In Scotland, the Poor Law was the means of providing food, accommodation, financial assistance and, latterly, care to those in need from the late 16th century onwards. There was a new Poor Law Act in 1845, which created a huge variety of records covering details on those who applied for assistance in specific areas, case studies, details on inspectors and much, much more. In many respects it saw the beginnings of local government, as we know it today. We’ve been transcribing the most important information from applications for relief and registers of the poor after 1845 in association with the Hawick Heritage Hub.
Apart from the obvious interest to the local historian, the publications open up a new horizon for the genealogist, providing details on peoples’ movement between the censuses, descriptions of illnesses suffered, domestic circumstances and more. Uniquely, the records provide details on people not born in the Borders but who lived or died there.
Although most of the people receiving relief lived in Galashiels, Melrose, or elsewhere in the parish of Melrose, some lived in other Borders localities: Clovenfords, Grantshouse, Hawick, Jedburgh, Redpath, Selkirk, St Boswells; in other parts of Scotland: Biggar, Dundee, East Duddingston, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Joppa, Macmerry, Murthly, Stirling, Stonehaven; or in England: Balsall Heath, Bournemouth, Cumberland.
The list of birthplaces is much larger, most of the applicants were born in an astonishingly wide variety of places in Britain or Ireland, but some were born in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Germany, India, Malta, or USA.
The information transcribed comprises names, place of birth, age or date of birth, address, other family members, description of disablement, date of death, and there’s more information on the images themselves, including occupation, benefit received.
You can see details of many people between the censuses, women’s maiden surnames, family details often not shown in the census, religion, and disabilities; and find people who moved away from their birthplace. If your family has lived here for 3 generations but you don’t know where they came from, these records may help you.
The Society has published the Poor Law records Melrose Parish in 3 volumes, each volume on a CD.
Each CD has chapters on Melrose parish – the historical context, English and Scottish Poor Law history, how it worked, using the Poor Law records, Dingleton asylum, duties of inspectors of the poor, a map of Melrose parish and a railway map, and the index to the Poor Law Records images contained on the CD, illustrations in the text, and digital images of the records transcribed, most of which have additional information.
|Melrose Parish Poor Law Records Contents (1884-1930 volume)|
Their surnames comprise Adams, Agnew, Aikman, Ainslie, Aitchison, Aitken, Alister, Allan, Anderson, Archer, Archibald, Armit, Armstrong, Askew, Atkinson, Auchincloss, Baillie, Bain, Ballantyne, Balmer, Barron, Bates, Bathgate, Beattie, Bell, Bennet, Bennett, Berry, Bishop, Black, Blackburn, Blackhall, Blair, Blyth, Boa, Bogg, Booth, Borthwick, Boston, Bower, Boyd, Bradley, Bradshaw, Braidie, Braidy, Bremner, Broad, Brockie, Brodie, Brogan, Broomfield, Brotherstone, Brown, Brownlee, Bruce, Brunton, Bryce, Brydon, Buchanan, Buist, Bunyan, Burn, Burns, Burrell, Burton, Cairns, Callaghan, Cameron, Campbell, Carey, Carlysle, Carmichael, Carnachan, Carr, Carruthers, Carson, Cartmill, Cassidy, Cavers, Chambers, Chapman, Charleston, Cheyne, Chisholm, Christie, Clark, Cleaver, Cleghorn, Clemiston, Clifford, Close, Closky, Cochrane, Cockburn, Coldwell, Colledge, Collier, Coltart, Colvin, Common, Connar, Connel, Conner, Connor, Conolley, Cook, Corcoran, Cormick, Cossar, Coulter, Cowan, Cowe, Craig, Craise, Cranston, Craw, Crawford, Crines, Crooks, Crosbie, Crossan, Cruden, Cruickshank, Culbert, Culbertson, Cunningham, Curle, Curran, Currie, Cuthbert, D'Agrosa, Dalgetty, Dalgleish, Dalgliesh, Danes, Danoir, Danvir, Darling, Darrie, Davidson, Dawson, Deans, Develin, Dewar, Dick, Dickson, Dinnany, Dobie, Dobson, Docherty, Dodds, Dods, Donachan, Donald, Donaldson, Donelly, Dorey, Douglas, Dowie, Downs, Doyles, Drawhill, Drummond, Dryden, Duncan, Duncanson, Dunlop, Dunn, Duthie, Edenton, Edgar, Egan, Elder, Elliot, Emmonds, Enterkin, Faed, Fairbairn, Fairgrieve, Fairley, Fairnie, Falla, Feely, Ferguson, Fernie, Ferries, Fiddes, Field, Finlay, Finlayson, Fitzpatrick, Fleming, Foggie, Foggs, Foley, Forbes, Ford, Forrest, Forson, Fortune, Fowler, Fraser, Frater, Freil, Friel, Fyfe, Galbraith, Gallocher, Galloway, Ganard, Ganyard, Garvie, Gavin, Gibson, Gilday, Gillespie, Gillies, Gillon, Gilmartin, Gilroy, Givan, Gladstone, Glen, Glover, Goldie, Goldsmith, Gordon, Gough, Graham, Grant, Gray, Green, Greenan, Grey, Grierson, Grieve, Griffen, Grossart, Grossert, Guthrie, Haig, Haldane, Haley, Hall, Halley, Halliday, Hally, Hamilton, Hanlon, Hannay, Hardie, Harkness, Harrison, Hart, Harvey, Hawkins, Hay, Helam, Henderson, Hendry, Henry, Hepburn, Herson, Hill, Hillock, Hislop, Hoban, Hobkirk, Hodson, Hogarth, Hogg, Holmes, Hood, Hope, Houstler, Howard, Hoyle, Huggan, Hughes, Hunter, Hutton, Imrie, Ingles, Inglis, Innes, Instant, Ireland, Irvine, Jackson, Jamieson, Jardine, Jenkinson, Jerdan, Jobblin, Johnston, Johnstone, Jollie, Jones, Keddie, Kelly, Kemp, Kempsell, Kennedy, Kerr, Kiernan, Killin, King, Knox, Laidlaw, Lamond, Lanerd, Larkin, Lauder, Laurie, Law, Lawrie, Lawson, Lawton, Learmonth, Lee, Leech, Lees, Leishman, Leitch, Lennie, Lennox, Leonard, Leslie, Lessels, Lever, Lidster, Lillico, Lillie, Lindsay, Lines, Linton, Little, Lockie, Loftus, Logan, Logree, Lowrie, Luke, Lumsden, Lunn, Lusky, Lynch, Lyons, Mabon, Mack, Mackay, Maginnies, Maguiness, Main, Maloney, Mann, Maquigan, Mark, Mars, Martin, Mather, Mathieson, Mathison, McAdam, McBryde, McCannon, McCardell, McCarron, McCorkindale, McDonald, McDougall, McEwan, McFayden, McFie, McGalvie, McGill, McGinn, McGlasson, McGlinty, McGowan, McGregor, McGrigor, McGuire, McInnes, McInspinte, McInspirit, McIvor, McKay, McKenna, McKingstree, McKinstrae, McLaren, McLauchlan, McLay, McLean, McLeish, McLeod, McLusky, McMichan, McMorran, McNab, McNair, McNamara, McNaulty, McNeill, McPartlan, McPheely, McPherson, McWilliams, Meenan, Meickle, Meikle, Mein, Melrose, Melville, Mercer, Middlemas, Middlemass, Miles, Millar, Miller, Milne, Mitchell, Moffat, Montague, Monteath, Monteith, Moran, Morris, Morrison, Morton, Mossman, Mowat, Mowbray, Muckersie, Muir, Mulvey, Munro, Murchison, Murphy, Murray, Neilson, Nevin, Nichol, Nicholson, Nicol, Nicoll, Nicolson, Nilson, Nisbet, Nixon, Noble, Norrie, O'Brien, O'Connell, O'Donnel, O'Donnell, O'Hara, O'Keefe, Oliver, O'Mailley, O'Neil, Ord, Ormiston, Orr, O'Shaughnessy, Ovens, Paisley, Parish, Parker, Paterson, Patterson, Peake, Peden, Phaup, Philipps, Philips, Phin, Piercy, Pirrie, Pittillo, Polson, Porteous, Porter, Pow, Preston, Pringle, Proudfoot, Pryde, Punton, Purvis, Quinn, Rae, Raeburn, Rankin, Rattray, Redpath, Regan, Reid, Reilly, Rennie, Renny, Renton, Renwick, Reynolds, Richardson, Riddell, Rigley, Robertson, Robson, Romanes, Ross, Rule, Russell, Rutherford, Ruthven, Saddler, Sanderson, Sandis, Schick, Scott, Scougal, Scoular, Screen, Sell, Semple, Sharp, Sheach, Shieils, Shiel, Shields, Shiell, Shiells, Shillinglaw, Short, Shortreed, Sibbald, Simpson, Simson, Sinclair, Sinton, Sked, Skeldon, Skellin, Skelling, Skirving, Slater, Smail, Small, Smellie, Smith, Smith Knox, Sneddon, Snowden, Solan, Somers, Sornbay, Spence, Spiers, Spott, Sprott, Stavert, Steele, Stenhouse, Stevenson, Stewart, Stirling, Story, Stott, Stuart, Sullivan, Sunderland, Sutherland, Swan, Swanston, Sweeny, Swinton, Symington, Tait, Taylor, Temple, Thin, Thomson, Thorburn, Tilly, Tinlin, Tocher, Tolmie, Tosh, Trenchard, Trotter, Tucker, Tully, Turnbull, Turner, Vair, Vallance, Veitch, Von, Waddell, Waite, Walker, Wallace, Wanlass, Ward, Warrick, Waters, Watson, Watt, Wayness, Weatherston, Weir, Welsh, Whillans, White, Wight, Wightman, Wilcox, Wilkie, Williams, Williamson, Wilson, Winning, Winton, Wintrup, Wishart, Wood, Woodend, Woods, Wright, Wylie, Wynne, Wyse, Young, Yule.
Search for people.
The CDs are priced at £12 each or £22 for two different volumes, or £30 for the set of 3; all plus postage. Two other CD volumes were published last year, Jedburgh Parish 1852-1874 and Jedburgh Parish 1875-1893, both priced at £12, £22 for the pair, plus postage.
CDs can be purchased directly from us via our Contacts page using the contact type ‘Order for Publications’.