Borders Family History Society
Borders Family History Society, (BFHS), founded in 1985, is a research society which concentrates on the Scottish Borders region in south-eastern Scotland.
The Scottish Borders region comprises the ancient pre-1975 Border counties of Roxburghshire, Berwickshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire, as well as part of the former counties of Midlothian and Edinburghshire, and adjacent counties in England. They have map diagrams of the counties and their parishes.
They record monumental/gravestone/tombstone inscriptions, and research local social history, publishing the results in books and CDs; they also market other relevant genealogical publications.
They have an extensive library of books, microfiche, microfilms, CDs, family trees, and magazines from some other family history societies - catalogues of which are on their website.
The society encourages family historians to further their genealogical research by recording Surname Interests (free), viewing others' Queries and Surname Interests (currently 7,900 interests recorded - covering about 2,050 surnames), searching the indexes to their publications: the Gravestones Index covering over 3,800 distinct surnames, the Magazine Article Index with over 1200 different topics, the Family Trees Index (an index to family trees / pedigree charts) with over 4,100 distinct surnames, on their website.
To celebrate their silver jubilee (25 years old in September) they are holding a Family and Local History Fair and Conference on Saturday, 9 October 2010 from 10am to 4pm in the Corn Exchange & Ormiston Institute, Market Square, Melrose, TD6 9PN, Scotland. Admission is free and there are 16 exhibitors and 4 talks by well-known local speakers. More details on the Conference page and you can also book seats.
A team of volunteers are actively engaged in transcribing and indexing digitised Poor Law records for various Borders parishes for the period 1845 to 1933.
These records are about applications for poor relief made by people who were settled in a Borders parish, but not necessarily living there, and provide unique information about the applicants, their families and their life; thus it could help you track down a person’s previous or subsequent address if they moved away from their birth parish.
Similarly, they’ll also be of interest to people whose ancestors were not born in the Borders but may have lived or died in the Borders.
Details included in the index to the Poor Law Records comprise names, place of birth, age or date of birth, address, other family members, description of disablement, date of death, and there’s more information on the images themselves, including occupation, benefit received.
Members receive the 44 page Borders Family History Society Magazine three times a year, and discounts on the society's monumental inscriptions volumes and research service, as well as free access to GEDCOM family trees by email.
Enquirers can also carry out research in their Archive and Search Room (appointment recommended) or request them to do research for you. For part of the year they hold Sunday afternoon lecture meetings in Melrose and admission is free.
The Society is a member of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies and currently has over 800 members worldwide.