"YARROW, a parish in Selkirkshire. It long comprehended the three ancient parishes of Duchoire, St Mary's, and Kirkhope; but it was divided in 1852, into the two parishes of Yarrow and Kirkhope ... [The parish] contains the post-office station of Yarrow, the hamlet of Yarrowfeus, the village of Ettrick-bridge, and part of the village of Yarrowford. It is bounded on the north by Traquair and Innerleithen in Peebles-shire, and by the Selkirkshire parts of Innerleithen and Stow; on the east by both the Selkirkshire and the Roxburghshire parts of both Selkirk and Ashkirk; on the south by Roberton and Ettrick; and on the west by Megget, Manor and Peebles in Peebles-shire. its length is 18 miles; its greatest breadth is 16 miles; and its area is about 111 square miles."
From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.


Nigel Hardie has transcribed and published parish of Yarrow burials for 1791-1837.

Selkirkshire Antiquarian Society has published a CD containing transcripts and digital photographs of gravestones in Yarrow Cemetery.

A list of monumental inscriptions in the original area of Yarrow churchyard was printed in the 1933 volume of the Hawick Archaeological Society's Transactions and a list of the surnames recorded is available online.

A list of inscriptions in the long-abandoned St Mary's Kirkyard, Yarrow was printed in the 1964 volume of the same society's transactions: a list of the surnames recorded in this list is available online. A later (1975) article was printed discussing discrepancies between this 1964 listing and an earlier listing which had been appended to The Blanket Preaching by R.S.Kirkpatrick (published Galashiels, 1939).

Selkirkshire Antiquarian Society can supply a list of gravestones in both St Mary's cemetery, St Mary's Loch (transcribed in 1963, now deteriorated too much to be recorded again), and Lindean cemetery.



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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Yarrow, Church of Scotland

Church History

An article about Yarrow Kirk by Reverand R.S. Kirkpatrick was published in the 1932 transactions of Hawick Archaeological Society, pages 19-26.

A 19th century account of the history of Yarrow parish can be read online.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1691. 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 collections for the years 1758-1777 (in part 779/2 of the microfilm). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Selkirkshire page.

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 of Yarrow and Megget

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

The Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys website includes information about the local history as well as tourist information, photographs etc.

Hunter Boa's website includes pictures of places in Ettrick and Yarrow parishes.

See also History section below.

You can see pictures of Yarrow which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Reminiscences of Yarrow by James Russell published in 1886 (384 pages) by W.Blackwood in Edinburgh (listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfiche format, so hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres).
  • The tourist's guide and angler's companion for the valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow by Thomas Wright, published (2nd edition) at Selkirk in 1893 (147 pages).
  • Ettrick and Yarrow: a guide: with songs and ballads by William Angus, published at Selkirk in 1894 (228 pages)
  • Yarrow in History, Literature and Romanceby Rev W. Steven, published at Galashiels in 1917 (2nd edition) (listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfilm format, so hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres).
  • The October 1996 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine included a short article on Yarrow's geography and history written by Audrey Mitchell.


Ordnance Survey maps covering Yarrow include:

  • Landranger 73: Peebles, Galashiels & surrounding area - scale 1:50000, or 1.25inch:1mile, or 2cm:1km
  • Outdoor Leisure 44: Tweed Valley (Peebles to St Boswells) - scale 1:25000, or 2.5inch:1mile, or 4cm:1km

Yarrow is also covered by four reprinted one-inch to the mile Victorian Ordnance Survey maps (it is split roughly between all four of them). These are published by Caledonian Maps. The maps covering Yarrow are:

  • Sheet 16: Moffat, including Beattock, Eskdalemuir, Ettrick Water, Hart Fell, St Mary's Loch, Thirlestane, Tweedsmuir and Yarrow
  • Sheet 17: Hawick & Jedburgh, including Ancrum, Ashkirk, Bedrule, Bonchester, Cheviot Hills, Hobkirk, Lilliesleaf, Minto, Teviotdale, and Watling Street
  • Sheet 24: Biggar & Peebles, including Carlops, Culter, Broughton, Dolphinton, Dunsyre, Innerleithen, Leadburn, Traquair, Walkerburn and West Linton
  • Sheet 25: Kelso & Melrose, including Earlston, Galashiels, Gordon, Greenlaw, Lauder, Polwarth, Roxburgh, St Boswells, Selkirk and Westruther

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT277246 (Lat/Lon: 55.509374, -3.145645), Yarrow which are provided by:



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

  • 1755 - 1180
  • 1793 - 1230
  • 1801 - 1216
  • 1811 - 1225
  • 1821 - 1249
  • 1831 - 1221
  • 1861 - 643