Leith (South), Midlothian, ScotlandEdit This Page

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Parish #692-2

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


Contents

History

LEITH, a burgh and sea-port town, in the county of Edinburgh, 1½ mile (N. by E.) from Edinburgh, and 392 (N. N. W.) from London; containing the parishes of North and South Leith. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, formerly belonged to the abbey of Holyrood. The town, which is situated on the south side of the Frith of Forth, at the influx of the Water of Leith, is of considerable extent. The parish of South Leith, which is much more extensive than North Leith, includes the villages of Jock'sLodge and Restalrig, the late quoad sacra district of St. John's, and part of the late quoad sacra districts of Glenorchy and Portobello. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style. The episcopal chapel dedicated to St. James was erected by subscription in 1805, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style of architecture, with a receding portico in the centre, and two slightly-projecting wings ornamented in the upper part with duplicated columns, and crowned by a parapet divided into compartments by pedestals supporting urns. The interior is well arranged, and contains 380 sittings. There also are two places of worship for members of the Free Church, two for the United Secession, one for the members of the Relief, two for Independents, and one for Wesleyans.[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.

     In Catholic times, the village of Restalrig was the seat of this parish and where the church was located. In 1560 the Presbyterian government ordered the church to be torn down. In 1609, St. Mary’s chapel in the village of South Leith was made the parish church.

Census Records

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 Leith (South) as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.


The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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

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


Years Covered Family History Llibrary Film Number
Births: 1599-1620, 1643-1693 1067770

1687-1781 1067771

1781-1819 1067772

1819-1844 1067775

1844-1855 1067776

1816-1846 1067777

1847-1854 (index only) 1067776

1809-1852 (indexed supplement)

1067776

 


Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Marriages: 1588-1608 1067772

1608-1819 1067773

1819-1838 1067776

1839-1854 (indexed) 1067777

1697-1818 (Irregular marriages 941 B4sr vol. 95 (book)




Years Covered Family HistoryLibrary Film Number
Deaths: 1662-1667, 1681-1692, 1704-1712 1067773

1729-1738 (indexed) 1067773

1712-1810 1067774

1810-1819 1067775

1719-1787 (Calton Burying Ground) 1067777

1781-1809 ( Calton Burying Ground) 1067778

1809-1835 (Calton Burying Ground) 1067779

1835-1850 (Calton Burying Ground) 1067780

1850-1857 (Calton Burying Ground) 1067781

1781-1868 (Calton index) 1067781

1829-1852 (neglected entries) 1067781

1728-1854 (index to Restalrig burials) 941 B4sr vol. 32 (book)


Condition of Original Registers—

Births: There are no entries December 1620–January 1643. After the record for February 1693, there is a register of children baptized in the meetinghouse, August 1687–April 1691. The regular record then begins at August 1692.
Marriages: A portion of the page at March 1590 has been torn off. There is a copy of the entries, 1588–1595. Between marriages for November 1642 and May 1643 are six pages of proclamations January 1640–July 1642.
After the record for September 1666 are transcribed entries 1666–1692, prefaced by a page of such entries 1609–1665, and followed by two pages of entries 1688–1691 for the Presbyterian meetinghouse. The regular record then begins October 1692. After December 1762, there is a record of proclamations, February 1609–February 1616 and of contracts April 1629–December 1639; also original record of marriages for the meeting house November 1687–December 1690 and transcribed entries of irregular marriages and contracts July 1697–October 1751 and April 1778–March 1779.
Deaths: Except for a few entries of Mortcloth Dues on 1662–1683 and one burial for 1692, there is no record until May 1704. There is an index for a few years after 1704 and after 1814. The record for South Leith ends with 1819.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.


Established Church—Kirk Session Records


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:


Records— Family History Library Call Number
Irregular Marriages 1697–1818 - indexed 0844784 item 6
941 B4sr vol. 95
Other:
Minutes 1597–1897
Accounts 1646–1661, 1687–1908
Scroll Minutes 1778–1782, 1821–1847, 1900–1915
Baptisms 1829–1926
Marriages 1787–1823
Proclamations 1818–1872, 1939–1960
Communion Roll 1830–1934
Seat Letting Book 1848–1938
Seat Letting Cash Book 1847–1853
Collections 1831–1843
Letter Book 1828–1920
List of Poor 1825–1838
Examination Roll 1743–1763
King James Hospital Accounts 1647, 1668–1908
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/716.

