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Historical Sources

A detail of the various books, documents, articles, photographs, post cards, maps etc held by the Society can be viewed in our Archive page.

All archive material is available for borrowing /consultation by all members of the Society. Anyone wishing to do so should get in touch with the Society Secretary

The following is a very partial list of the very many books, magazines and documents relating to the History of Duns. We have added so far as we are aware a note of where each of these can be viewed as follows;

This list will be by no means exhaustive (particularly in regard to the records held by Scottish Borders Archives).


      DHS = Our own Archives at Duns History Society

      DL = Duns Library

      HUB = Scottish Borders Archives, The Hub, Hawick

      BFHS =Borders Family History Society Archive -contact


The Secretary should be delighted to hear from anyone who is able to add to this list or advise other sources for access.



Duns Dings A' by R. G. Johnson 1953  DHS.DL.BFHS.
The Street of Duns by William Renton published by the Berwickshire News. DHS.DL.BFHS.
Berwickshire High School - a Century Recalled 1896-1996 by William Anderson.DHS.DL.BFHS.
Pre 1855 Memorial Inscriptions of Berwickshire by David Cargill.     DHS.DL.BFHS.

C.D. The Churches and Churchyards of Berwickshire by James Robson 1896.     DHS.DL.BFHS.
The Churches and Churchyards of Berwickshire by G.A.C. Binnie.1995.     DHS.DL.BFHS.
Index to Particular Register of Sasines for Berwickshire.       DL. BFHS.
Rutherford's Southern Counties Register and Directory 1867.      DHS.DL.BFHS.
Cumledge Chronicle by Jock Wilson-Smith 2004.       DHS.DL.BFHS. 
Polish Soldiers in the Borders 1942 to the present time by Bridget McEwan 2006.    DHS. DL. HUB.
The Advertiser Directory of Berwickshire 1938.   BFHS.
The Road to Riot by Anne Gordon.              HUB.
The History of Berwickshire's Towns and Villages.                      DL. HUB.
Historic Duns - the archaeological implications by Anne Turner.   DHS.DL.HUB.  
The Family of Hay of Duns Castle by Francis H Hay.                  DL.HUB.
Duns Football Club - gone but not forgotten by Colin G Pike 2009.                DHS.
Annual Report on the Health and Sanitary Conditions for the County of Berwick 1936 by A McWhan    DL.
Duns Old Parish Church Quotations by members of the Women's Guild and their Friends 1934             DHS.DL
The Covenanters of the Merse as found in the records of that time by Rev J Wood Brown M.A. 1893.     DL.
An Essay on the contents and Virtues of Dunse Spaw (Spa) by Francis Home M.D. 1751.                      DL.
The Commissariot Records of Lauder 1561 to 1800 (edited by Francis J Grant W.S).                            DL.
The Charterhall Story by J. B. Thompson 1989.                                                                   DHS.DL.
A record and report on the Watson Collection with added notes by Grace A Elliot 1959-1965 DL.
Nisbet of that Ilk by Robert Chancellor Nesbitt 1941                                                            DL.
The Swintons of that Ilk and their Cadets by A.C. Swinton 1883                                            DL.
The Family of Hay of Duns Castle (with genealogy) DL.
The Diary of the Rev John Hastie, minister Edrom 1797 to 1822 transcribed by Ronald Morrison DHS.DL.BFHS.
Minute Books of the Bailie of the Barony of Dunse 1753 to 1800 transcribed by Ronald Morrison DHS.DL.BFHS. 




Berwickshire Naturalists Club;

A complete set of the transactions of the Berwickshire Naturalist Club is held both at Duns Library and at The Hub. The Society holds copies of the volumes containing those articles marked with an asterisk. Borders Family History Society also holds several volumes.

  • Vol 8 Charter by James 1V.

  • Vol 14 Duns by J Ferguson.

  • Vol. 14 Duns Tolbooth.

  • Vol. 14 Notable men.

  • Vol. 16. Ministers.

  • Vol. 16 Shoemakers' regulations.

  • Vol. 16 Game of Ball.

  • Vol. 16 Old View of Castle.

  • Vol. 19 Duns - its owners.

  • Vol. 26 1544 Raid and Burning.

  • Vol. 29 Covenanters at Duns Law.

  • Vols. 29 and 34 Duns Scotus.

