Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish  #691

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

History[edit | edit source]

LASSWADE, a parish, in the county of Edinburgh; containing the village of Loanhead, and the late quoad sacra district of Roslin, 2½ miles (W. S. W.) from Dalkeith. This parish is supposed to have derived its name from the situation of the church and village in a well-watered pastoral district. It was anciently much less extensive, now including the parishes of Pentland and Melville, which were suppressed at the Reformation. The present church, erected in 1793, and substantially repaired and improved is a neat structure adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons: the remains of the ancient church, within the churchyard, consist chiefly of one of the aisles, which has been converted into a sepulchral chapel. There are places of worship for members of the Reformed Presbyterian and United Secession churches.[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
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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 Lasswade, 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
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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
Birth: 1617-1854 - baptisms 1067763 item 4

1687-1776, 1776-1820, 1689-1693 1067764


167765 items 1-2

Marriages: 1618-1684, 1689-1696 1067764

1820-1855 1067765 items 1-2
Deaths: 1634-1644, 1819-1820 - burials 1067764

1820-1854 1067765 items 1-2
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 are no entries November 1640–May 1645, June 1734–March 1739. The lower portion of the record, 1687–1745 and upper margin, 1722–1734, are partially and some entirely destroyed.
Marriages: There are no entries May 1621–October 1625, May 1666–May 1668, May 1687–October 1689, except one for 1697, July 1696–November 1746.
Deaths: Registers are burials until 1641. There are no entries December 1641–September 1690. Mortcloth Dues, 1690–1696. There are no entries May 1696–May 1819, after which burials are again recorded.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records
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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:

There are none.

Nonconformist Church Records
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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.

Lasswade Associate Secession Church
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A praying society in the parish acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1739 and the members joined in forming the first Secession Congregation of Dalkeith. About 1825, Seceders resident in the villages of Lasswade, Bonnyrig, Loanhead, and places adjoining made an attempt to form a congregation in their locality but it failed due to lack of funds. The attempt was made again in 1829 and was successful with the help of 63 members of the Dalkeith congregation, residing in the Lasswade district, who wished to be disjoined from that church. The Lasswade congregation was formed in December and a church was built the next year.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Various Minutes 1830–1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/402.

Loanhead Free Church[edit | edit source]

After the Disruption occasional services were arranged for Loanhead. In 1845, through the generosity of Mrs. Smith of Dunesk, a missionary was appointed and services were held in a schoolroom in the village. A church was begun in 1851. The charge was sanctioned by the Assembly in 1858. The new church was built and opened in 1862, a hall being added in 1900. The manse was bought in 1883. Coal mining and paper making were the main industries of the place and fluctuations in them altered the membership of the congregation.
Membership: 1859, 386; 1900, 306.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Extent of records is unknown.

Roslin Free Church
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The minister of Roslin parish, three of his elders and two hundred members adhered to the Free Church in 1843. During the summer of that year they met for worship in the burying ground. Accommodation was secured for a time in a subscription school. A house in the village with a large garden was purchased and in the garden the first Free Church was built. A new church on another site was built and opened in 1881. The local industries of coal mining, powder making, and carpet weaving afforded regular occupation for the residents.
Membership: 1848, 250; 1900, 229.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records— FHL Microfilm Number
Births and Baptisms 1843–1855, 1869–1879 0889486 item5
Minutes 1843–1915
Cash Book 1843–1903
Collections 1849–1871
Miscellaneous Records 1843–1872
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/522.

Loanhead Reformed Presbyterian Church[edit | edit source]

There were Cameronions in the area of Pentland, Midlothian, as early as 1680, but there were no congregations. Several separate congregations were formed in Scotland in the late 1770s. A congregation in Pentland was supported in part by members from Loanhead but largely by members from Edinburgh. The Pentland church was officially sanctioned in 1787. In 1792, the congregation was moved to Loanhead. A congregation in Edinburgh was finally disjoined from Loanhead in 1818. The first minister of the separate congregation of Loanhead was ordained in 1820 and served for forty–six years. The membership of the congregation in 1847 stood at 150.
Source: The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland: its congregations, ministers, and students, by W. J. Couper, pub. 1925. FHL book 941 K2c.

For pre–1818 records, see Martyr’s Church, Edinburgh.
Extent of later records is unknown.

Loanhead Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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FHL Film Number
Record of Members 1844–1848 0104154

Civil Registration Records
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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
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Lasswade was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburgh until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Edinburgh. 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 Edinburgh.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Midlothina. 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. 137-157. Adapted. Date accessed: 11 April 2014.

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