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Bringing your Ancestors from the Scottish Borders to life. How many interesting stories are waiting to be found about your Scottish ancestors? This video explains to those with Scottish Ancestry how Research Through People go about researching their ancestors and bringing them to life, using examples from the Scottish Borders. Discover your Scottish family lineage with professional genealogists and uncover a past that you never knew existed.

Scottish History, Heritage and Family Lineage

People ask us to uncover the story of their ancestors from a certain country such as Scotland. But, of course, they’re more precise than that. In this video, we look at personal examples of ancestry from the Scottish Borders, which has a unique identity compared to the rest of Scotland. We will talk about historical and other aspects of the times that your ancestors lived through; and use examples of walking in your ancestors’ footsteps to illustrate what’s involved in the research. Join the many others to have experienced family history uncovered by our professional genealogists Researching Ancestry and bringing history and your ancestors to life.

The History and Heritage of the Scottish Borders 

Scotland is a special country, and the Borders are the southern part near the border with England, which runs along the Cheviot Hills. Historically, they have also included Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire to the west. They are different to the parts to the north, with cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, then the Highlands and Islands with a different character again.  The Scottish Borders bore th brunt of the Wars of Independence fought against England in  the 13th and 14th centuries. Border Reivers would carry out armed raids against the English. Places like Hawick and Selkirk hold annual Common Ridings to this day, to commemorate their history. The Southern Upland Way runs east/west across the Scottish Borders. The Borders have a unique identity compared to the rest of Scotland. And if your ancestors came from, they will have been influenced by that unique identity.   

The Maxwell and Moffat Families of Edinburgh

The Maxwell and Moffat families were from Dumfriesshire in the 18th century. William Maxwell and his wife, Agnes Swan, had a son John who would marry Marion, daughter of Robert Moffat and Margaret Hastings. They all lived in Dumfriesshire – most people didn’t move a lot before the Industrial Revolution. Their son John Maxwell married Lilias Moffat in 1900, still in Dumfriesshire. 

Their occupations reflected living in a rural area – sawyer, then wood cutter. The house they lived in – Foresters Hall – is still there, much to the excitement of their descendants. 

Thomas Maxwell was a real character – here resplendent in full Scottish kilt, sporran and so on He was a gamekeeper and then became a grain miller. He had a very eventful life –    And was buried in Kirkton Church which is still there. 

The Whites and Kerrs of Roxburghshire

Now we’ll look at the Whites and Kerrs of Roxburghshire. This is where you find the similar sized towns of Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick and Melrose, close to English border. We traced the Whites and Kerrs back to the 18th century.  We’re using this example to talk about the traditional Scottish naming pattern. There were very strong traditions in the past for how you name your children. So, Thomas White is the first born son with his father’s father’s name. Margaret, the first daughter, is named after Margaret Bell. Second daughter, Mary White, is named after her father’s mother. William White, after William Kerr.  Third son George White is called that because he can’t be called Thomas as well as his eldest brother. You get families where the same name occurs for five or six generations. The pattern can be both helpful in identifying, yes, this is someone of that family, but also confusing where there are many generations with the same first name!   There are people from the Scottish Borders all over the world.

This gives you a flavour of what the Borders were like and what your ancestors’ lives may have been like. We have many videos that you can also watch our other videos/blogs about Your Ancestors from Glasgow, Ayrshire, Scotland, and many others. All set for your Scottish ancestral journey; navigate directly to our contact page and fill in your research query.