"CRAILING, a parish, containing the villages of Crailing and East and West Nisbet, in the centre of the northern half of Roxburghshire. It is bounded on the north by Roxburgh parish; on the east by Eckford; on the south by Jedburgh; and on the west by Ancrum and Roxburgh. Its extreme measurement, from north to south, is 4 miles; and, from east to west, 3¾. Its post-town is Jedburgh. The Teviot divides the parish into two nearly equal parts, flowing in beautiful windings from west to east, and impressing upon the district the general feature of a rich basin, deeply stained with green, and ornamented with most of the softer forms of beauty ... Population of the parish in 1831, 733; in 1861, 673." From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.



An article by Walter Brydon about "Crailing and its associations" was published in the 1952 Hawick Archaeological Society transactions on pages 4-9.



The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of monumental inscriptions in the three churchyards in the parish.



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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Crailing, Church of Scotland

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 I, p.312:

"Crailing is called, in the records of presbytery, the united parishes of Crailing, Nisbet, and Spital. Crailing and Nisbet were distinct parishes, the former on the south, and the latter on the north of the Teviot; and Spital is said to have been an hospital belonging to the abbey of Ancrum. A few tombs overgrown with shrubs and weeds still mark the site of Nisbet church, and point out the present place of sepulture for the inhabitants of the northern side of the Teviot. Even Crailing-proper, or the southern part of the modern parish, formed, in the reign of David I., two distinct parishes, each having its manor, church, and village."

According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) the minister of Crailing, Andrew Milroy, left the Church of Scotland for the Free Church in 1843. The membership of this congregation in 1848 was 185; by 1900 it was 142.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1708. 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 & Travel

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 Crailing which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Crailing 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:

  • 1803: Plan of the Second Lot of Crailing, including adjacent lands and owners. Scale 1:3200. Size 61x80cm. Grid (map) reference NT6724. NRS reference RHP.3572

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT673252 (Lat/Lon: 55.519271, -2.519148), Crailing which are provided by:



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

  • 1755 - 387
  • 1801 - 669
  • 1811 - 695
  • 1821 - 748
  • 1831 - 733
  • 1861 - 673


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 Crailing 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.