Innerwick, East Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png East LothianGotoarrow.png Innerwick

Parish #711

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


INNERWICK, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Dunbar; containing the hamlet of Skateraw, and the village of Thorntonloch. This place of Gaelic origin, is descriptive of its relative position. The church, situated on an eminence, in the village of Innerwick, is a neat plain edifice, erected in 1784. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 record is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Innerwick, 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 Scotland 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: 1614-1646, 1663-1740 -baptisms 1067849 item 5-6

1741-1854 1067850 item 1-3
Marriages: 1614-1646, 1663-1714 1067849 item 5-6

1745-1855 1067850 item 1-3
Deaths; 1663-1688. 1716-1718 - burials 1067849 item 5-6

1783-1857 1067850 item 1-3
Condition of Original Registers—

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 Intenational Genealogical Index.  
Births: Births and marriages are intermixed until 1646. Births are blank July 1646–January 1663, March 1690–June 1691, from which last date until 1710, the entries are intermixed with other matters. The date of birth is seldom inserted in the entries before 1780. Mothers’ names are not recorded until 1692.
Marriages: Records are blank July 1646–January 1663, July 1689–July 1691, from which date until 1710, they are intermixed with births. Records are blank January 1717–May 1745, October 1756–December 1757, and June 1759–October 1771, excluding four entries for 1761. The records for 1773–1782 are defective.
Deaths: Records are blank December 1688–February 1716, and April 1718–December 1782, from which date they are “Mortcloth Dues.”
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham. British Book 941 K23b.
Note: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Innerwick 1835 states that the parish registers started in 1608, so some pages may have been lost from the records since then.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

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
Church Minutes 1691–1710 includes some baptisms,
marriages, and burials                                                          1067849 item 5–6
Minutes and Accounts 1608, 1648–1649, 1654–1688,
1608–1710 - interspersed with discipline, baptisms, and
proclamations, 1710–1736, 1781–1881                                  1067849 item 5–6
Accounts, Charge and Discharge 1676–1688
Collections 1782
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1463.

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.

 The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Innerwick 1835 states that there were 120 Dissenter in the parish at that time, chiefly of the United Secession.

Innerwick Free Church

The minister of Innerwick “came out” in 1843, and, on leaving the manse, had to remove to Dunbar. After long delay a site for church and manse was secured at some distance from the village. These circumstances were adverse to the prosperity of the congregation, which suffered also by the decrease of population in the district. In 1896 it was reduced to a preaching station. The charge was, however, again sanctioned by the Assembly in 1899. The church was renovated in 1898. Farm servants have always formed the bulk of the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 168; 1900, 91.
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.

Baptismal Register 1845–1923
Marriage Register 1845–1894
Minutes 1815–1931
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1866.

=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

Innerwick 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-names' of East Lothian 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. 555-584. Adapted. Date accessed: 04 April 2014.

Return to the East Lothian parish list.