This Excise Record Book was found at Harden Cottage by Tom Tokeley's daughters Diane & Yvonne and passed on to YHS. It is not known how it came into Tom’s possession! There are entries for several Roxburghshire* parishes, but only those for Yetholm are herein transcribed.
The Excise Surveyor who created the book was George Rodgers. As with the Yetholm Militia Book, the Yetholm entries have been transcribed by Margaret Rustad. In this case, the transcription takes the form of an Excel spread sheet, which can be read by clicking on the button below.
Many of the names that appear in the Excise Book are also to be found in the Yetholm Militia Club Book - HERE. Together the the two volumes gives a very detailed picture of the Heads of Household (mainly male) and their occupations, as well as other significant figures, in the life of the village in the 1820s and 1830s. It is interesting that men from the gipsy community of Kirk Yetholm are evident in the Excise Book - for example see 40. Matthew Blyth, Mugger, Kirk Yetholm; 41. David Blythe, senior, Kirk Yetholm; 44. John Blyth, Mugger, Kirk Yetholm; 51. Charles Blyth, Kirk Yetholm; 60. An[drew] Douglas senior, Mugger, Kirk Yetholm - Poor; 62. David Blyth jnr, Mugger, Kirk Yetholm. There are no other villages in Roxburghshire in which 'Mugger' is listed as an occupation. Interestingly, too, none of these men are members of the Militia Club.
We know from other sources that gipsies in Kirk Yetholm not only hawked earthenware, but also used their asses to carry coals from the collieries in Etal and elsewhere in north Northumberland. It is interesting that in Town Yetholm several men are listed as 'Salters'. See - 20. William Rae, Salter, Town Yetholm; 31. John Young, Salter, Town Yetholm; William Feal, Salter, Town Yetholm. While these men may have used packhorses to carry salt the term may have come to mean 'General Carrier' by this date - and they probably also used their beasts to haul coal. However, the two groups are labelled differently - a subtle indication, perhaps, of differences in self-perception in the two parts of village.
Photographs shown below - click on each image for an expanded view:
* Parishes in the book are - Eckford, Hownam ('Hunam'), Linton, Morebattle, Yetholm, Bedrule, Crailing, Hobkirk, Jedburgh, Oxnam, Southdean, Cavers, Castleton, Hawick, Kirkton, Wilton.