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Innerleithen

Peeblesshire map

Innerleithen Parish is situated in the County of Peebles being bounded on the north by the County of Midlothian and the Parish of Stow, on the east by the Parish of Caddonfoot, on the south by the Parish of Traquair and on the west by the Parishes of Peebles and Eddleston. Robert Smail's Printing Works is located in Innerleithen High Street. This preserved Victorian business includes a significant archive of business and private papers, including the records of a shipping agency run by RC Smail at the beginning of the 20th century. The town war memorial is the gardens in front of the former Burgh Chambers.

Historically the neighbouring village of Walkerburn was part of the parish of Innerleithen but a separate parish was established in the late 19th century. In 2000 both parishes became part of the Parish of Innerleithen, Traquair and Walkerburn. Walkerburn has its own war memorial alongside the A72.

Old Parish Records cover the periods:

  • Births: 1643-1681, 1706-1819 (Mothers' names are not recorded until 1761)
  • Marriages: 1642-1693, 1706-1819, 1820-1854
  • Deaths: 1706-1763, 1824-1854 (Mortcloth Dues recorded until 1763)
Church of Scotland, Innerleithen (formerly the Parish Church) Innerleithen Parish Church

Local Pictures

Sales List

See our sales list for full details and cost of postage.

Volumes available for consultation within our Archive

Magazine Articles

Please note that the heading Author includes persons who have compiled or transcribed records; and that the topics indexed, and the synopses are subjective opinions.
See the Sales List to buy copies of the magazines containing articles in which you're interested.


