East Lothian (or Haddingtonshire), Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to East Lothian (or Haddingtonshire) County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

East Lothian (or Haddingtonshire) County

History[edit | edit source]

East Lothian (or Haddingtonshire until 1921), is a maritime county in the south-east of Scotland, bounded on the north and east by the Firth of Forth, on the south by the county of Berwick, and on the west by Edinburghshire. It is about twenty-five miles in length and sixteen in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 224 square miles or 144,510 acres.

The county is the eastern part of Lothian, an extensive district including also the shires of Linlithgow on the west and Edinburgh in the middle, and since 1974 has been part of the parliamentary region of Lothian. It was erected into a separate county during the reign of James VI (1567-1625). It consists of twenty-four parishes and contains the three royal burghs of Haddington (the county town), Dunbar, and North Berwick, as well as several populous villages and numerous smaller villages.

The county was once part of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria until the year 1020 when it was ceded to Malcolm II and annexed to Scotland. In 1296 it was the scene of the battle of Dunbar and again in 1650 it suffered from the English under Cromwell. In 1745 it was the scene of the battle of Prestonpans between the forces of the Pretender and the English.

The population in 1851 was 35,886.[1][2]

ScotlandsPeople: An Important Online Source[edit | edit source]

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on record availability, see Guides. For the content guide to what records are on the site, see Guides A-Z. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a pay per view fee to see the digitized record.

Census[edit | edit source]

Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for East Lothian for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the East Lothian parish records are indexed in *East Lothian, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.
This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of East Lothian in the country of Scotland. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. Also included are some records from non-conformist churches. You will find interesting phonetic spelling. Some of the records may be in Latin or even a Welsh or Scottish dialect. Due to the nature of the records and because the records were originally compiled by a third party, it is difficult to absolutely verify the completeness and validity of the data.

Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of East Lothian or Haddingtonshire with their parish numbers. Click on the parish name for information about records. Click on this link for an outline map of the parishes of East Lothian.

Parish No. Parish No.
Aberlady 702 Ormiston 715
Athelstaneford 703 Pencaitland 716
Bara -- see Garvald     707 Prestonkirk 717
Bolton 704 Prestonhaugh -- see Prestonkirk 717
Dirleton 705 Prestonpans 718
Dunbar 706 Salton 719
Garvald & Bara 707 Spott 720
Gladsmuir 708 Stenton 721
Haddington 709 Tranent 722
Humbie 710 Tynninghame -- see Whitekirk 723
Innerwick 711 Whitekirk & Tynninghame 723
Morham 712 Whittinghame 724
North Berwick 713 Yester 725
Oldhamstocks 714

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers[edit | edit source]

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Civil Registration.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960

Maps[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: Workhouses in Scotland were commonly known as poorhouses. For more information on Scottish poorhouses, go to the Scotland Poor Law page.

There was one workhouse in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouse today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the link above located on the site entitled The Workhouse: The story of an institution... which is owned and operated by Peter Higginbotham.

Societies[edit | edit source]

The Lothians Family History Society
Jen Mortensen
Phone: 001 909 8090453
E-mail: parishchest@gmail.com

The Scottish Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
EH1 2JLScotland
Phone-0131 220 3677
Email enquiries@scotsgenealogy.com

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, England: S. Lewis and Co., 1846), 3 v.: 651, [FHL book 941 E5]. Digitized by FamilySearch International, FamilySearch.org, https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/216925 (accessed June 20, 2016).
  2. Samuel Lewis. "Haddington - Hawick," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 527-539. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/scotland/pp527-539 (accessed May 25, 2020).