on pages 23-25, covering many aspects of the parish.

You can see pictures of Peebles which are provided by:



Two 19th century accounts of Peebles parish and town are available online.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Peebles to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

1868, Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published by A. Fullarton and Co

  • PEEBLES, a parish, containing the post-town of Peebles, and lying principally in Peebles-shire, but having a small part in Selkirkshire.  It is bounded by Eddlestone, Innerleithen, Traquair, Yarrow, Manor, Stobo, and Lyne.  Its length southward is 10 miles; and its greatest breadth is 6 miles.  The Tweed, running eastward, but making several detours, moves majestically across the centre of the parish, over a distance geographically of 4½, and along its channel of 6 miles.  A great contraction of the southern half-length of the parish, occasions the stream to form the boundary-line 1¼ mile after the Tweed is here 500 feet above sea-level; and though it has now run only one-third of its course to the sea, it has fallen 1,000 feet from its source.  Its banks, for some distance after it becomes connected with the parish, are confined and simply pleasing; but at the bridge and onwards, they expand into a vale of considerable breadth, possessing almost every element of scenic beauty.  The Lyne, immediately above its confluence with the Tweed, flows ½ a mile along the south-west boundary.  Meldon-burn, a streamlet of 4½ miles in length, traces the western boundary of the northern division 2½ miles southward to the Lyne.  Manor-water runs 1½ mile northward along the western boundary of the southern division to the Tweed, 1½ mile below the mouth of the Lyne.  Eddlestone-water bisects the northern half of the parish southward, and enters the Tweed at the town of Peebles.  Three other considerable streamlets, and several minor ones, run either to the Tweed or to the Eddlestone,—one of them tracing for 2 miles southward the eastern boundary.  All the streams abound in trout, and are much frequented by anglers.  Floods are frequent, and occasionally large.  The fine vale of the Tweed sends, on the one hand, a detachment strictly akin to itself up the Eddlestone beyond the parochial limits; and is continued, on the other, by a short but beautiful vale up the Glensax and Cruxton burns, which unite a mile before falling into the Tweed.  Hills occupy the rest of the parochial area, sectioned into ridges, clusters, or isolated eminences, by the glens or gorges which give water-way to the streams.  The hills, in general, are much lower than those of most other parishes in Peebles-shire; they are soft and finely curved; and except in a heathy game district, in the extreme so

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  • Peebles, a post and market town, an ancient royal burgh, and the capital of Peebles-shire, stands at the confluence of the Tweed and the Eddlestone, 6 miles north-west of Innerleithen, 22 north-west of Selkirk, 22 by road, but 27 by railway, south of Edinburgh, 27 east by south of Lanark, 47½ east-south-east of Glasgow, and 54 north-north-east of Dumfries.  Its site is on the north bank of the Tweed, and on both banks, but chiefly the east one, of the Eddlestone; exactly on that part of the convergent vales of the parish which commands the richest view all round of the low grounds, with their mansions, ancient castles, woods, and demesnes, and of the  encincturing screen of green and beautiful hills, overhung in the distance by a horizon of mountain-heights.  The Tweed at the place runs nearly due eastward, or in the direction of east by south; and the Eddlestone approaches it in a direction due southward, till within 850 feet of falling upon it at right angles, and then, contrary to the usual manner of  'the meeting of the waters,' bends upward along the basin of the parent stream, runs 1,000 feet south-westward, and debouching round the point of a peninsula, disembogues itself into the Tweed.  The point or extremity of the peninsula is occupied as a bowling-green; and the south side of it is disposed in a beautiful promenade and play-ground called Tweed-green.  The High-street, a spacious and airy thoroughfare, runs from near the bowling-green 750 feet along the ridge of the peninsula to the cross; and thence 250 or 300 feet eastward to the East-port.  From the cross the Northgate, or Northgate-street, a narrow and subordinate thoroughfare in comparison with the High-street, runs nearly 900 feet due northward, lying parallel over most of its length with the course of the Eddlestone.  Various brief streets and alleys go off at right angles from these main thoroughfares; chiefly Portbrae, communicating from the lower end of High-street with Tweed-bridge,—School-wynd, communicating from the middle of High-street with the burgh schools, situated on the margin of Tweed-green,—Old Vennel, leading down from the  East-port to the lower end of Tweed-green,—and Bridgegate, communicating from the lower end of Northgate with the upper one of two bridges across the Eddlestone.  All these parts of Peebles, located in the peninsula and along the left bank of the Eddle

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Some relevant books include:

  • Charters and Documents relating to the burgh of Peebles: with extracts from the records of the burgh, A.D. 1165-1710 edited by W. Chambers, published in 1872 at Edinburgh by the Scottish Burgh Records Society (listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfiche format, so hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres)
  • Peebles: burgh and parish in early history by R. Renwick, published 1903 at Peebles (listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfilm format, so hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres)
  • Peebles during the reign of Queen Mary by R. Renwick, published 1903 at Peebles
  • Extracts from the records of the Burgh of Peebles, 1652-1714 with appendix 1367-1665 edited by R. Renwick, published in 1910 at Glasgow by the Scottish Burgh Records Society
  • The burgh of Peebles: gleanings from its records, 1604-1652 by R. Renwick, first published 1892 at Peebles by Watson & Smyth, second edition published 1912 at Peebles by Smyth (listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfiche format, so hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres)
  • Glimpses of Peebles, or forgotten chapters in its history by A. Williamson, published in 1895 at Selkirk
  • History of Peebles 1850-1990 by J.L. Brown and I.C. Lawson, published 1990 by Mainstream Publishing

Land and Property

The LDS Family History Library catalogue lists a microfilm version of Burgh registers, Peebles, Peebles, minute books, sasines. The catalogue entry (under Scotland/Peebles/Peebles/Land and Property) suggests that it is a microfilm copy of original records held at the National Records of Scotland. The microfilm copy in the LDS catalogue should hopefully be viewable at LDS family history centres around the world.



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

  • 1755 - 1896
  • 1791 - 1920
  • 1801 - 2088
  • 1821 - 2701
  • 1831 - 2750
  • 1861 - 2850

Town Records

In 1872 the Scottish Burgh Records Society published Charters and documents relating to the Burgh of Peebles, with extracts from the Records of the Burgh, A.D. 1165-1710 edited by W. Chambers. Copies of this rare book are available in a number of libraries.