Place:Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Alt namesBonesssource: Family History Library Catalog
Borrowstounnesssource: Family History Library Catalog
Bo'ness and Carridensource: merger with neighbouring parish
Coordinates56.017°N 3.617°W
Located inWest Lothian, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoCarriden, West Lothian, Scotlandjoined for civil reg, date of merger unknown
Lothian, Scotland|regional administration 1975-1996
Falkirk, Scotlandunitary council area since 1996
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
image:West Lothian3.jpg

The Parish of Bo'ness--or Borrowstouness, to use its full name--is described as the Parish of Bo'ness and Carriden in many references. Carriden was the neighbouring coastal parish and the main settlements of the two parishes--the town of Bo'ness and the village of Carriden--are less than 2 miles apart. It would appear that the two parishes merged at some time, but the precise date has not been found. Since civil registration began in 1855, they have been recorded as one parish.

The parish of Bo'ness and Carriden is located in the former county of West Lothian which was absorbed into Lothian Region in 1975. The joined parish had an area of 26km2 (10 sq. miles) and had 4 neighbouring parishes: Abercorn and Linlithgow in West Lothian, and Grangemouth, and Muiravonside in Stirlingshire.

Since the administrative reorganizaion of Scotland in 1996 the joint parish is situated in Falkirk Council Area.


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
  • Births recorded in the Parish Registers of the Established Church for Bo'ness cover the years 1656-1855 with a five-year break 1688-1693; marriages are recorded for 1648-1661, 1681-1689, 1696-1707 and 1752-1855; deaths are recorded for 1736-1792 and 1808-1848

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on Bo'ness. There is a link to a very full timeline of Bo'ness's history.
  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Bo'ness and Carriden. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Bo'ness provides direct references to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish. The notes on Carriden are recorded separately.
  • 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.