Oldhamstocks, East Lothian, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png East LothianGotoarrow.png Oldhamstocks

Parish #714

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



OLDHAMSTOCKS, a parish, partly in the county of Berwick, but chiefly in the county of Haddington; containing the villages of Birnieknows and Oldhamstocks in the latter county, 7 miles (S. E. by S.) from Dunbar. This parish, the name of which, anciently Aldhamstocs, is derived from the village in which its church is situated. The church, erected in 1701, is a neat and substantial edifice in good repair.[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

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 Oldhamstocks 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


Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1650-1675 - baptisms 03404666 item 1

1664-1821 1067852 item 4

1819-1854 1067853 item 1-2
Marriages: 1664-1819 1067852 item 4

1819-1854 1067853 item 1-2
Deaths: None

Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: Records are blank August 1740–November 1741. Entries out of order of time not unfrequent after 1806.
Marriages: Records are blank March 1740–November 1741, and 1836–1841.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Parish Church Photo


Established Church—Kirk Session Records

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:

                                         FHL Film Number
Minutes       1642–1707      1067853 item 1–2
Accounts     1752–1761      1067853 item 1–2
Minutes 1704–1752 - with accounts, 1761–1805 - with accounts, 1838–1936
Marriages 1855–1865
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/288.

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 Cockburnspath, Berwickshire

Cockburnspath and Oldhamstocks Free Church

In the two adjoining parishes of Cockburnspath, Berwickshire and Oldhamstocks, the minister of the latter adhered to the Establishment at the Disruption in 1843, while the minister of the former “came out,” and he suffered much persecution for his principles. A site for a church was refused, and his dwelling house was most inadequate. Attempts were made to render meetings for worship difficult, if not impossible. A feu was given by a staunch adherent, in spite of strong adverse influence, in the village of Oldhamstocks about three miles from Cockburnspath. There the first church was built. In 1890 a new church was erected at Cockburnspath.
Membership: 1848, 170; 1900, 70.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including a list of ministers.

                                                                            FHL Film Number
Registers of Members Contributions,   1851–1862    1482990

 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

Oldhamstocks 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 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 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-names' of East Lothian and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 324-337. Adapted. Date accessed: 04 April 2014.

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  • This page was last modified on 28 June 2015, at 18:18.
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