The latest Borders Family History Society magazine is on its way to members around the world. Now published three times a year, members may choose to receive a hardcopy of the magazine by post or an electronic version by email.

The magazine was started in 1985 and issued to the 48 founding members of the Society. The first article was a transcription of the Inaugural Lecture by Donald Whyte on Basic Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History.

Even though the way we access the records for our research has changed since then, the advice given was just the same as we would give now – find the sources you have at home and in the family – Proclamations of Banns, funeral intimations, baptism certificates, photographs, certificates, diaries and prepare an initial outline of the family members.

If we had managed to identify our ancestors who lived in the 16th century, two further articles in the magazine may have been of interest – Monipenny’s List of the Border Clans in 1597 which referred to non-landed families and the Border Treaties of Assurance, of 1544.

One article in our latest magazine, on the Grieves of Duns, clearly demonstrates the differences in researching family history 40 years later when the restrictions imposed during Covid allowed only remote access.

Using only online sources from Scotland's People, the British Newspaper Archive and the National Library of Scotland, the author has recorded several generations, and the financial fortunes, of a family using Testaments.

These documents can reveal much about the lives, trades and occupations of the deceased as the contents of their house, shop or farm may be listed in detail and values attached.

Also in the magazine, an article on Bill McLaren – the Voice of Rugby, reminds us of the impact of his wartime experiences, his teaching career and the instant impact he had on millions who welcomed him into their living rooms when watching televised rugby matches.

A reconstruction of his study and exhibition of other artefacts is planned for Hawick Museum from March to June and will be a worthwhile visit for anyone interested in Scottish and worldwide rugby. Personal recollections of the village of Birgham in the 1940’s also feature in the magazine.

Reminiscing about the people of the village, the author describes the shops, shopkeepers and tradesmen who formed the unique local community and economy in a Berwickshire village during the years of World War II.

Among other articles is a look at the Elliston estate which lies to the west of St Boswells. This article is another example of how the use of online resources can trace the history of a house, farm or estate.

Our family stories are enhanced by an understanding of where they lived, how they lived and sometimes, who the neighbours were.

The Society thanks everyone who has shared their in-depth research and their fascinating family stories with members of Borders Family History Society.

There is a searchable catalogue of published articles on our website