Whittinghame, East Lothian, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png East LothianGotoarrow.png Whittinghame

Parish # 724

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


WHITTINGHAM, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 3 miles (S. by E.) from Prestonkirk. This place, which is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Saxon language "the Town of the White Meadow," from the colour of the soil, is of very considerable antiquity. The church, situated on the north bank of the Whittingham water, was built in 1722, and was put into complete repair in 1820; it is a small edifice adapted only for a congregation of 350 persons, and is at an inconvenient distance from the extreme parts of the parish.[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 Whittinghame 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: 1627-1757, 1771-1854 1067863 item 1-3
Marriages: 1627-1757, 1771-1854 1067863 item 1-3
Deaths: None
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: Births and marriages are intermixed 1627–1663. Records are blank excluding a few entries for 1643 May 1640–October 1659. Births are also blank February 1663–October 1668, March 1723–March 1724, August 1729–January 1733, and December 1757–June 1771. Corners of leaves prior to 1700 are wasted rendering entries imperfect.
Marriages: Marriage records are blank January 1663–October 1668, and December 1692–May 1694. There are no entries December 1715–January 1717 they are defective 1718–1733, and blank October 1757–August 1771. The corners of leaves 1668–1715 are wasted, rendering entries imperfect. A large proportion of the marriages recorded after 1717, are irregular.
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 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 1674–1790, 1694–1702, 1717–1758 - with accounts, 1777–1780, 1806–1875
Cash 1759–1854
Proclamations 1854–1939
Poor Accounts 1800–1801, 1833–1850
Road Trustees, Minutes and Accounts Statute Labor 1818–1864
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/372.

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.

There are none.

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

Whittinghame 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. 588-608. Adapted. Date accessed: 10 April 2014.

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