Restalrig Quoad Sacra Parish


Minutes 1823–1833
Sedurant (list of persons present at session meetings) book 1836–1852


Nonconformist Church Records

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 North Leith parish.

Kirkgate United Presbyterian Church

History—
When a vacancy occurred in 1739 in one of the charges of South Leith Parish, some of the parishioners disapproved of the new choice. They withdrew from the Established Church and acceded to the Associate Presbytery, joining the Bristo Street congregation, Edinburgh. It appears from the communion roll of that congregation that there were 92 members who were resident in Leith. The great majority of these adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod at the Breach in 1747. In 1765 they were allowed by the Presbytery to form a separate congregation. A church was built in 1775. In 1784, there were complaints made to the Presbytery, by some of the elders of the congregation, against the minister at that time, a Mr. Proudfoot. After some deliberation he was removed from his office. In 1785, he and the majority of his congregation declared themselves, no longer connected to the General Associate Synod, and retained the church property. Mr. Proudfoot died later that year. After his death; his congregation applied to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Edinburgh to be taken under their inspection and were received in 1787. In 1846, a later minister was rebuked by the Presbytery for misconduct, and he and a portion of the congregation separated from the United Secession Church and joined the Synod of Original Seceders. The congregation is now, 1873, in connection with the Free Church.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records—
Baptismal Register 1800–1815
Various Minutes 1788–1852, 1855–1865, 1871–1973
Accounts 1773–1826
Communion Roll 1829–1836
Collection and Distributions 1790–1834
Cash Book 1779–1790, 1816–1732
Treasurer’s Book 1793–1848
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/495.


St. Andrews Place United Presbyterian Church

History—
This congregation originated with members of the congregation of Kirkgate who approved of the Synod’s procedure in deposing Mr. Proudfoot from his ministry. Because they were deprived of their place of worship, they built another place in St. Andrews Street in 1787. They moved to a new building at the head of Leith Links in 1826 and named it St. Andrews Place.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records—
Various Minutes 1787–1817, 1834–1973
Baptisms 1794–1973
Marriages 1795–1872
List of Members 1801–1808
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/826.


Junction Road Relief Church

History—
In 1822 a petition subscribed by 40 individuals resident in Leith, some of whom had been members of the Relief church but were then connected with other denominations in the town, was presented to the Relief Presbytery of Edinburgh. The petition was granted. They rented the old parish church of North Leith until 1825 when they built a new church on Junction Road.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records—
Various Minutes 1822–1975
Baptisms 1825–1975
Number of Communicants 1826–1853
Marriages 1837–1869
Communion Roll 1842–1865
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/728.


Mariners, later St. Ninians Free Church

History—
The minister of Mariners Church, John Thomson, with his congregation adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption. The church remained in their possession. The name was changed to St. Ninians in 1867.
Membership: 1848, 264; 1900, 399.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records— Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms and Marriages, 1842–1858 0889483 item4
Other:
Deacons Court Minutes 1844–1876
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/448.


Trinity Free Church

History—
In 1846 the minister and some of the congregation of Kirkgate United Associate Church seceded from the United Associate Synod and attempted along with one or two other ministers to form a new church, “Calvinistic Secession”. In 1848 Mr. Marshall and his congregation entered the Original Secession Church and with that body joined the Free Church in 1852. Their first church was in Junction Street and bore that name. In 1863 they moved to Hope Street, Leith Walk, and assumed the name of Trinity Free Church.
Membership: 1870, 280; 1900, 300.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film 918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records—
Extent of records is unknown.


South Free Church

History—
Dr. David Thorburn, minister of the second charge of South Leith Parish, “came out” at the Disruption with a substantial portion of the congregation. The church at St. John’s Place, Leith Links, was built and opened in 1844. It was burned down in 1880 and a new church was opened in 1881 at the foot of Easter Road. A school was formed at the Disruption and a building erected at Duncan Place. It was efficiently maintained until 1872 when it was handed over to the Leith School Board. The population in the district considerably increased.
Membership: 1848, 455; 1900, 664.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records—
Minutes 1843–1973
Deacons Court Minutes 1844–1973
Scroll Deacons Court Minutes 1849–1857
Building Committee Minutes 1843–1844
Communion Roll 1843–1862
Contributions 1851–1852
Sustentation Fund Accounts 1844–1872
Note: Available at The New Record House, Edinburgh, record CH3/825.


