Smailholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Smailholm. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
SMAILHOLM, a parish, in the county of Roxburgh, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Kelso. This place, of which the name is variously written Smalham, Smalholm, and Smailholm, is chiefly distinguished for its tower, a spacious square building supposed to have been a border fortress, and the remains of which still exist. The village consists of three divisions, called respectively the East Third, the West Third, and Overtown. The church, which is conveniently situated, appears to have been erected about the year 1632, as a stone removed from the building while undergoing repairs bore that date, with the inscription Soli. Deo. Gloria; it has accommodation for 300 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 Smailholm. 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 Smailholm.
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:||1648-1854||1067951 item 5-6|
|Marriages:||1701-1760, 1783-1858||1067951 item 5-6|
|Deaths:||1784-1855||1067951 item 5-6|
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 be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: No entries November 1673–August 1700, except nine, 1665–1702 and July 1711–January 1713. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1721.
Marriages: No entries December 1718–June 1721, August 1722–June 1724, August 1725–June 1727 and November 1728–August 1732, except one. There are no entries for 1747 and 1752 and no entries November 1759–November 1783.
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 and Accounts 1700–1778
Accounts 1701–1712, 1776–1933
Roll of Male Heads of Families 1835–1741
New Communicants 1843–1933
Poors’ Fund Accounts 1844–1887
List of Elders 1816–1881
Visitation Book 1849–1856
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1322.
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.
Smailholm 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 Roxburg and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Pebbles.
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. 467-489. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 March 2014.
Return to the Roxburghshire parish list.