St. Cuthberts, Midlothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #685-2

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

History[edit | edit source]

ST. CUTHBERTS is a parish in EDINBURGH, a city, the seat of a university, and the metropolis of the kingdom of Scotland, situated in longitude 3° 10' 30" (W.), and latitude 55° 57' 29" (N.), about a mile (S. by W.) from Leith, 40 miles (S.S.W.) from Dundee, 42 (E. by N.) from Glasgow, 44 (S. by E.) from Perth, 55 (W. by N.) from Berwick-upon-Tweed, 92½ (N. by W.) from Carlisle, 109 (S. W. by S.) from Aberdeen, 156 (S. by E.) from Inverness, 270 (N. E.) from Dublin, and 392 (N. N. W.) from London; containing 56,330, and, including the suburban parishes of St. Cuthbert and Canongate. The parish of St. Cuthbert, which was subdivided into several ecclesiastical districts. It is of great extent, and originally included the whole of the city and the burgh of Canongate. The episcopal chapel dedicated to St. James was built in 1820. There are also places of worship in the parish for members of the Free Church, United Secession, and Relief, for Reformed Presbyterians, Original Seceders, the Society of Friends, Baptists, Wesleyans, Independents, Jews, and Unitarians; an Episcopalian chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, and two Roman Catholic chapels.[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 St. Cuthberts, 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 FHL Film Number
Births: 1573-1642 1066751 items 3-4

1655-1724 1066752

1724-1760, 1760-1771- with index 1066753

1772-1793 1066754

1793-1817 1066755

1817-1819 1066756

1774-1821 - index to births 1041987

1820-1826 - with index 0993529

1826-1831 - with index 1066761

1831-1833 1066762

1833-1842 - with index 1040214

1843-1854 - with index 1066763

1854-1855, 1855-1856 - with index 1066763

Years Covered FHL Flim Number
Marriages: 1655-1739 - transcript 1066768

1683-1788 1066756

1788-1818 1066757

1817-1819 1066758

1774-1821- marriage index 1066768

1820-1825 - with index 1066763

1825-1833 - with index 1066764

1833-1841 - with index 1066765

1842-1849 - with index 1066766

1849-1854 - with index 1066767

1854 - with index 0993529

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Deaths: 1740-1763 1066758

1763-1803 1066759

1801-1821 1066760

1819-1829 - index to burials 1040331 item 2-3

1819-1832 1040331 item 2-3

1832-1844 (index to burials) 1040212

1840-1854 (index to burials) 1040213

1844-1854 - burials 1040213

1764-1805 - Buccleuch Church 1066760

1794-1820 - Buccleuch Church 1066761

1820-1854 - Buccleuch Church 1066761 - indexed

1846-1850 - Dalry Church 1066761 - indexed

1850-1854 - Dalry Church 1040214

1820-1834 - Newington Church 1041993 - indexed

1835-1854 - Newington Church 1041994

1846-1854 - Rosebank Church 1041995

1846-1854 - Southeren Church 1041995

1843-1854 - Warriston Church 1041995

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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland. 
Births: There are no birth entries February 1576–February 1605. One page after September 1613 and four pages after June 1641, almost entirely destroyed. There are no entries 1642–August 1665, June 1657–September 1674. Duplicate or draft of record from January 1677–May 1681 in volume two and from November 1743–January 1772 in volumes 15-17 inclusive. Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1605. Records are indexed from 1774.
Marriages: Except entries for September 1655–April 1656 on one imperfect page, there is no record until 1683. There are no entries October 1686–October 1687, April 1697–November 1699. After the record for 1799 there is a separate register of clandestine marriages affirmed in the Session of St. Cuthberts, dated April 1775–March 1795. There is a double record May 6, 1812–June 1, 1813 and an index 1774–1813.
Deaths: The records of Newington Burying Ground and Cemetery and of the Southern, Rosebank, Warriston, and Dalry Cemeteries are in the hands of the superintendents of the respective grounds, but copies of them are in the possession of the registrars. The records of Newington Burying Ground, 1820–1854 inclusive, are in the custody of the registrar of Newington District. The records of Newington Cemetery, Echo Bank, 1846–1854 inclusive, in the custody of the registrar of Newington District. The records of Southern Cemetery Grange 1846–1854 inclusive, in the custody of the registrar of Newington District. The records of Rosebank Cemetery 1846–1854 inclusive, in the custody of the registrar of St. Andrew’s District. The records of Warriston Cemetery 1843–1854 inclusive, in the custody of the registrar of St. Andrew’s District. The records of Dalry Cemetery 1846–54 inclusive, in the custody of the registrar of St. George’s District. There is a duplicate of records for West Church Burying Ground, February 1754–January 1755. There is an index for the same, 1801–1821.
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 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:

