The History of Yetholm

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Name – originally there was a route through the hills to England, so Yetholm was the ‘place at the gate’, from the old Scots ‘yett’ meaning a gate, and ‘holm’ or ‘ham’ the Anglo-Saxon for a settlement.

Graveyard Record – Recorded by the Borders Family History Society in their ‘Roxburghshire Monumental Inscriptions III’. The 2nd Edition contains the extension graveyard as well as the original.

Places of Interest – Kirk Yetholm is at the north end of the Pennine Way, and for many years those who had travelled the whole route and who could produce a copy of Alfred Wainwright’s Guide could claim a free half pint.

St Cuthbert’s Way also passes through Yetholm, on its way from Melrose to Lindisfarne.

The War Memorial is situated at the roadside half way between the two villages.

The Wauchope Memorial is on Town Yetholm Green.

The Gypsy Memorial stands on Kirk Yetholm Green.

The Yetholm Gypsies have made the village famous throughout the world. The Faa and Blythe groupings were the dominant families in British Gypsy culture throughout the past three hundred years. Although gypsy blood still courses through many local veins, the discreet family links have died out as the members have intermarried with the locals. The Baillie, Tait, Douglas, Young, Gordon and Blyth families all have blood links with the gypsy families of the past.
The former ‘Gypsy Palace’ is just off Kirk Yetholm Green, on the road to Halterburn. Once the home of the King of the Gypsies, it is now a private house.

People Bearing the Name Yetham or Yethame
Adam of Yetham is a witness to charters in the reigns of William the Lion and Alexander II.
Reginald of Yetham appears about the same time.
William of Yetham lived in 1296, as he appears in the Ragman’s Rolls.
William of Yetham received a letter of safe passage to enter England from Edward II in 1320.
William of Yethame was archdeacon of Teviotdale between 1321 and 1326.
Famous People Associated
Major-General Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie
Rev John Baird – gypsophile and supporter of education for the travelling people
Dr Scott of Thirlestane – physician to King Charles II
Jean Gordon – the inspiration for Meg Merrilees in Walter Scott’s ‘Guy Mannering’- was born in Yetholm.
Jake Harvey – internationally acclaimed sculptor – born and brought up in Yetholm. Now lives and works in Maxton and Edinburgh
Rev Robert Story of Rosneath – father of Professor Herbert Story.
Andrew Thomson – famous in Australia, infamous in Yetholm!
Sir Henry Francis Oliver – Admiral of the Fleet.


Published by Clan Carruthers Society - USA

We are all passionate about where we came from and where we're going. We set this website/blog up so we can all share our family stories along with the history for future generations.

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