Title Synopsis Size Description Issue No Author
Innerleithen Poll Tax Roll, 1694An Innerleithen Poll Tax Roll, 1694; transcribed by John Ballantyne. Lots of people, their occupations, the rent values of their lands, and poll taxes due. A very useful and interesting document.7 pages or more 43John Ballantyne 
Archives at Robert Smailís Printing WorksA brief history of the famous Robert Smailís Printing Works at Innerleithen which was started in 1866, and about their wonderful archives.2 pages or more 67David Rudram 
Innerleithen ShopsSome background information on the CD 'Innerleithen Shops' compiled by Bobby Richardson and published by the Society.1 page or more 86Ronald Morrison 
Innerleithen ShopsInformation on the CD published by the Society on 'Innerleithen Shops' compiled by Bobby Richardson.1 page or more 87 
Historic and Photographic Glimpses of Old InnerleithenPromotion of the book 'Historic and Photographic Glimpses of Old Innerleithen' by Bobby Richardson published by the Society.less than 1 page 88 
Glimpses of Old Innerleithen and TraquairNotes on the book ' Glimpses of Old Innerleithen and Traquair' published by Innerleithen Civic Association in 1989, a copy of which has been acquired for the Society Archives.less than 1 page 97 
Cleikum Kist Volume 3Book review. Innerleithen community accounts by author Ted McKie. Copies available.less than 1 page 107Ross McGinn 
Innerleithen NewsBook review. Author: Thomas Dobson. "Reminiscences of Innerleithen and Traquair" published 1896. The author recalls life in Innerleithen and accounts passed down from his grandparents going back to Napoleonic times. Many individuals are mentioned in the summary. Also a mention of a recent CD published on Innerleithen Shops.1 page or more 107Ronald Morrison 
The Story of Caerlee Mill/Ballantyne SportswearBook review. Author: Fraser Simm. An introduction to the history of the Caerlee Mill Innerleithen, and the textiles innovation and influence in the Borders towns by the Ballantynes.1 page or more 108Ross McGinn 
Life at Pirn House InnerleithenReview of a book 'Life at Pirn House' Innerleithen by Alexander Grant Ferguson recalling life in the house in the early years of the 20th century.less than 1 page 92Marianne Morrison 
The Archives and Collections of Robert Smail's Printing WorksA summary of the Smail family and the development of the printing works in Innerleithen. John Smail arrived first and operated a woollen mill for several years before emigrating to Otago, to produce the first tweed in New Zealand. Robert arrived around 1857 setting up a small shop in Bond Street as a shoemaker, but also selling books and stationery. The arrival of the railway in 1866 an ambitious Robert branched out into printing like his brother Thomas in Jedburgh. He purchased a shop and workshop on High Street, run by the power from water wheels on the lade. The successful business was inherited by his 3 sons James, Robert Cowan and Adam James in 1890. Adam and James also worked as travelling salesmen in the Borders area. Robert Cowan's son inherited Cowan was the last generation to inherit the business, and was lucky to sell the works through the National Trust for Scotland through Maurice Richards who happened to visit Innerleithen. The archives contain historical local newspapers, shipping records, photographs, order (guard) books; a detailed inventory is close to completion at the tine of writing. Guided tours are available.4 pages or more 106Rachel May 
Glen House, InnerleithenAn account of the recording an indexing estate records by Society members and a short history on the house.1 page or more 81 
Family History RecordsAn archivist from the Heritage Hub in Hawick discusses a range of records that can be used to provide a fuller picture of our ancestors5 pages or more 70Juline Baird 
An Unexpected HomecomingAn Englishman migrates to the Borders when Riddell House changes hands. He marries a local lass with links to Innerleithen.2 pages or more 71David Rudram 
The Gatekeeper House, The Glen InnerleithenAn account of the genealogy of the Hume family who resided at The Gatekeeper House, The Glen Innerleithen.1 page or more 79 
Chrissie Aitken's StoryThe story of Chrissie, a survivor from the sinking of the S.S. Lusitania in 1914.2 pages or more 94Oliver Russell 
John White and Margaret BrownA summary of research into John "Jock" White and Margaret "Maggie" Brown born in Scotland, but lived in Hyde Park Massachusetts. Census records revealed John's father (John White Senior) was born at Needlehall, Galashiels, May 1852, near the Needle Ha' ford across the Tweed. Jock was brought up in Galashiels (Low Buckholmside per the 1861 census) and Maggie married in Innerleithen - both were power loom weavers. They, and 2 sons, and John Senior emigrated to the USA July 1884. Maggie's father was William Brown (born Yarrow 1827) and Jane Anderson (1816), with previous generations hailing from Peebles and Innerleithen.2 pages or more 105Jane Stephenson 
Innerleithen's All-BlackAn account by the author of how researching her Dickson line from Innerleithen, she traced an unknown descendant who had emigrated to New Zealand and played rugby for the 'All Blacks'.1 page or more 84Esther Davies 
Dalgleishs and Stoddarts of YarrowDescription of George McLauchlan's family from his paternal great grandparents Robert Dalgleish and Margaret Elliot from Yarrow, and Robert's step-family John Stoddart. The Dalgleish family were tenants at Fastheugh for over 100 years, and Robert's parents (Robert and Martha Muir were from Anaston. Martha married 3 times - Robert, John Stoddart (Williamhope) and Robert Curror (Hartwoodburn). Margaret Elliot was a direct descendant of Martin Elliot of Braidley. John and Martha had 3 children; John later married Helen Veitch (Innerleithen) and had 9 children.2 pages or more 103Marjorie McLauchlan 


Map of Innerleithen from UK Great Britain, Ordnance Survey one-inch to the mile (1:63,360), 'Hills' edition, 1885-1903
by kind permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Use the control at the top left of the map to zoom in or out and drag the map left, right, up, or down as you wish.


Map of Innerleithen from UK Ordnance Survey Historical Maps from 1919-1947
by kind permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Use the control at the top left of the map to zoom in or out and drag the map left, right, up, or down as you wish.

20 Most Common Surnames

The 20 most common surnames on gravestones recorded by us in the Innerleithen monumental inscriptions volume are (number of gravestones in brackets): LAING (151), SCOTT (52), TAIT (36), WILSON (36), SMITH (31), BALLANTYNE (28), THOMSON (27), ANDERSON (27), MATTHEWS (24), BROWN (22), ROBERTSON (20), SANDERSON (17), EUMAN (17), TURNER (17), RUSSELL (16), STEWART (16), DAVIDSON (15), TURNBULL (15), DOUGLAS (15), CURRIE (15).

Other Sources