"LONGFORMACUS, a parish, consisting of a main body and a detached section, in the north of Berwickshire. Its post-town is Dunse. Its main body is bounded by Haddingtonshire, and the parishes of Cranshaws, Abbey St Bathans, Dunse, Langton, and Lauder ... The detached section lies 2 miles east of the nearest point of the main body; is bounded by Abbey St Bathans, Buncle, and Dunse ... The present parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Longformacus and Ellam, which were united before the year 1750." from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
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 following quotation comes from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published in 1868. This reference was found in volume II, page 373:
"The present parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Longformacus and Ellam, which were united before the year 1750. ELLAM, or ELLIM, an ancient rectory, now comprehended in the parish of Longformacus, Berwickshire. It belonged to the Earls of Dunbar; and, after their forfeiture, was given by Robert to Thomas Erskine. The ruins of the ancient church and hamlet are traceable on the north bank of the Whitadder, near the passage which is still called Ellam-ford."
The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1654. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the National Records of 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 Records of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).
The parish registers available worldwide on microfilm include kirk session minutes and accounts for the years 1654-1683 (in part 750/1 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 National Records of Scotland website.
A short article on Longformacus's geography and history was printed in the February 1993 edition of the Borders Family History Society magazine.
Ordnance Survey maps covering Longformacus include:
Longformacus is also covered by an old Victorian one-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map published by Caledonian Maps. The relevant sheet is sheet number 33 "Haddington" which also includes Abbey St Bathans, Aberlady, Dirleton, Dunbar, East Linton, Gifford, Lammermuir Hills, Longformacus, Pathhead and Tranent.
Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
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