"A parish in Roxburghshire, lying on the S. bank of the river Tweed, nearly 4 miles in length, and 3 in breadth ... Upon the estate of Littledean are the remains of an old tower, which had been strongly fortified, long the residence of the Kerrs of Littledean. On the moor of Rutherford are the vestiges of a Roman encampment, with a Roman causeway. Near the border, betwixt the parishes of Maxton and Ancrum, is the scene of a dreadful battle, followed in 1543 between the English and Scottish armies: the place is called Lilliard's Edge, from a young woman of the name of Lilliard who fought with great bravery along with the Scots, and who lies buried in the field of battle. Population in 1801, 368."

From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.



The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Maxton monumental inscriptions. Unfortunately there are very few gravestones from the 18th century or earlier, because an older graveyard in the parish was ploughed up circa 1814 and all the gravestones broken up ...



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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Maxton, 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 II, page 401:

"The present parish of Maxton comprehends the ancient parishes of Maccuston or Mackiston and Rutherford."

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 1691-1708 (in part 798/1 of the microfilm). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Roxburghshire page.


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

The Maxton Parish Website includes photographs and a history of the parish.

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

You can see pictures of Maxton which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Maxton 2000 - A History of the Parish by Charles Denoon was published in May 2000. Available from McGregor's Books, Kelso. ISBN 01573 225309.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT636292 (Lat/Lon: 55.555573, -2.577929), Maxton which are provided by:


Military Records

At the time of the Napoleonic wars, lists of young men in parishes were compiled so that should there be a need for them to fight, they could be drafted into the Militia. If there were not enough volunteers for a list, a ballot was used to select names for it.

In their booklet of Maxton monumental inscriptions, the Borders Family History Society has included a transcript of the Maxton militia list.



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

  • 1755 - 397
  • 1782 - 326
  • 1801 - 368
  • 1811 - 438
  • 1821 - 463
  • 1831 - 462
  • 1861 - 497


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 Maxton 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.