"A parish in Berwickshire, in the district of Merse, of a triangular shape, containing about 7200 acres. The surface rises from the E. and S. towards the N. where the highest ground is named Langton Edge, from whence the prospect over the low land in Berwickshire and Northumberland is very extensive ... The ancient village of Langton was a long straggling town, as its name implies: it suffered like the rest of the border towns from the incursions of the English, having been burnt in 1558 by Sir Henry Percy and Sir George Bowes, and at other times by the marauding parties from Berwick and Northumberland. Mr George Gavin, the late proprietor, finding a dirty town so near his house an obstacle to improvements, offered the inhabitants to feu, on easy terms, a piece of ground, in a pleasant situation, about half a mile distant. This offer was accepted, and the old town of Langton in a short time disappeared, and the new and thriving village of Gavintown arose in its room ... Population in 1801, 428." from Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.
View a Map of the Area.
Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855).
Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1728. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Archives of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).
In his entry for the Statistical Account of Scotland (compiled 1790s, see the Statistics section of the Berwickshire page for more details) the Rev. Alexander Girvan made the following comment about deficiencies in the parish registers of Langton in the late 18th century:
"The register of baptisms, marriages, and burials, has never been kept with any degree of exactness; and I wish not to have any thing inserted in this account, for the truth of which I cannot answer."
The parish registers available worldwide on microfilm include kirk session accounts for the years 1730-1773 and minutes for 1747-1823 (in part 747/1 of the microfilm). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Berwickshire page.
The presence of non-conformist churches in the parish is revealed by Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory which lists the following in the year 1866:
There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the General Register Office for Scotland website.
Kathleen B. Fleming's article on "Langton parish" was published in the History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, Volume 43 (part 2 - 1985) pp.47-54.
Ordnance Survey maps covering Langton include:
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
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