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The Parish of Kelso is situated in the north east of Roxburghshire and it is bordered by the Parishes of Smailholm and Nenthorn, Berwickshire to the north, the Parishes of Ednam and Sprouston to the east, the Parish of Eckford to the south and the Parishes of Roxburgh and Makerstoun to the west. Kelso is now part of two parishes, Kelso Old & Sprouston which is linked with Kelso Country Churches and Kelso North & Ednam.
The town grew along siude alongside Kelso Abbey is one of one of the four great medieval abbeys in the Borders although it is the least well preserved. Situated on the north bank of the River Tweed the palatial Floors Castle home to the Duke of Roxburghe is on the edge of the town.
Old Parish Records cover the periods:
|Kelso Parish Church|
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Please note that the heading Author includes persons who have compiled or transcribed records; and that the topics indexed, and the synopses are subjective opinions.
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|Title||Synopsis||Size Description||Issue No||Author|
|Forgotten Borderers--Andrew Walker (1808-1896)||Andrew Walker, born Earlston, worked at Newton Don and moved eventually to Camden and started a Ragged School. He emigrated to Troy in New York and died there.||less than 1 page||30|
|Bowmakers and Currys in the new world||The history of the Bowmakers and Currys before and after they emigrated to the New World.||1 page or more||10||Norman Bowmaker|
|Kelso's Ragged school||Case histories and fate of children in the 1800s who went to a Ragged School. These three names from the excellent book that Audrey has written will make you want to purchase this book.||2 pages or more||9||Audrey Mitchell|
|Kelso Dispensary and Castleton Poor Law Records||Some notes by the author on his publication on C.D. of Poor Law records instancing some of the information available and mentioning various diseases mentioned||1 page or more||75||Peter Munro|
|Kelso Tradesmen Transcription Project||Note on a project to transcribe the records of nineteenth century Kelso tradesmen||1 page or more||75||Juline Baird|
|Revised and improved edition of Kelso Abbey, Old Churchyard and St. Andrews Monumental Inscriptions||Notes on the improved version of our Memorial Inscriptions covering Kelso Abbey, Old Churchyard Kelso and St. Andrews.||1 page or more||76|
|The Stewarts of Kelso||A report into extensive research into the Stewart family of Kelso, latterly of Edinburgh.||5 pages or more||77||Harry D Watson|
|From Kelso to Kalamazoo||An account of the life of George 'Celery' Taylor' born in Kelso in 1803 gardener who emigrated to Kalamazoo, Michigan and is noted for introducing celery into the United States. Kept a detailed diary which also records his experiences on his return visits to Scotland in 1871 and 1874.||78||Margaret Jeary|
|Border Murders||This is a stroll around the Borders looking into, with some depth, the murders in the 1800s.||2 pages or more||32||Norrie Mcleish|
|The Gladstones-A study||This is a brief outline of the Gladstone family here in the Borders and as far away as Edinburgh, and Norwich.||3 pages or more||35||G.M.S. Lauder-frost|
|Anderson Family Legend||Three brothers shared their last sixpence at Kelso Fair and then parted company. How a lady searched for relatives||less than 1 page||8||Mrs. Steele|
|Stoddart||Margaret Stoddart, born 1831, and her very interesting history. From stot-herd,one who tended cattle 1376. Earliest mention in Douglas Barony of Buittle.||2 pages or more||38||Audrey Mitchell|
|A grave look at the Borders||This must be one of the great stories ever to be printed in our magazine - it is the story of grave snatchers, and how one brave chap got his just reward.||4 pages or more||21||Ian Abernethy|
|A Cockburn Family in Berwickshire and Its Descendants - The Book||The author's Cockburn family history - mostly recent.||3 pages or more||24||Andrew Cockburn|
|An Opaque Glass||About William Glass (or Glasgow), who had become the first governor of the South Atlantic Island of Tristan da Cunha, honoured by the Friends of Kelso Museum in 1996.||2 pages or more||60||Audrey Mitchell|
