Colinton, Midlothian, ScotlandEdit This Page

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Midlothian Gotoarrow.png Colinton

Parish #677

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



COLINTON, a parish, in the county of Edinburgh, including the villages of Hailes-Quarry, Juniper-Green, Longstone, Slateford, and Swanston; 4 miles (S. W.) from Edinburgh. The name of this place, sometimes written Colington, was formerly Hailes, a word signifying "mounds" or "hillocks," and accurately descriptive of the appearance of the surface of the parish. The church, which is very ancient, is beautifully situated in the vicinity of Colinton House; it was rebuilt in 1771, and in 1817 new-roofed, and in the year 1837 it was enlarged and re-seated. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church; also a chapel at Slateford, built in 1784.[1]

     The original name of this parish was Hailes, probley from the name of the property  of the glebe.  The name of Colinton was given to it to honor the principal family in the parish.  On the barony of Redhall there use to be a castle .  In 1650 this castle endured a regular siege from Cromwell's army.  The Foulis of Colinton is the most ancient family in the parish.They seemed to have come to Scotland from France in the eleventh century.  The parochial registers are in seven volumes.  the begin 3rd September 1650, but there are years not recorded.  The population in 1791 was 1395, and in 1838 it was 1982.  There are 269 families connect with the Established church and 171 families connected with Desenters.  The nearest market town is Edinburgh, the villiage of Slateford is in the parish.

This accound was written in 1839.

Source: New Statistical Account of Scotland ( FHL book 941 B4sa, series 2 vol.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

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 Colinton, 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

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 Library Film Number
Births: 1654-1819 1066671 items 2-4

1820-1854 - with index 1066672 items 1-4

1738-1851 - index 1066671 items 5-6
Marriages: 1654-1819 1066671 items 2-4

1820-1854 - with proclamations 1066672 items 1-4
Deaths: 1717-1724, 1815-1855 1066672 items 1-4

1826-1854 1066672 items 5-6

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: On the flyleaf are two entries, 1645–1646. Entries are irregular and incomplete April 1689–May 1694 and are out of order of time after 1797. After the record for 1819, there are twenty–six pages of transcribed entries, 1815–1819 included. Mothers’ names are not recorded until November 1683.
Marriages: There are no entries September 1689–October 1693 and April 1711–May 1713. The lower portion of the page at 1721 is cut off. There are no entries May 1742–March 1748. After the record for 1819 are twenty–four pages of transcribed entries of irregular marriages, 1724–1820 and eight pages of transcribed entries of proclamations 1815–1819 inclusive.
Deaths: Registers are burials and Mortcloth Dues. There are no entries December 1724–January 1728, March 1730–December 1747. Entries for 1815–1819, inclusive, are recorded twice.
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:

Burials 1761–1764
Proclamations 1761–1764, 1854–1954
Minutes 1651–1933 - with some gaps
Accounts 1713–1818, 1841–1906
Disbursements 1654–1713
Collections 1663–1713
Communion Rolls 1841–1952
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/123.

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.

Slateford United Presbyterian

For several reasons, including the settlement of an unpopular minister in the parish of Colinton, a petition was made to the Burgher Presbytery of Edinburgh for supply of sermon and it was granted in 1782. A church was built in Slateford. The session was constituted in July 1783 with 94 members. In 1858 the membership stood at 268.
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.

Various Minutes 1783–1955
Accounts 1823–1943
Seat Letting Book 1815–1890
Inventory of Various Papers 1767–1878
Note: Available in the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/490.

Juniper Green Free Church

Dr. Lewis Balfour, grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, minister of Colinton, and Dr. Robert Jamieson, minister of Currie, were expected to “come out” in 1843 but stayed in the Established Church. The Free Presbytery of Edinburgh in July 1843 constituted the elders and people adhering to the Free Church as a congregation. A church was built in Juniper Green about midway between the two parishes. It was called Colinton and Currie Free Church until 1880. Then the church was rebuilt and enlarged and a hall added, the name being changed to Juniper Green Free Church. The prosperity of a paper mill at Kinleith brought an increase to the population. The district became a favorite residential suburb of Edinburgh. Lord Cockburn of Bonaly sat in the first church as a hearer. Mr. Gladstone’s was the first voice heard in the rebuilt church in 1880. A manse was provided in 1858.
Membership: 1848, 220; 1900, 407.
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.

Minutes 1844–1974
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/951.

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

Colinton 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' 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' of Midlothian 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. 200-218. Adapted. Date accessed: 10 April 2014.

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