Bunkle and Preston, Berwickshire, Scotland Church Records
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Buncle or Bunkle and Preston. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
BUNKLE and PRESTON, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 5 miles (N. N. E.) from Dunse. The name of this place is derived from the Celtic word bon, signifying the foot or base, and kill, a cell or chapel; the word Preston, if of Saxon origin, would signify Priest-town, or the town of the priests, but some derive it from the Gaelic term Preas, a thicket, and tun, a town or farm. When the ancient parishes of Bunkle and Preston were united, about the year 1714, public worship was performed in each alternately, till, at length, both churches needing repair, that of Bunkle was chosen, as most suitable for the joint population; it is a neat edifice, rebuilt in 1820, on the old site, and capable of accommodating 400 persons.
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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.
A census record is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.
Click here[low quality link] to see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Buncle and Preston, as well as the catalog entry for the years 1841,1851 and 1881 surname index for Buncle and Preston. Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwickshire county page.
The 1841-1911 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. with images. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1911, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library. Census indexes from 1841-1911 are becoming available at www.findmypast.co.uk and www.ancestry.co.uk.
The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.
Established Church—Old Parochial Registers
|Years Covered||Family History Library Film Number|
|Births:||1704–1854||1067865 item 4–6|
|Marriages:||1704–1854||1067865 item 4-6|
Condition of Original Registers—
Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: Entries are frequently out of chronological order 1803–1810. Mothers’ names are not recorded until August 1761. See also the Kirk Session records below.
Marriages: Prior to December 1722, there are separate entries of proclamations and marriages. After that date the entries are usually proclamations only. See also the Kirk Session records below.
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 Kirk session was made up of he 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:
|Years Covered||Family History Library Call Number|
|Kirk session records||1665-1976|
|Baptisms and marriages||Oct 1684–June 1690||FHL book 941.455/B1 K2m|
This book for Baptisms and Marriages 1684-1690 can be purchased through www.maxwellancestry.com
NOTE: Original records available at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh, record CH2/1167/3.
Nonconformist Church Records
There are no known records. In 1834, about 50 families of seceders/dissenters within the parish attended church in the parish of Dunse.
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 onScotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.
Buncle and Preston was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Lauder until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Duns. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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' of Berwick and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Lauder.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Berwick. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Berwick and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 151-163. Adapted. Date accessed: 28 March 2014.
Return to the Berwickshire Parish List.