Place:Abercorn, West Lothian, Scotland

Watchers
NameAbercorn
Alt namesObar Chùirnidhsource: Wikipedia
TypeParish
Coordinates55.9842°N 3.4825°W
Located inWest Lothian, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoLothian, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
West Lothian (council area), Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Family History Library Catalog
image:West Lothian3.jpg

Abercorn was a small coastal parish, facing the Firth of Forth, and located in the old county of West Lothian, which disappeared following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 18.3 sq. km (7 sq. miles) and had 6 neighbouring parishes: Bo'ness, Carriden, Dalmeny, Ecclesmachen, Kirkliston and Linlithgow.

Abercorn is now located in West Lothian Council Area, about 3 miles west of South Queensferry and 6 miles (10 km) north of Livingston.

The settlement named Abercorn is a hamlet containing the parish church. The history of this settlement and its church follows.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The English monk and historian Bede mentions Abercorn as the site of a monastery and seat of Bishop Trumwine who was the only bishop of the Northumbrian see of the Picts. The monastery is now known to have existed close to the present day church. The church itself dates partially from the 12th century, although its most interesting features are the private aisles created for the three major families of the area, the Dalyells, the Hamiltons, and later the Hopes, who had their own enclosure behind the altar built by architect William Bruce. The Hope mausoleum, designed by William Burn, is located in the kirkyard. Older burial monuments include Viking "hogback" stones, and fragments of 7th century Northumbrian crosses.

A castle also existed here from Norman times, although it was demolished in 1455 by James II during a siege against the "Black" earls of Douglas. The House of the Binns, seat of the Dalyell family, is within the parish.[1]

The lands of Abercorn were granted to Claud Hamilton in the 16th century. His son was later created the Earl of Abercorn. In the early 17th century, a branch of the Hamilton dynasty moved to Ulster in Ireland. The family would, henceforth, play a major part in Ulster affairs. Thus, the estate was later sold to the Hope family, who were created Earls of Hopetoun, and built Hopetoun House to the east of the village.[1]

Abercorn's population was recorded as 1,044 at the time of the 1821 census, although it has since declined.

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.

Notes for West Lothian

  • The Scottish Genealogy Society has published a comprehensive volume of Pre-1855 Monumental Inscriptions in West Lothian, compiled by John F Mitchell and Sheila Mitchell.
  • FreeCen has an index of 1841 census records including a substantial part of West Lothian.
  • The Abercorn Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide information on baptisms (1585-1854), marriages (1620-1855) and deaths (1645-1855). See the FamilySearch Wiki article on Abercorn for other church denominations.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on Abercorn. The contributor provides several books of reference under "Bibliography".
  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Abercorn. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Abercorn 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.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Abercorn. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.