|CD Review - Kelso Poor House and Ragged School||Interesting review of the content of this much loved publication, and a bit on the social context of the Poor House and the Ragged School in Kelso.||1 page or more||67||Norrie McLeish|
|Governor Glass||Some notes on William Glass, born in Kelso who went on to establish the colony of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic and to become its first Governor.||1 page or more||75||Ronald Morrison|
|The relationship of place names and personal names||The relationship is two fold: (1) Place names derived from personal names, (2) Personal names derived or adopted from place names.||1 page or more||21||Jessie Macdonald|
|Newspapers published in the Borders||Border newspapers published in the Borders. 65 in total.||2 pages or more||5||Peter Elliot|
|John Lee, Shoemaker in Kelso||Some details of the funeral of John Lee, shoemaker in Kelso 1802. Details of funeral arrangements and surnames of those attending the funeral||2 pages or more||75||Elma Fleming|
|Adam Clark (1811 to 1866)||A fascinating account of Adam Clark, born in Edinburgh but brought up in Kelso who became a bridge builder of renown in Hungary building the first bridge across the Danube linking the communities of Buda and Pest.||4 pages or more||79||Dr. Jim Lyon|
|Maxwellheugh Cottage - the biography of a house||A review of the families who had inhabited a house on the outskirts of Kelso.||8 pages or more||73||Isobel Gordon|
|A Berwickshire Schoolmaster||Jean Smithers has contributed this "nugget" from her investigations into the history of one of the strands of her ancestry.||1 page or more||11||Jean Smithers|
|The men who marched away||If you have heard Gavin speak you will know how he has devoted his all spare time to this subject this is the K.O.S.B. part in Gallipoli, another Flodden. Men missing Gala 54, Hawick 52, Jedburgh 18, and so on.||3 pages or more||9||Gavin Richardson|
|William Elliot, Architect||The family history of William Elliot and descriptions of some of the fine house's he built.||3 pages or more||15||Kathleen Stewart|
|The Chisholms: Highland Names in the Borders?||This is not just about the Chisholms, it delves into place names in the Borders, why they changed their names and the Highland connections.||4 pages or more||28||Michael Robson|
|A Sassenach Searches for his Scottish Ancestry||How the family name may have originated. Possible connections with Kelso. The Reiver Connections An interesting historical tale.||5 pages or more||39||George Heaviside|
The 20 most common on gravestones recorded by us in the Kelso Abbey, Old Churchyard & St Andrew's monumental inscriptions volume are (number of gravestones in brackets): BROTHERSTON (157), SCOTT (26), RUTHERFORD (21), SMITH (18), GRAY (17), ALLAN (15), DAVIDSON (13), DICKSON (13), WILSON (12), TAIT (12), TURNBULL (12), AITCHISON (11), THOMSON (11), BROWN (10), HARDIE (9), ROBERTSON (9), ORMSTON (9), KER (9), WATSON (9), PURVES (9).
The 20 most common on gravestones recorded by us in the Kelso - Rosebank Cemetery monumental inscriptions volume are (number of gravestones in brackets): SCOTT (111), THOMSON (71), WILSON (62), SMITH (59), BROWN (56), ROBERTSON (54), TURNBULL (47), YOUNG (47), MURRAY (46), BELL (45), DOUGLAS (42), ANDERSON (42), HENDERSON (38), PATTERSON (33), PURVES (32), RUTHERFORD (32), TAIT (31), HUME (27), WALKER (27), GRAY (26).
Town Website contains background information and a history of the Town and local names.
A list of prizewinners at Kelso Grammar School 1853.
Stobie's Map of Roxburghshire of 1770.
Kelso Rugby Club
Kelso Race Course
The RCAHMS website Scotland's Places contains details of:
1841 census: Softlaw, Spylaw, Maisondieu, Spring Wood, Pinnaclehill, Wooden, Maxwellheugh Village, Galalaw, Muserig, Edenbank, Berrymoss, East Muirdean, Floors Castle.
1851 census: Mayfield, Spylaw, Wester Softlaw, Middle Softlaw, Maisondieu, Wooden, Pinnacle Hill, Maxwellheugh, Sharpitlaw, Berryhill, Muirdean, Galalaw, Floors Castle, Edenbank, Springwood.
1861 census: Springwood, Spylaw, Maisondieu, Softlaw, Proctors Smithy Huntershall, Maxwellheugh, Pinnaclehill, Wooden, Gallalaw, Muirdean, Floors Castle, Muserig, Broadloan, Berryhill, Edenbank, Oakfield, Broomlands, Butts, Union Poorhouse.
The population has been recorded as follows: