Place:East Calder, Midlothian, Scotland

NameEast Calder
Alt namesKirknewtonsource: First Statistical Account of Scotland, circa 1795
East Calder and Kirknewtonsource: First Statistical Account of Scotland, circa 1795
Coordinates55.895°N 3.463°W
Located inMidlothian, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoLothian, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
West Lothian (council area), Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog


East Calder and Kirknewton are the two names of a parish that had, according to The First Statistical Account for Scotland produced in the 1790s (see full reference below), been united since about 1750. There were churches in each of the villages of Kirknewton and East Calder, each with registers going back to 1642 for births, and 1704 for marriages and deaths.

In the late nineteenth century the parish benefitted from the discovery of shale oil deposits. In World War Two a combined RAF/USAF air base was constructed and continued to be used till sometime after the war. Today most inhabitants commute into Edinburgh for employment. [Source: Scottish Places]

The alterations in local government in Scotland in the late 20th century ended with East Calder/Kirknewton being moved from their former place in the county of Midlothian to the West Lothian Council Area in 1996.

Research Tips

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Kirknewton. There is no matching article for East Calder parish, but both villages have separate articles. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Kirknewton and East Calder provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish.
  • The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
  • Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.