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Help and advice for Morebattle

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"A small parish in the county of Roxburgh, lying at the foot of the Cheviot hills, and watered by the rivulets Bowmont and Kail, both of which fall into the Tweed. The village of Morbattle, which contains about 200 inhabitants, lies about 8 miles E. from Jedburgh, and 7 S. from Kelso. There are the remains of several encampments, and the ruins of Corbet House and Whitton Castle still shew they have been places of great extent and strength. Population in 1801, 785."

From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.


The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of Morebattle monumental inscriptions.



Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.


Presbyterian / Unitarian
Morebattle, Church of Scotland

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Morebattle area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

A 19th century account of the history of Morebattle parish can be read online.

Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:

  • Free Church
  • United Presbyterian Church

Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory of Scotland published in 1837 lists the following non-conformist churches in the parish:

  • United Secession

There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.

According to Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) a Free Church congregation was formed here in 1843, worshipping for a time in the open air at Heughhead farmstead before the church was built in 1845. The 1848 membership of this congregation was 128; in 1900 it was 158.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1726. These are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world.

Registers for a number of non-conformist Morebattle churches are available in LDS family history centres around the world. These include the Free Church (christenings for 1847-1854) and the Gateshaw Associated Session (christenings for 1775-1866, 1900-1907; marriages for 1775-1783).


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.


Description and Travel

See the Morebattle Village site.

A short article on Morebattle's geography and history was printed in the March 1992 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine, written by Elspeth Ewan. The society's booklet of monumental inscriptions also contains a short article about the parish.

You can see pictures of Morebattle which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Morebattle to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


1868, Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published by A. Fullarton and Co

"The present parish of Morebattle comprehends the ancient parishes of Morebattle and Moll or Mow. Merebotle, which is the old orthography of the name, means, in Anglo-Saxon, 'the dwelling place at the marsh', and alludes to the ancient circumjacency of marshy ground at the site of the village. The church of Merebotle belonged in some manner to the cathedral of Glasgow so early as the 12th century, but was the subject of sharp controversy as to the right to its temporalities ... There were anciently two chapels int he parish, - the one at Clifton on Bowmont-water, the other at Whitton, now called Nether-Whitton. The Moll - meaning in the British 'a bare, bald or naked hill' - included the highest grounds, or southern and south-eastern parts of the parish. See the article Moll."
This reference was found in volume II, pp 462-463
"MOLL, an ancient parish, now comprehended in Morebattle, on the eastern border of Roxburghshire. It comprises the upper part of the basin of Bowmont-water, adjacent to the English border, 12 miles south-south-east of Kelso. The church and village of Moll stood upon the Bowmont; and there is even now, on the banks of that mountain-stream, a hamlet, commonly known by the corrupted name of Mow-haugh; and a little lower may be seen the ruins of Mow-kirk."
The entry for Moll appeared on page 430 of the same volume


The Morebattle Village site includes information about the history of Morebattle parish, including the ancient parish of Mow or Molle.

History of Morebattle and District was published by the S.W.R.I. in 1966, full of information about Morebattle and Linton history, as well as a number of old photos.

In 1999 the Morebattle Millennium Committee produced Kalewater: A Miscellany. Although not strictly a history book (or indeed a guidebook) the compilers hope the book gives an insight into life in the Kale valley in the past and present. Its ISBN is 095376320X.

Language and Languages

Rudolf Zai's The phonology of the Morebattle dialect (East Roxburghshire) (277 pages) was published at Lucerne in 1942.



Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

  • 1755 - 789
  • 1801 - 785
  • 1811 - 953
  • 1821 - 1070
  • 1831 - 1055
  • 1841 - 1051
  • 1861 - 1031
  • 1881 - 1003
  • 1901 - 779
  • 1921 - 774
  • 1931 - 719
  • 1951 - 680
  • 1961 - 596


The Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre has an admission register for Mowhaugh Public School covering the years 1873-1943 (reference R/ED/3/30). They also have Mowhaugh Log Book for the years 1923-1945 (reference R/ED/2/65).


In the 1690s a tax was levied by Parliament on every hearth in Scotland. Both landowners and tenants had to pay this tax and are therefore recorded in the records which were kept at the time. A transcript of the hearth tax records for Morebattle parish (NRS reference E69/21/1) is included with the list of monumental inscriptions published by the Borders Family History Society.

Most taxation records are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.