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Berwickshire - Main Page

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Berwickshire Main Page

Historic County of Scotland

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// to People Connected to Berwickshire //

This is the Umbrella project for Berwickshire

Berwickshire - Famous People
Historic Buildings of Berwickshire
Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries and Graveyards
People Connected to Berwickshire To follow
Berwickshire Burials
Berwickshire Genealogical Resources
Historic Berwickshire

Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is one of the ancient counties of Scotland, and is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. Between 1890 and 1975 it had a county council for local government purposes. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed— but the royal burgh changed hands in 1482, subsequently becoming part of the county of Northumberland, in England. The county's administration was then conducted at Duns or Lauder until Greenlaw became the county town in 1596. When a county council was established in 1890 the county town once more became Duns, where the former county's Sheriff Court still sits, and where the Scottish Borders Council still maintains a principal set of offices.

The county was sometimes referred to as Duns-shire or Dunsshire during the Victorian period and after which reflected the fact that Duns had become the county town.

  • Administrative centre
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed (historic)
  • Greenlaw (1596–1890)
  • Duns (modern)
  • Chapman County Code - BEW
  • Famous for:
  • Landmarks and Places of Interest
  • Area 1,184 (457 sq mi)
  • Population
  • Succeeded by

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 that abolished the local government county incorporated its area into the Borders Region. The region existed from 1975 until 1996, and was divided into four districts, one of which was named Berwickshire. The Berwickshire District area was not identical with the county area however: the burgh of Lauder and most of the county's West District were included in Ettrick and Lauderdale, while the parish of Nenthorn was made part of Roxburgh District. Berwickshire District Council's headquarters remained in Duns.

Berwickshire, a maritime county, in the southeast of Scotland, bounded on the north by the German Sea and Haddingtonshire; on the east and north-east, by the German Sea; on the south by the river Tweed, which separates it from the English counties of Durham and Northumberland; and on the west and south-west, by the counties of Edinburgh and Roxburgh.

The county was originally inhabited by the Ottadini; after the Roman invasion, it formed part of the province of Valentia, and though not the site of any station of importance, it is intersected by several Roman roads. After the departure of the Romans from Britain, this part of the country was continually exposed to the predatory incursions of the Saxons, by whom, about the middle of the sixth century, it was subdued, and annexed to the kingdom of Northumbria, of which it continued to form part till the year 1020, when it was ceded to Malcolm II., King of Scotland, by Cospatrick, Earl of Northumberland, whom that monarch made Earl of Dunbar.

The Ancient Parishes Berwickshire

Parishes in Berwickshire have changed and evolved over the centuries: some parishes have changed name and others have been absorbed into one or more other parishes.

The list of parishes on the main Berwickshire county page lists the well-known Church of Scotland parishes in existence by 1855. Some of these parishes were themselves very ancient, but others were of more recent origin. Below are the ancient parishes which had "vanished" by 1855, either through a simple change of name, or the parish being absorbed into one or more other parishes. As this list may not be complete, GENUKI welcomes comments or additions.

Each entry in the list gives the name of an ancient parish and the name of the parish(es) which replaced it.

  • Auldcambus - see Cockburnspath
  • Bassendean - see Westruther
  • Ellam - see Longformacus
  • Ercildoune - see Earlston
  • Fishwick - see Hutton
  • Horndean - Ladykirk
  • Lamberton - see Mordington
  • Laverock - see Coldingham
  • Lennel - see Coldstream
  • Old Cambus - see Cockburnspath
  • Strafontain - see Abbey St Bathans
  • Upsettlington - Ladykirk



  • Abbey St Bathans
  • Ayton
  • Bunkle & Preston
  • Channelkirk
  • Chirnside
  • Cockburnspath
  • Coldingham
  • Coldstream
  • Cranshaws
  • Duns
  • Earlston
  • Eccles
  • Edrom
  • Eyemouth
  • Fogo
  • Foulden
  • Gordon
  • Greenlaw
  • Hutton
  • Ladykirk
  • Langton
  • Lauder
  • Legerwood
  • Longformacus
  • Mertoun
  • Mordington
  • Nenthorn
  • Polwarth
  • Simprim
  • Swinton
  • Westruther
  • Whitsome

Further information about these parishes is available at About Borders Family History Society

If you have Berwickshire connections please join the project.

Getting Involved

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To join the project use the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page.


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