Mid-Calder, Midlothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #694

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

History[edit | edit source]

CALDER, MID, a parish, situated in the county of Edinburgh; containing the village of Bells-Quarry, 12 miles (W.) from Edinburgh. This place, which formed part of the extensive district of Calder, obtained the appellation of Calder-Comitis, from its having been the property of the earls of Fife, in the twelfth century. The church, an ancient structure in the early English style, contains 438 sittings. There is a place of worship for Seceders.[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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. 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 Mid-Calder, as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1604-1774, 1707-1780 - baptisms 1067784 items 3-4

1779-1854 - baptisms 1067785 items 1-2
Marriages: 1604-1674, 1691-1816 1067784 items 3-4

1783-1855 1067785 items 1-2
Deaths: 1734-1819 - burials 1067784 items 3-4

1783-1797, 1812, 1823, 1831-1853 1067785 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: Births are intermixed with marriages until 1674. There are no entries July 1649–August 1651, February 1661–February 1663, and May 1647–October 1707. Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1707.
Marriages: There are no entries July 1649–November 1659, December 1660–February 1664, May 1674–October 1691, from which date there is a separate record, November 1719–May 1734, and November 1738–October 1783. There are transcribed entries of proclamations, July 1720–December 1760 and irregular marriages 1789–1819.
Deaths: There are transcribed entries of Mortcloth Dues, funeral expenses, etc., 1734–1819 and twelve entries of deaths and burials on one page are dated 1783–1837. There are only three of these entries dated after 1797; 1812, 1823, and 1837.
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:

Minutes 1604–1956
Cash Books 1692–1729, 1778–1884
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/43.

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.

Bridge End United Presbyterian Church
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This congregation originated in 1761 with members of the congregations of Craigmailen, now the East congregation, Linlithgow, and Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, who were desirous of having a place of worship more conveniently situated for them, and who accordingly applied for and obtained supply of sermon form the General Associate Anti-burgher Presbytery of Edinburgh. First church built in 1765, second built in 1854. The minister of this congregation was one of the prime movers in the steps which led to the union in 1820 of the two branches of the Secession.
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.

Baptisms 1763–1813
Session Minutes 1763–1926
Communion Rolls - dates unknown
A History of the Congregation Included.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/233.

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There were no dissenting places of worship within the parish. Therefore, they would have worshiped in neighboring parishes.

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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Mid-Calder 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 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. 163-185. Adapted. Date accessed: 11 April 2014.

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