Corstorphine, Midlothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish  #678

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Corstorphine. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.

History[edit | edit source]

CORSTORPHINE, a parish, in the county of Edinburgh; including the village of Gogar, 4 miles (W.) from Edinburgh, on the road to Glasgow. This place, of which the name is of uncertain origin, appears to have been, from a very early period. The parish, which includes part of the ancient parish of Gogar, with the lands of Ravelston and Saughton, was detached from the parish of St. Cuthbert in 1633. The church, which was formerly collegiate, was founded in 1429, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is a venerable cruciform structure in the later English style, with a handsome tower and spire. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church.[1]

 Corstorphine was anciently written Crostorfin or Crostorfyn.  It also has been interpreted as the cross of Torphin, acknowledging a connectionwith the grandson of Malcolm II.  It may refer to a golden cross in the chapel of the estate in early times.  The registers of the parish began as early as 1598, but were not kept regulary until recently (1839).  From the year 1809 down to 1835, many stone coffins have been found in the parish.  The population in 1791 was 1037, and in 1831 it was 1461.  Corstorphine and Gogar are the two villages in the parish but Gogar has gotten very small.  There are great quantites of fruit, strawberries, and vegetables produced for the Edinburgh market.

This account was written in 1839.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland (FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 1

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records
[edit | edit source]

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Corstorphine, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers[edit | edit source]

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1634-1854 1066673
Marriages: 1665-1855 1066673
Deaths: 1710-1820 1066673

1820-1854 1066674

Condition of Original Registers—[edit | edit source]

Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland. 
Births: There is a duplicate of record January 1709–January 1719. After December 1815, is an appendix of irregular entries, 1787–1812 on seven pages, followed by a copy of the record from September 1797–December 1815, which is continued as the principal register. Mothers’ names are not recorded until September 1642 and are sometimes omitted after that date.
Marriages: There are no entries, except one, December 1677–January 1679, November 1694–December 1700. There is a duplicate of record for May 1709–November 1718 and there are no entries March 1762–January 1800, May 1803–January 1804 and December 1809–November 1815. After the record for 1819 are twenty pages of transcribed entries of “Marriage Money,” April 1710–January 1824. There are no entries, November 1766–November 1788.
Deaths: Transcribed entries of persons for whom the Mortcloth had been used, 1710–1819. There are no entries except fourteen, November 1766–February 1791, December 1797–January 1804 and December 1805–August 1814. There is also a register of burials from September 1815.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records[edit | edit source]

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Corstorphine[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1646–1658, 1665–1685, 1692–1801, 1814–1866, 1881–1914
Accounts 1710–1797, 1804–1824
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/124.

St. Ninian’s[edit | edit source]

Minutes 1845–1949
Deacons Court Minutes 1844–1940
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/514.

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

Corstorphine Free Church

The minister of the parish in 1843 did not adhere to the Free Church but many of the parishioners “came out,” and at the first meeting of the Free Church Presbytery of Edinburgh steps were taken to constitute a congregation in Corstorphine. Sabbath services were held, first in Lord’s Flour Store and then in a tent. By the month of August 1843 a movement had been begun which resulted in the erection of a church. The church was opened in 1845, remodeled in 1869, and enlarged in 1889. Membership increased as the population of Corstorphine increased.
Membership: 1845, 130; 1900, 285.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film#918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Extent of records is unknown.
No records are on deposit at the National Archives of Scotland.

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Corstorphine was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburg until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Edinburg. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Midlothian and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Midlothian.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Midlothian. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Midlothian and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 200-218. Adapted. Date accessed: 10 April 2014.

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