Place:East Lothian, Scotland

Watchers
NameEast Lothian
Alt namesHaddingtonshiresource: [in use until 1921] Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961)
Haddingtonsource: Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961)
Lodainn an Earsource: Wikipedia
TypeTraditional county
Coordinates55.9371°N 2.6978°W
Located inScotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoLothian, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
East Lothian (council area), Scotlandunitary council area since 1996
Contained Places
Hamlet
Athelstaneford (hamlet) ( - 1975 )
Belhaven ( - 1975 )
Drem ( - 1975 )
East Barns ( - 1975 )
East Saltoun ( - 1975 )
Garvald ( - 1975 )
West Saltoun ( - 1975 )
Inhabited place
Aberlady (village) ( - 1975 )
Cockenzie and Port Seton ( - 1975 )
Dirleton (village) ( - 1975 )
Dunbar (town) ( - 1975 )
East Linton ( - 1975 )
Gifford ( - 1975 )
Gullane ( - 1975 )
Haddington (town) ( - 1975 )
Longniddry ( - 1975 )
Macmerry ( - 1975 )
North Berwick (village) ( - 1975 )
Ormiston (village) ( - 1975 )
Pencaitland (village) ( - 1975 )
Penston ( - 1975 )
Prestonpans (town) ( - 1975 )
Spott (village) ( - 1975 )
Tranent (town) ( - 1975 )
Tyninghame
Locality
East Fortune ( - 1975 )
Parish
Aberlady ( 1632 - 1975 )
Athelstaneford ( 1664 - 1975 )
Bolton ( 1685 - 1975 )
Dirleton ( 1664 - 1975 )
Dunbar ( 1651 - 1975 )
Garvald and Bara ( - 1975 )
Gladsmuir ( 1688 - 1975 )
Haddington ( 1619 - 1975 )
Humbie ( 1643 - 1975 )
Innerwick ( 1614 - 1975 )
Morham ( 1712 - 1975 )
North Berwick ( 1604 - 1975 )
Oldhamstocks ( 1664 - 1975 )
Ormiston ( 1637 - 1975 )
Pencaitland ( 1598 - 1975 )
Prestonkirk ( 1658 - 1975 )
Prestonpans ( 1596 - 1975 )
Saltoun ( - 1975 )
Spott ( 1683 - 1975 )
Stenton ( 1668 - 1975 )
Tranent ( 1611 - 1975 )
Whitekirk and Tynninghame ( 1761 - 1975 )
Whittingehame ( - 1975 )
Yester ( - 1975 )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


East Lothian (officially Haddingtonshire until 1921) was a former county of East Central Scotland. It was fairly small with an area of 271 sq. miles (701 sq. km) and was bounded on the north by the Firth of Forth, on the northeast by the North Sea, on the west by the County of Midlothian and on the south by Berwickshire and the Lammermuir Hills. Its principal rivers were the Esk and Tyne.

image:East_Lothian2.png

The county town was Haddington, with coastal settlements including Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Aberlady, Gullane, North Berwick and Dunbar, while inland are East Linton, Gifford and Tranent.

The principal industry was agriculture, with coal-mining having importance in the west. In early times a number of towns had a weaving industry with the reputation of making "fine cloth".

In 1974 the county was incorporated into Lothian Region, before being re-established as a separate entity called a "council area" in 1996. The new council area included the parish of Inveresk that had formerly been in Midlothian.

Wikipedia does not supply a history of East Lothian, but that is not to say the county is without history. The Battle of Prestonpans occurred in 1745 during the second Jacobite Rising (led by "Bonnie Prince Charlie", a grandson of James II of England). The harbour of North Berwick was built in the 12th century. The administrative centre of Haddington can trace its history back to the 6th or 7th century.

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.

  • GENUKI article on East Lothian. The contributor provides a short list of reference books under "Bibliography".
  • Scottish Places article on the county of East Lothian. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • Scottish Places article on the East Lothian Council Area (in existence since 1996) may include useful information not in the artlicle on the county.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on East Lothian provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the county.
  • 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.