Morebattle, Roxburghshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Morebattle. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
MOREBATTLE and MOW, a parish in the district of Kelso, county of Roxburgh; 7½ miles (S. S. E.) from Kelso. The name of Morebattle is supposed to have been derived from the Saxon words Mere, "a marsh," and Botl, "a hamlet," descriptive of its state in former times, when it seems to have been to a considerable extent under water. The church, situated on the north side of the village, was built in 1750, and seats 450 persons: it was originally dedicated to St. Lawrence, from whom a well below the churchyard is still called Lawrie's well. There are places of worship belonging to the Free Church and United Secession.
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 Morebattle. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Morebattle.
Below is information for any known surname indexes:
|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 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 indexes through the library.
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 Film Number|
|Births:||1726-1855||1067950 item 4-5|
|Deaths;||1727-1736||1067950 item 4-5|
Condition of Original Registers
Indexed: 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: There are no entries February 1739–December 1760 and irregular entries are frequent after 1800. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1776.
Marriages: Only transcribed entries of consignation money. No entries March 1736–June 1809. There are, however, references to irregular marriages January 1808–August 1817.
Deaths: Transcribed entries of Mortcloth Dues.
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:
No pre–1855 records.
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.
Morebattle Gateshaw Associate Session Church
Disagreement between the heritors, the elders, and the families of the parish as to the appointment of a new minister to the Established Church, caused a number of the congregation to withdraw and apply to the Associate Presbytery for supply of sermon. Their request was eventually granted in February 1736 and Morebattle shared ministry with Stitchel, though it was not until October 1739 that a minister was settled. After the death of the first minister in 1740, Morebattle and Stitchell were disjoined and supplied with sermon as separate congregations. A portion of the congregation, along with the minister, adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod at the Breach in 1747. A church was built at Gateshaw in 1749, a second built at Morebattle in 1780. A third church was built in 1866.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.
Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms 1775–1819, 1821–1866, 1900–1907 0889486
Marriages 1775–1783 0889486
Minutes 1775–1808, 1811–1907
Receipts for Stipend 1815–1832
Account Book Containing Receipts for Payment of Rent and for Duty of Place Gateshaw, St. Lawrence Hall, 1753–1933
Congregational and Managers' Minutes 1822–1913
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/520.
Morebattle Free Church
The congregation was begun by a small company who adhered to the Free Church in 1842. Occasional supply of sermon was granted by the Presbytery. For a time they worshiped in the open air, at the farmstead of Heughhead. A church was built in 1845, mainly through the efforts of the people themselves, and that year the charge was sanctioned. The congregation suffered through rural depopulation.
Membership: 1842, 128; 1900, 159.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.
Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms and Marriages 1847–1854 0889486
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1847–1905
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/526.
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.
Morebattle 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 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 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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 272-294. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 March 2014.
Return to the Roxburgshire parish list.