Stenton, East Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Parish #721

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

History[edit | edit source]

STENTON, a parish, in the county of Haddington; containing the villages of Beil-Grange and Pitcox, 686 inhabitants, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Prestonkirk. This place derived its name, either from the lands abounding with stones, or from its proximity to a valuable quarry of freestone, whence materials were taken for the buildings in the vicinity. The church is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower, the whole built in 1829.[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 Stenton, 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 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: 1679-1814 - baptisms 1067859 item 6

1801-1855 1067860 item 1-3
Marriages: 1668-1793, 1827-1863 1067860 item 1-3
Deaths: 1689-1794, 1831-1851 - burials 1067860 item 1-3
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 the International Genealogical Index.  
Births: Records are blank April 1681–January1685. Leaves priors to 1686 are much wasted and they are blank April 1686–November 1706. There are a few irregular entries after May 1757, and entries out of the order of time not unfrequent after 1800. There is a duplicate of the portion 1801 to 1817, with some references to misplaced entries.
Marriages: Records are proclamations intermixed with other matters until August 1681. They are blank until June 1689, then until November 1706 there are only transcribed entries of marriage money. Marriages from the last mentioned date until November 1732 and then transcribed entries of marriage money until 1793. Records are blank November 1793–1827.
Deaths: “Mortcloth Dues” that are blank March 1681–October 1689, and excluding three entries for 1741 January 1735–September 1759. They are blank also February 1794–1831.
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 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:

Minutes 1690–1724, 1730–1739
Scroll 1760–1828
Cash Record 1759–1830
Cash Book 1689–1751, 1751–1759 with some minutes interspersed
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/335.

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

There are none. The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Stenton 1835 states that there were then about 90 Dissenters in the parish, but they attended services in Dunbar or East Linton. 

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.

Photos of Stenton Parish Church[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Stenton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburgh until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Haddington.  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 East 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 East Lothian. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of East 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. 467-489. Adapted. Date accessed: 04 April 2014.

Return to the East Lothian Parish list.