Place:Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Coordinates55.9°N 3.6°W
Located inWest Lothian, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoLothian, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
West Lothian (council area), Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
image:West Lothian3.jpg

Bathgate was located in the old County of West Lothian, which disappeared following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. The parish had an area of 44km2 (17 sq. miles) and included the town of Bathgate. The parish had 6 neighbouring parishes: namely Ecclesmachen, Linlithgow, Livingston, Torphichen and Whitburn in West Lothian, and Shotts in Lanarkshire.

Bathgate's population grew from 2,500 in 1801 to 11,300 in 1891. This was due to the discovery and use of coal and shale oil (which produced paraffin for lighting).

Bathgate is now situated in the West Lothian Council Area, some 5 miles (8 km) west of Livingston in West Lothian and 7 miles (11 km) south of Polmont in Falkirk.


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 the whole of West Lothian. The Genealogical Society of Utah sponsored the collection of 1881 census records and these will be found at FamilySearch
  • The Bathgate Parish Registers for the Church of Scotland provide information on baptisms (1672-1854), marriages (1672-1855 with a ten-year break 1788-1798) and deaths (1769-1854 and some available to 1873). 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 Bathgate. The contributor provides several books of reference under "Bibliography".
  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Bathgate. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Bathgate 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.