Place:Borthwick, Midlothian, Scotland

Coordinates55.8199°N 3.0229°W
Located inMidlothian, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoLothian, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
Midlothian (council area), Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
Contained Places
Borthwick Castle
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

Note: The second Family History Library Catalog reference above lists the following entries:
Scotland, Roxburgh, Borthwick - Cemeteries
Scotland, Roxburgh, Borthwick - Church history
There is a Borthwick Water in Roxburghshire, but the borders of Midlothian and Roxburghshire do not join and Borthwick is surrounded by other Midlothian parishes. The FHLC may well be in error in labelling these files/microfilms as belonging to Roxburghshire.


Borthwick was a parish in the former Scottish county of Midlothian, which disappeared following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974. It is now located in the Midlothian Council Area, some 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the town of Bonnyrigg and 8 miles (13 km) east of the town of Penicuik.

The parish has an area of 37.9 sq. km (14.6 sq. miles). Borthwick has 7 neighbouring parishes; namely Carrington, Cockpen, Cranston, Crichton, Heriot, Newbattle and Temple. Some modifications were made to the parish boundaries by the Local Government (Scotland) Acts 1889 and 1894.

The parish church has records for births dating from 1706, for marriages from 1700 and for deaths from 1784.

"Borthwick's grand antiquity is the castle [Borthwick Castle] at its kirktown, 3½ miles southeast of Gorebridge, on a tongue of rocky land, protected South, East and North by deep and wooded ravines, down two of which flow the head-streams of the Gore. About 1½ miles lower down on the lands of Harvieston, beautifully situated by the side of the Gore, stands the ruined castle of Catcune, which is said to have been the seat of the Borthwicks before they had risen to eminence."
(Source: Groome's Ordnance Gazetter of Scotland c.1895)

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.

  • Scottish Places article on the parish of Borthwick. The tabs of the right provide more information, and comparitive maps.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Borthwick 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.