St. Cuthbert’s[edit | edit source]

Various Minutes 1586–1671, 1679–1922
Register of Discipline 1595–1612, 1714–1750
Accounts 1608–1627, 1646–1794, 1804–1862
Register of St. Cuthbert’s 1668–1762
Letter Book 1840–1852
Proclamation and Marriage Register 1806–1851, 1854–1939
Burial Certificates and Orders for Coffins 1786–1788
Buccleuch Burial Register 1820–1854
Newington and Buccleuch Order book 1850–1881
Record Book, New Burying Ground, Chapel of Ease 1820–1854
Communion Roll 1854 +
Seat Letting Book 1836–1837
Lists of Parishioners 1632–1639
List of Inhabitants 1790
Examination Roll 1729–1730
Assessment of Parish 1766–1770
Subscriptions for Building Poor House 1758
Register of Charity School 1773–1848
Miscellaneous Papers
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/718.

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Minutes 1836–1843
Communion Rolls 1849–1894
Benevolent Society Accounts and Books 1842–1855
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/626.

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.

See also Edinburgh

Dean Free Church[edit | edit source]

At the Disruption the minister of the parish of the Dean with practically the whole of the congregation adhered to the Free Church. The minister, like others, was prevented from occupying and preaching in the church, which the congregation themselves had built and supported. They first met for worship in a granary. A church was built in Lynedoch Place and opened for service in December 1844. When St. Andrew’s Free Church was transferred to a site in close proximity to Dean Free, it was found necessary to move. A new church was built at Belford Bridge and opened in October 3, 1889.
Membership: 1880, 249; 1900, 330.
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.

Minutes 1843–1911
Deacons Court Minutes 1844–1911
Baptismal Register 1845–1900
Accounts 1840–1853
Communion Roll 1846–1896, 1901–1911
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/511.

Newington Free Church[edit | edit source]

The minister of Liberton, adhered to the Free Church in 1843. A site could not be secured for a new church in Liberton. With the support of four elders from Liberton and four from Newington parish, the minister of which did not Acome out,” the congregation of Newington Free Church was formed and the building in South Clerk Street was opened in November 1843. Originally standing in green fields, the church was soon built around and included within the city.
Membership: 1850, 608; 1900, 460.
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.

Scroll Minutes 1846–1886
Deacons Court Minutes 1844–1913
Treasurers Accounts 1844–1915
Cash Book 1844–1893
Communion Roll 1845–1884
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1195.

Other Churches[edit | edit source]

See Under Edinburgh.

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.

Genealogy From Periodicals[edit | edit source]

McIntosh, Gordon.  My McIntosh Family Tree Spurious branches included..  History of descendants of James McIntosh and Isabella (Nisbet) Wallace, with descendants in Edinburgh, St. Cuthberts, Northumberland - Wylam, Durham, Bishop Auckland, and New Zealand-Auckland.  Surnames in the tree, Clements, Edwards, Hunter, Blair, Brown, Roycroft, Paxton, and Falconer.  Article dated from 1794-1952 and is in the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society Journal. vol. 34, no.3, page 96-98.  Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo v.34,no.3, (autumn 2009)

Probate Records
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St. Cuthberts 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 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. 361-392. Adapted. Date accessed: 11 April 2014.

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