Spott, East Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png East LothianGotoarrow.png Spott

Parish #720

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


SPOTT, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 2 miles (S.) from Dunbar. This place, of which the name appears to be descriptive of its retired situation. The principal stream is the Spott water, which abounds with trout. The church is conveniently situated.[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.

Take a walk through the parish of Spott and learn a little history.

 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 Spott, 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


Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1683-1854 1067859 item 3-5
Marriages: 1683-1854 1067859 item 3-5
Deaths: 1683-1825 1067859 item 3-5

Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1683–1854 1067859 item 3–5
Marriages: 1683–1854 1067859 item 3–5
Deaths: 1683–1825 1067859 item 3–5

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 also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland. 
Births: Records are blank May 1690–April 1693 and some entries are out of order of time after 1799.
Marriages: The record is blank November 1794–May 1817, excluding one entry for 1802, two for 1810, and two for 1815.
Deaths: Two entries 1838–1839 after the entries for 1802. Deaths and burials are blank excluding six entries for 1801–1802 and September 1795–April 1817.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Picture of Spott Parish Church

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:

Minutes 1662–1703, 1704–1727 - with accounts, 1724–1741 - with accounts, 1742–1773 - with accounts, 1799–1804, 1837–1880
Accounts 1786–1816
Cash Book 1767–1786
Transcribed Minutes for the 11th of May 1665 and the 27th of January 1689
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/333.

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.

None. The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Spott 1836 states that there were then 16 Dissenter families in the parish, but they attended services elsewhere.

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

Spott 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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 467-489. Adapted. Date accessed: 04 April 2014.

Return to the East Lothian Parish List.