Langton, Berwickshire, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Langton. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
LANGTON, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 2½ miles (W. S. W.) from Dunse; containing the village of Gavinton. This place derives its name from the ancient town, which was remarkable for its length of straggling houses, extending from the manor-house to the eastern extremity of the parish. The ancient church, of which the date is not distinctly known, was situated near Langton House, and was in use till the year 1798, when the present church was erected in the village of Gavinton; it is a neat edifice in good repair, and adapted for a congregation of 250 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.
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.
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.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the 1841-1891 census records of Langton on microfilm. Click here to see library's catalog entry for the census records of Langton, as well as the catalog entry for the 1841and 1851 census surname indexes of Langton. Other surname indexes will be found on the Berwick county page.
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.
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:||1728-1854||1067901 item 3-4|
|Marriages:||1730-1854||1067901 item 3-4|
|Deaths:||1728-1773||1067901 item 3-4|
Condition of Original Registers—
Index: 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: Only a few entries exist before January 1731. Entries are out of chronological order about 1766–1767.
Marriages: Only entries of marriage money exist, containing merely the name of the bridegroom, or the bride, until 1773. There are no entries March 1733–July 1748. After 1773 there is only a mixed record containing entries of irregular marriages 1748–1822. There are only three entries, 1776–1777, between June 1767 and December 1807. No entries exist 1822–1827.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues are intermixed with the marriage money.
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 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:
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/980.
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 Langton 1834, states that there were no dissenting or seceding chapels within the parish at that time. The Dissenters in the parish attended services in Dunse. They numbered about a third of the parish population of 503 in 1833. In the village of Gavinton, there were 33 members of the Relief church and 28 of the Burgher and Anti-burgher churches, out of a population of 243.
Langton Free Church
The minister of the parish and his entire congregation left the Established Church in 1843. The same year they built a church near the village of Gavinton. The Marquis and Marchioness of Breadalbane and her sister Lady Hannah Tharpe were members of the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 152; 1900, 138.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details are given in the source.
Baptismal Register 1849–1924
Communion Roll 1844–1927
Deacons’ Court Minutes 1844
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1521.
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.
Langton was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Lauder until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Duns. 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 Berwick and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Lauder.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Berwick. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Berwick and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 137-157. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 April 2014.
Return to the Berwickshire parish list.