Livingstone, West Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #669

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

History[edit | edit source]

LIVINGSTONE, a parish, in the county of Linlithgow; containing part of the village of Blackburn, 2½ miles (W. by S.) from Mid Calder. This place derives its name from an ancient castle called Livingstone Peel, which in the time of David I. was the baronial residence of the family of the Livingstones. The parish was formerly of much greater extent than at present, as it included the parish of Whitburn, which was separated from it in 1730. The church, rebuilt in 1732, and recently repaired, is a neat structure containing 263 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church and Independents.[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 Livingston 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 Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

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


Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1639-1663, 1692-1820 1066636 items 4-5

1819-1854 1066637 item1
Marriages: 1639-1663, 1692-1820 1066636 items 4-5

1820-1855 1066637 item 1
Deaths: 1718-1786 - Mortcloth Dues 1066636 items 4-5

1820-1833 - burials 106637 item 1
Condition of Original Registers—[edit | edit source]

Indexed: 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 be indexed in theInternational Genealogical Index. 
Births: They are intermixed with marriages and other matters up to November 1641. There is a separate register of births from December 1641. There are only three entries for July 1645–December 1646 and only one for August 1650–June 1752. There are no entries for May 1662–August 1692. There are irregular entries for 1798–1799.
Marriages: Prior to November 1641 marriages are intermixed with the births. There is a separate record from February 1642. There are no entries for May 1644–December 1646, only two for May 1650–February 1652, and none for December 1662–August 1692. After August 1692 the record becomes mainly one of proclamation fees until 1842.
Deaths: The burials are Mortcloth Dues.
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 Kirk session was made up of he 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:

Various Minutes 1640–1758, 1764, 1807–1945
Testimonials Received 1692–1707
Poor Fund Accounts 1692–1773, 1802–1837
Accounts 1833–1871
Communion Roll 1843–1865
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/467.

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.

Livingston Free Church[edit | edit source]

The congregation was organized at the Disruption in 1843. The minister adhered to the Free Church. He resigned in 1847 due to poor health, and another was not settled until 1851. The district, originally agricultural, became the centre of the mineral oil industry.
Membership: 1855, 195; 1900, 108.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. FHL Film #0918572. More details are given in the source.

Various Minutes 1844–1945
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/392.

Blackburn Congregational Church
[edit | edit source]

A congregation was formed here in 1824 but was later dissolved in 1853.

The extent of records is unknown. For availability of records write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
P.O .Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Civil Registration Records[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]

Livingston was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburgh until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Linlithgow. 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 West Lothian 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 West Lothian. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of West Lothian 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. 175-197. Adapted. Date accessed: 17 April 2014.

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