"ROXBURGH, a parish in the lower part of Teviotdale, Roxburghshire. It contains the village of Roxburgh and the post-office village of Heiton, and approaches within 1½ mile of the post-town of Kelso. It is bounded by the parishes of Makerston, Kelso, Eckford, Crailing, Ancrum, and Maxton. Its length east-north-eastward is about 8 miles; and its breadth varies from 1 mile to 5 miles."

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



The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Roxburgh monumental inscriptions.



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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Roxborough, 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, p.677:

"The ancient parish of Roxburgh was more extensive than the modern parish; and it took its name from an ancient burgh, now called Old Roxburgh, in connection with which was an ancient famous castle; but the parts of the ancient parish on which the burgh and the castle stood, are now united to Kelso. A chapel, subordinate to the mother church of Old Roxburgh, anciently stood on the manor of Fairnington."

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1624. 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).

In his entry for the Statistical Account of Scotland (compiled 1790s, see the Statistics section of the Roxburghshire page for more details) the Rev. Andrew Bell made the following comment about deficiencies in the parish registers of Roxburgh in the late 18th century:

"The exact number of births and burials cannot be easily ascertained. For various reasons many childrens names are not registered; and the people in general all over this country having an idea of property in their family burying place, carry their dead 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.


Description & Travel

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 Roxburgh which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



In 2003 Channel 4's Time Team excavated the site of the lost medieval burgh of Roxburgh and more details of the excavation are available in the Time Team Reports section of the Wessex Archaeology website. A subsequent article, "Roxburgh: Uncovering Scotland's Lost Royal Burgh" by Colin Martin and Richard Oram, was published in the November/December 2004 issue of the History Scotland Magazine.

The High Toun on The Hill by Ian Abernethy is a history of the village of Heiton. It is available from McGregor's Bookshop of Kelso.



The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

  • 1770: Ferningtoun Moss. Scale 1:1800. Size 46x32cm. Grid (map) reference NT6528. NRS reference RHP.4192

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT682298 (Lat/Lon: 55.560546, -2.506098), Roxburgh which are provided by:



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

  • 1755 - 784
  • 1801 - 949
  • 1811 - 946
  • 1821 - 926
  • 1831 - 962
  • 1861 - 1178


Minutes of the Roxburgh Friendly Society of Parochial and Burgh Schoolmasters are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. These consist of minutes for the years 1811-1840 and have NRS reference GD342. (source: National Register of Archives).



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 Roxburgh 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.