Merton, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Merton. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
MERTOUN, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 4½ miles (E. S. E.) from Melrose. This parish is situated in the south-western extremity of the county, and bounded on the south and west by the river Tweed. The church of Mertoun belonged to the canons of Dryburgh till the Reformation. The present building, erected in 1658, and repaired in 1820, is pleasantly situated in the midst of a grove, but stands inconveniently both for the minister and parishioners, being a mile from the manse and about the same distance from the centre of the parish.
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 Scotland Census Records.
Click here[low quality link] to see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Merton, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841 and 1851 census surname index for Merton. Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwickshire county page.
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 the separate indexes through the library.
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
|Event Type||Years Covered||FHL Film Number|
|Births:||1729-1854||1067902 item 6-7|
|Marriages:||1737-1855||1067902 item 6-7|
|Deaths:||1784-1854||1067902 item 6-7|
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: A duplicate of the record for June 1737–March 1756 is recorded after 1819. Mothers’ names are not recorded in entries until August 1774.
Marriages: There are no entries August 1753–July 1756, December 1756–May 1758, and November 1795–March 1799.
Deaths: There is only one entry for 1803 during June 1795–November 1806.
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:
Minutes 1697–1766, 1845–1849, 1853–1919
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/484.
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 List.
There are no known records.
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.
Merton 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-names' 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-names' 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. 244-255. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 April 2014.
Return to the Berwickshire parish list.