Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #672

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

History[edit | edit source]

UPHALL, a parish, in the county of Linlithgow; including the villages of Broxburn and Uphall, 12 miles (W. by S.) from Edinburgh. This place, originally called Strathbrock, signifying "the valley of brocks or badgers," appears to have derived its modern name from the erection of the present parish church at a spot designated Uphall. The church, part of which has the appearance of great antiquity, is a plain structure containing 500 sittings.[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[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.

Click here[low quality link] to see the Family History Library Catalog entry for the census records of Uphall.  Here is a list of available census surname indexes for Uphall.

Year Surname Index
1841     available online (free)
1851 available online (free)
1881 FHL fiche 6086622 (set of 2)

All available census years, 1841-1901, are indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use the website, you must register and pay a small access fee.

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: 1600-1677, 1692-1820 1066638 item  4-5
1820-1855 1066639 items 1-2
Marriages: 1598-1697, 1722-1820 1066638 items 4-5
1819-1854 1066639 items 1-2
Deaths: 1617-1695 1066638 items 4-5
1820-1854 1066639 items 1-2
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 entries for July 1605–August 1606, December 1637–January 1642, September 1649–November 1659, September 1677–March 1692, March 1693–February 1701, and April 1708–November 1714. There are irregular entries for June 1710–November 1712. Families are sometimes recorded together. Except for 1659–1663, mothers' names are seldom recorded until 1701.
Marriages: There are no entries for May 1622–February 1642, February 1649–November 1659, January 1678–October 1694, May 1697–August 1722, 1735, November 1750–December 1756, and 1760. There are only three entries for September 1761–May 1766 and none for December 1772–January 1774.
Deaths: There are no entries for February 1622–February 1631, February 1637–February 1639, and November 1646–May 1660. From 1660–1663, no particular dates are specified. Burials are recorded for 1664–1681. There are no entries for March 1681–October 1691. Mortcloth Dues are recorded until February 1693. Then there are no entries until October 1817.
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:

                                    FHL Film Number
Marriages   1718–1721   0304667 item 2
Minutes 1668–1671, 1690–1756, 1800–1834
Cash 1690–1746
Scroll Minutes 1798–1799
Accounts 1815–1835, 1845–1901
Poor Fund Accounts 1825–1854
Communion Roll 1852–1858
Deaconry Book 1745–1817
Miscellaneous Papers 1834–1839
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/362.

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.

Broxburn Free Church[edit | edit source]

This congregation was formed in 1843 without the parish minister adhering to the Free Church. A church was built in 1846. In 1897 the people united with those attached to the United Presbyterian Mission to form the Uphall congregation. Some 60 or 70 members were transferred from Broxburn to the new congregation. Owing to the rise of the mineral oil industry, the population of the parish increased from 1863 onwards.
Membership: 1848, 115; 1900, 299.
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.

Records—                                       FHL Film Number
Baptismal Register       1844–1939     0889487 item 3
Minutes 1844–1894
Deacons Court Minutes 1852–1900
Accounts 1850–1892
Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/554.

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]

Uphall 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 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 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 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. 571-586. Adapted. Date accessed: 17 April 2014.

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