St. John’s, formerly New Kirk Free Church

History—
The minister, James Lewis, and the congregation of St. John’s “quoad sacra” parish adhered to the Free Church in 1843. They retained possession of the church until 1868 when they were deprived of it in consequence of an action raised against them by the Presbytery of Edinburgh. A new church was then built on Charlotte Street. The district at first was mainly residential but it changed in character with the growth of the city.
Membership: 1843, 503; 1900, 651.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records— Family History Library Film Number
Baptismal Register 1846–18610304671 item 16
Session Minutes 1824–1839, 1843–1877485177 items 2–4
Other:
Managers Minutes 1841–1843; deacons Court Minutes 1844–1956
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/211.


Leith Congregational Churches

History—
A church was formed in Leith in 1805. In 1807 the congregation moved to premises at Yardheads, which was called Tabernacle Land. In 1826 the congregation had grown large enough that they moved again to a chapel in Constitution Street. It closed in 1964. In 1841 an evangelical mission was started among seamen, which grew until it was formed as a second church in 1844. It became known as the St. Andrew Street Chapel in 1847. This church joined the Evangelical Union in 1853. They moved to new premises in 1867 and became known as the Duke Street Evangelical Union Church. It is still in existence today.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism by Harry Escott, pub. 1960, Family History Library book 941 K2es, also The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794–1993 by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, pub. 1993, Family History Library book 941 K2mwd. More details may be given in the sources including lists of ministers.

Records—
Extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow, G1 2BX
Scotland


Leith Baptist Churches

History—
A Baptist church was formed in Leith about 1652. Many of the members were Commonwealth soldiers stationed in Leith and Edinburgh, but local inhabitants were baptized into the faith. This congregation declined after the soldiers withdrew in 1658–1659. A new Baptist cause was formed in Leith in 1846 which eventually found premises in the Waterloo Rooms in 1848. In 1851 its membership stood at 193. This congregation suffered from dissension beginning in 1852 when its minister left to take another position. Membership dropped off considerably until he returned in 1860. A new building was erected on Marshall Street in 1877. Another Baptist group was formed in 1849. Various premises were occupied until a site was acquired and opened on Madeira Street in 1875. This congregation also suffered from dissension in the early 1860s, but was reorganized in 1868 and grew thereafter.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland from Pre–Reformation Times, by Rev. George Yuille, pub. 1926, Family History Library book 941 K2hi.
Records—
Extent of records is unknown. For information write to:
The Baptist Union of Scotland
12 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT
Scotland


Leith Catholic Church

History—
This church was formed in 1847. The area was served from Edinburgh from at least 1829. It was known as Holy Cross 1850–1853 and was dedicated to “Our Lady Star of the Sea” in 1853. It was located on Constitution Street.

Records—
Baptisms 1847–1867
Marriages 1848–1867
Confirmations 1849–1854
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record RH21/85.


St. James’ Episcopalian Church

History— Not available

Records— Fam,ily History Library Call Number
Christenings 1733–1775941 B4sr vol. 81, or 0844782 item 6 X
Marriages 1738–1775 941 B4sr vol. 81, or 0844782 item 6 X
Confirmations 1736–1769 941 B4sr vol. 81, or 0844782 item 6
Note: The X means the record has been extracted; note the confirmations have not.
Other:
Christenings 1809–1863
Marriages 1813–1863
Burials 1828–1850
Confirmations 1852–1863
Minute books 1727–1731, 1749–1750; account books 1727–1748, 1803–1886
Salary receipts 1777–1784
Collection book 1803–1848
School subscriptions books 1849–1887 plus some earlier undated
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Record CH12/1.


Leith Wesleyan Methodist Circuit

History—
Unavailable

Records—
Accounts 1818–1868
Other post–1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Record CH11/15.


St. Clair Street Methodist Church

History—
Unavailable

Records—
Baptismal Register 1833–1921
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Record CH11/7.


Great Junction Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

History—
Unavailable

Records—
Baptismal Register 1834–1875
Missionary Committee Minutes 1846–1856
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Record CH11/12.


Leith Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Records—
Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members 1840–1847 0104154 item10

Civil Registration Records

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

Leith (South) 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 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 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 Midthloian. 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

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 157-175. Adapted. Date accessed: 11 April 2014.


Return to the Midlothian Parish List.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 11 April 2014, at 17:08.
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