Unearthing a stone relic near Melrose in 1864

Another newspaper report re the ancestors, this time concerning a possibly pre-Reformation church arch unearthed near Melrose, suspected to be from either Melrose Abbey or Newstead.

Viv's Ancestry Blog

Southern Reporter, 1864 February 4


On Monday afternoon, while Mr Alex. Dodds, Abbey Gate, was superintending the draining operations which are now going on upon the fair-ground at Bowden Moor, he discovered a piece of carved sandstone which had been thrown up by the workmen, and which he has now in his possession. It has evidently been the groin of an arch, with the carving in wonderful preservation, and probably belonged either to the Abbey of Melrose, or the one of Red Abbeystead at Newstead. From the situation in which it was found, it is supposed that it may have been embedded in the soil since the era of the Reformation, or even an earlier date.

Again this involved my great-great-great grandfather Alexander Dodds (1816-1877), church officer or beadle for Melrose, as well as burgh officer and baron officer.

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Ancestors recording meteorological observations in 19th century

I found out tonight that two of my direct ancestors – a father and son – recorded weather conditions in 19th century Melrose. Here’s the blog post which I wrote about it on my own dedicated ancestry/genealogy blog.

Viv's Ancestry Blog

Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive digitising many decades of Southern Reporter issues, I’ve just found lots of references to ancestors in the Borders. And they include some very unexpected ones, like those described in this blog post, where two generations of Dodds ancestors at Abbey Gate in Melrose were recording the weather conditions, with the results printed in the newspaper.

The first references come from meteorological observations made by Alexander Dodds (1816-1877). As well as being church officer, or beadle, for Melrose parish, he was burgh officer and baron officer, and took a wage directly from the Duke of Buccleuch. His weather observations were reported as below:

Southern Reporter, 1873 January 9


The following return of the rainfall for the past year, compared with that of the previous year, is furnished by Mr Alexander Dodds, Abbey Gate. The elevation of Melrose above the sea level is…

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