Hownam, Roxburghshire, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Hownam (#791)

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Hownam.  To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.




HOUNAM, a parish, in the district of Kelso, county of Roxburgh, 11 miles (S. S. E.) from Kelso. This place, of which the name is of doubtful origin, is not distinguished by any events of historical importance, though, from its situation on the confines of England, and the remains of numerous forts, it probably participated in the frequent hostilities of the border warfare. The church is very ancient, and was formerly a cruciform structure; but it has been curtailed in its proportions, and is at present a plain rectangular building, adapted for a congregation of not more than 200 persons.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Howman.  Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Hownam.

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index           
1841 941.47/B3 X2m 1841
1851 941.47/B3 X2m 1851
1861 941.47/B3 X2m 1861
1881 6086664( 3 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.


Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Covered Family History Library Fillm Number
Births: 1689-1854 1067936 item 4-5
Marriages: 1701749, 1809-1851 1067936 item 4-5
Deaths: No entries

Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: There are no entries except one, July 1721–August 1724 and December 1733–December 1735. Records are very irregular after 1789. Mothers' names are not recorded until November 1749.
Marriages: There are only three entries May 1721–May 1724 and no entries November 1733–April 1736, October 1736–May 1738, and December 1749–1824 except three dated 1809–1810. Records are incomplete after 1824.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1728–1772, 1775–1782, 1829–1831
Accounts 1739–1768, 1776–1836 - with gaps
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/666.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.


No known nonconformist groups.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.


Probate Records

Hownam was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Peebles until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Jedburgh.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at  You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Roxburgh and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Peebles.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Roxburgh.  Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Roxburgh and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 539-555. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 March 2014.

Return to the Roxburghshire parish list.


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  • This page was last modified on 2 July 2015, at 15:07.
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