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Southdean and Abbotrule

Roxburghshire map

Southdean is an upland Parish in the south of Roxburghshire on the border with England which was sometimes known as Charteris Parish. On the western boundary is the Parish of Hobkirk to the north and east lies the Parish of Jedburgh, the Parish of Edgerston lies to the east, the English County of Northumberland runs along the southern boundary whilst the Parish of Castleton lies to the south west.

According to the Gazetteer of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1806 - "Like the rest of the border districts, this parish affords many monuments of warlike antiquity, as camps, castles, and other fortifications".

The former Parish of Abbotrule (occasionally Abbotsrule) was suppressed in 1806 and divided between Southdean and Bedrule.

Southdean & Abbotrule and Hobkirk are now linked with the Parish of Ruberslaw (a combination of the former Parishes of Bedrule and Minto).

Southdean Parish Church Southdean Parish Church

Old Parish Records for Southdean cover the periods:

    - and for Abbotrule:

Sales List

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Volumes available for consultation within our Archive

Magazine Articles

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.
See the Sales List to buy copies of the magazines containing articles in which you're interested.

Title Synopsis Size Description Issue No Author
The Olivers of Jed ValleyA History of the Olivers of the Jed Valley tracing their history from the earliest of times with reference to some of the more famous and infamous.6 pages or more 85Norrie McLeish 
The Lillico Family - Chain Migrants to Gloucester Township, OntarioThe story of a family that emigrated from Roxburghshire to Ontario8 pages or more 70Eleanor Lillico 

Map of Southdean from UK Great Britain, Ordnance Survey one-inch to the mile (1:63,360), 'Hills' edition, 1885-1903
by kind permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Use the control at the top left of the map to zoom in or out and drag the map left, right, up, or down as you wish.

Map of Southdean from UK Ordnance Survey Historical Maps from 1919-1947
by kind permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Use the control at the top left of the map to zoom in or out and drag the map left, right, up, or down as you wish.

20 Most Common Surnames

The 20 most common surnames on gravestones recorded by us in the Southdean & Abbotrule monumental inscriptions volume are (number of gravestones in brackets): OLIVER (38), SCOTT (26), TURNBULL (24), DOUGLAS (11), TELFER (11), ROBSON (8), RUTHERFORD (8), SHIELL (7), THOMSON (7), ARMSTRONG (7), ELLIOT (7), SMITH (7), MURRAY (7), HEDLEY (7), DAVIDSON (7), BELL (5), THOMPSON (5), STEWART (5), OLIPHANT (5), RENWICK (5).

Other Sources

Hawick Archaeological Society

Berwickshire Naturalists' Society


A list of names on gravestones in Abbotsrule Churchyard published by Hawick Archaeological Society.
A history of Southdean Old Kirk.
Stobie's Map of Roxburghshire of 1770.
RCHAMS website Scotland's Places contains details of

Place and Farm names in Census Records

1841 census; Mackside, Wolflee, Blackcleughmouth, Hyndlie, Westshiels, Dykrow, Lustruther, Waterside, Northbank, Letholm, Huntford, Carter Bar, Meadow-cleugh, Burns, Skyehead, Tamshielhaugh, Abbotrule, Hobkirk Glebe, Doorpool, Mackside Toll, Ruletownhead, Burnkinford, West Fodderlie, Glendouglas, Smailcleugh, Paradise, Cleethaugh, Dovesford, Mervinslaw, Roughley, Ashtrees, Woodhouse, Bairkine, Whiteburn, Billingburn, Bents, Chesters Village, Broom, Falside, Classsliepeel, Westerhouses, Roundabouts.

1851 census; Mackside, Blackleemouth, Wolflee, Wolfhopelee, Hyndlee, Westshiels, Dykerow, Lustruther, Whiteburn, Letham, Wooplaw, Burnkine, Ruletonhead, Abbotrule, Fodderlee, Doorpool, Chesters Glebe, Glendouglas, Smailcleughfoot, Paradise, Barnkine, Woodhouse, Ashtrees, Lowriesden, Cleethaugh, Dovesford, Mervinslaw, Roughleenook, Falside, Classleepeel, Broom, Chesters, Westerhouses.

1861census: Lustruther, Mackside, Wolflee Townhead, Hyndlee, Dykeraw, Westshiels, Southdean, Lethem, Falside, Chesters, Roundabouts, Burnkine, Ruletonhead, Wester Fodderlee, Abbotrule, Doorpool, Mackside Toll, Glendouglas, Hobkirk, Smailcleughfoot, Carradice, Bairnkine, Lowriesden, Ashtrees, Woodhouse, Westerhouses, Broomhills.


The population has been recorded as follows:

Roxburghshire map