- source: Family History Library Catalog
- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
West Calder was a parish in the former Scottish county of Midlothian (known previously as Edinburghshire). The parish had an area of 86.5 sq. km (33.4 sq. miles) and had 8 neighbouring parishes; namely Mid Calder in Midlothian; Whitburn and Livingston in West Lothian; Cambusnethan, Carstairs, Carnwath and Dunsyre in Lanarkshire; and West Linton in Peeblesshire.
Since the administrative reorganization of 1996 it has been located in the West Lothian Council Area. It is 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Livingston and 6 miles (10 km) south of Bathgate.
The parish church has records for births dating from 1645, for marriages from 1677 and for deaths from 1677.
- the following paragraph is based on an article in Wikipedia
West Calder is a town and the principal settlement within the parish of West Calder. The town was an important centre for the oil shale economy in the 19th and 20th centuries. West Calder has its own railway station. The surrounding villages that take the town's name in their address; Polbeth, Addiewell, Loganlee, Harburn and Westwood outline the area that the town encompasses and they all have played an important part in the history of the town and of the parish.
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 West Calder. The contributor provides several books of reference under "Bibliography".
- Scottish Places article on the parish of West Calder. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
- The FamilySearch Wiki article on West 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.