Midlothian (Edinburghshire), Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Midlothian (Edinburghshire) County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Midlothian (Edinburghshire) County

History[edit | edit source]

Edinburghshire, or Midlothian, is the metropolitan county of the kingdom of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Firth of Forth (along the shore of which it extends for about twelve miles), on the east by Haddingtonshire and small portions of the counties of Berwick and Roxburgh, on the south by the counties of Lanark, Peebles, and Selkirk, and on the west by Linlithgowshire.  It is about 36 miles in length from east to west and 18 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 360 square miles or 230,400 acres.

The county originally occupied the central portion of the ancient and extensive province of Lothian, or Loudon, and from this circumstance it obtained the appellation of Mid Lothian.  After the departure of the Romans, this district very soon fell into the power of the Saxons where it remained until Malcolm II defeated the Saxons and gained the area.

The county comprises 30 parishes besides those in the capital city of Edinburgh, which is also the county town.  Edinburgh is the only royal burgh.  Musselburgh and Canongate are burghs of regality, Dalkeith and Portsburgh are burghs of barony, the chief port is Leith, and there are seventeen flourishing villages and numerous pleasant hamlets.

The population of the county in 1851 was 225,454.[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 Midlothian for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Cargill, David C.  Irishmen in Scottish Census Records.  Two census returns in respect of Irish Regiments stationed at Leith Fort and Piershill Barracks in Edinburgh 1851. Regiments - Royal Artillery - gives places of birth in Ireland, civilian occupation.  13th Light Dragoons only gives name, position in Army, age, where came from in Ireland, wife and any children.  Article in The Irish Ancestor, Vol. IV, no. 1. 1972, pages 8-14, Family History Library Book Ref.941.5 B2i 

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Some of the Midlothian parish records are indexed in Midlothian, Scotland, Extracted Parish Records.

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from the county of Midlothian 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 Midlothian (or Edinburghshire) with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Click on this link for an outline map of the parish of Midlothian.

Parish No. Parish No.
Borthwick 674 Kirknewton and East Calder 690
Canongate 685-3 Lasswade 691
Carrington (or Primrose) 675 Leith (North) 692-1
Cockpen 676 Leith (South) 692-2
Colinton (or Hailes) 677 Liberton 693
Corstorphine 678 Mid-Calder 694
Cramond 679 Newbattle 695
Cranston 680 Newton 696
Crichton 681 North Leith -- see Leith (North) 692-1
Currie 682 Penicuik 697
Dalkeith 683 Primrose -- see Carrington 675
Duddingston 684 Ratho 698
East Calder -- see Kirknewton 690 South Leith -- see Leith (South) 692-2
Edinburgh 685-1 Soutra -- see Fala and Soutra 686
Fala and Soutra 686 St. Cuthberts 685-2
Glencorse (formerly Woodhouselee) 687 Stow 699
Hailes -- see Colinton 677 Temple 700
Heriot 688 West Calder 701
Inveresk 689 Woodhouselee-- see Glencorse 687

Directories[edit | edit source]

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directory available for Musselburgh is:

1903: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.

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 were six workhouses in this county:

A description with drawings and photos of the workhouses today along with databases of those living there from the 1881 Census are provided on the links 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 Heraldry Society of Scotland
25 Craigentinny Crescent
Edinburgh, EH7 6QA
Scotland, UK.
email info@heraldry-scotland.co.uk

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

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. "Edinburgh - Edinburghshire," in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846), 361-392. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/scotland/pp361-392 (accessed June 4, 2020).