  • Vol. 31 Christ Church Bell*.

  • Vol. 31 Extract of Records by G. A. Falconer.*

  • Vols. 33* and 38 Charter.

  • Vol. 33 Extract from Records of Skinners and Glovers by R. G. Johnson*.

  • Vol. 35 Raecleugh visited.*

  • Vol. 36 Ministers of the 17th. century*.

  • Vol. 37 Feuars of Duns.

  • Vol. 37 Gourlay's Wynd.

  • Vol. 37 Duns Trade Records.

  • Vol. 38 Borthwick Peel visited.

  • Vol. 38 Historical Diary of James Watson writer Duns 1780 to 1868 (contains a pedigree of the Watson family) by Miss G. A. Elliot.*

  • Vol. 38 Wedderburn Burial Aisle.

  • Vol. 38 Wellnage Garden.

  • Vol. 39 Duns Spa.

  • Vol. 40 Parish School.

  • Vol. 41 Linen Bleach Fields and the sale of linen.

  • Vol. 46 A History of the Churches in the Presbytery of Duns.

  • Vol.46 The Cholera Epidemic of 1832 in Duns and the Borders by Mrs. Sheila Romanes -

  • Vol 47 Dr. John Brown 1735 to 1787 by Dr. Brian Sproule.

  • Vol 47 Castles of the Cockburns by L. H. Cleat - a history of the family's ownership of Langton Castle, Cockburn Tower, Borthwick Castle and Langton Tower.


Other Articles;

  • The Macks of Ninewar 1752 to 1800 by E.O. Hooton.    DHS. BFHS

  • The Hiring Fair by Rachel Weir published by The Southern Annual 1961    DHS BFHS

  • Who am I? - History of the Cockburns from Duns parish - also looks into the history of Edinshall Broch by Andrew Cockburn.     BFHS

  • Cockburns face to face - (Cockburns and their likeness which seems to have been the great asset of this family) by Anne Cockburn.    BFHS

  • Extracts from Dunse Barony Records - Extracts from the author's book, Dunse Barony Records, in the 1760s by Ronald Morrison     BFHS

  • The Ainslies--Some notes - The name Ainslie, from 1066 onwards, a full and detailed family history by Violet Jardine.     BFHS


  • Duns Monumental Inscriptions Vol. 17 Berwickshire (contains Hearth Tax, Militia List, lists of Ministers of various churches, the monumental inscriptions of the Parish Church burial ground and memorial plaques, Christ Church (in Teindhillgreen) burial ground and war memorials, Duns War Memorial, War Memorial 1914 -1919, Roll of Honour, and indexes to the surnames in the inscriptions for both the burial grounds). - available to purchase from Borders Family History Society price £9.

  • Duns Dings A' - a recording featuring local artists released in 1990 to mark the granting of the 500th. anniversary of the granting of the Town's Charter. (available to purchase price £5)

  • Slater's Directory of Berwickshire 1903.

  • County Directory of Scotland 1912 - Borders Towns and Villages.

School Records held at Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, the Hub Hawick;

  • Duns Boston Free Church School Log Book 1864-1880 ref; B/ED/2/12.

  • Duns Parish School Log Books 1864-1880 ref; B/ED/2/ 12-13

  • Duns Boys Evening School Log Book 1873-1877 ref; B/ED/2/14.

  • School Admission registers 1889 to 1898 ref; B/ED/3/51.

  • School admission registers 1879 to 1960 ref; B/ED/3/1-3.

  • Millburn Evening School Log Book 1897 to 1902 ref; B/ED/2/39.

  • Millburn School admission registers, log books etc. 1877 to 1983 ref; B/ED/15/1-3.

Records held by The Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh

Boston Free Church;

  • Minutes 1843 to 1863.

  • Communion Roll 1843 to 1855 ref; CH3/.

Records of the Duns Branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland 1871 -1931 - ref GD342.

Also the following MAPS;

  • 1825 Windshield Oatlee, Cleuch and Cockburn - ref RPH 1760.

  • 1849 Cockburn - ref RPH 2587.


Second Statistical Account by the Rev. George Cunninghame. (click 'browse scanned pages' and type in Dunse.)


RCHAMS website Scotland's Places contains details of;

  Farm Horse tax 1797-1798.
  Medical Officer's of Health Reports 1891.
  Land Ownership Commission Report 1872 -1873.

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