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"EDINBURGHSHIRE (or Mid-Lothian), maritime Co. in SE. of Scotland; is bounded E.by Haddington (or East-Lothian), Berwick, and Roxburgh; S. by Selkirk and Peebles; SW. by Lanark; and NW. by Linlithgow (or West-Lothian); coast-line, 12miles; 231,724 ac., pop. 389,164. The surface is finely diversified. The Moorfoot Hills, a continuation of the Lammermuirs, occupy the SE.; the Pentland Hills stretch across the Co. from the SW. All the streams, with the exception of the Tyne and Gala, in the E. and the SE., run to the Firth of Forth; the principle are the North Esk, the South Esk, the Water of Leith, and the Almond; the North Esk especially is noted for its picturesque scenery. The lowlands towards the Forth are the most fertile; the hilly parts of the S. are chiefly under pasture; in the W. are dairy-farms; in the vicinity of the city of Edinburgh are extensive nursery grounds and market gardens. The principal crops are oats and barley, turnips and potatoes. The Co. consists chiefly of carboniferous strata; and coal, shale, ironstone, lime- stone, and freestone,are extensively worked."

(Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887)

Archives and Libraries

Two seperate councils now cover the earlier Midlothian (or Edinburghshire) area. Archives for these councils are available:Capital Collections, the image library of Edinburgh city libraries and museums and galleries has an extensive collection of photographs etc of interest to anybody with connections to Edinburgh.


"Midlothian: an illustrated architectural guide" by Jane Thomas, and published The Rutland Press in 1995. ISBN 1 873190 26 3 (136 pages, paperback).

"Villages of Edinburgh: North Edinburgh v. 1" by Michael Cant. ISBN 0859761312 (220 pages) concentrates on Corstorphine, Cramond, Davidson's Main, Dean, Muttonhole, Duddingston, Newcraighall, Newhaven, Restalrig, Stockbridge.

"Villages of Edinburgh: South Edinburgh v. 2" by Michael Cant. ISBN 085976186X (220 pages) concentrates on Burdiehouse, Straiton, Colinton, Gilmerton, Juniper Green, Liberton, Longstone, Slateford, Morningside, Swanston.

A number of monumental inscriptions for Midlothian can be found at the Midlothian District Library Local Studies Centre in Loanhead. Consult the individual parish page to see if this information is available.

The Scottish Association of Family History Societies (SAFHS) have collated a list of all burial grounds in Scotland. This can be searched by name, parish, and county. Details include location, available records, etc.


There has been a census every 10 years since 1801 (excluding 1941) but only those returns after 1841 (with a few exceptions) carry details of named residents. Census returns for 1841-1901 can be consulted at the General Register Office in Edinburgh and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. LDS centres also carry microfiche indexes to the 1881 census returns. The General Register Office of Scotland has a page giving information on the Family Records that they hold. Computerized indexes for 1881, 1891 and 1901 are available at the General Register Office in Edinburgh and the 1881, 1891 and 1901 indexes are also now searchable on-line, for a fee, at the Scotland's People web site.

Church Records

The Kirk Session of a parish consists of the minister of the parish and the elders of the congregation. It looks after the general wellbeing of the congregation and, particularly in centuries past, parochial discipline. Most Kirk Session records are held in the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and can be fascinating reading.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. Information is available on these and other records, which are held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh.

Court Records

Records of testaments, inventories etc. are held at the National Archives, in the records of the Edinburgh Commisariot Court (before 1823) and the Edinburgh Sheriff Court (after 1823).


The transcription of the section for Midlothian from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
The transcription of the Miscellaneous entries from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.


The Midlothian Mailing List is for anyone with a genealogical interest in the counties of East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian, Scotland, Great Britain. The mailing address for postings is http://midlothian-l@rootsweb.com. To subscribe send the word "subscribe" (without the quotes) as the only text in the body of a mesage to midlothian-l-request@rootsweb.com (mail mode) or midlothian-d-request@rootsweb.com (digest mode).

The Midlothian WorldGenWeb provides online query pages where people can type in queries about their ancestors.


A list of coal mines in the Edinburgh area in 1896 is available online.

A list of metalliferous mines in the Edinburgh area in 1896 is available online.

The Lothians Family History Society
Lasswade High School Centre
Eskdale Drive
Midlothian EH19 2LA


For a social and economic record of the parishes of Midlothian, together with masses of statistcal material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland which was compiled in the 1790s.

Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.

This county is maintained by **Job vacancy**.

We are looking for somebody who can help with the maintenance of this page, which currently has a status of Pending - The section is active and has a maintainer assigned but a replacement maintainer is being sought. For more information about what helping us entails, look at our help wanted page. If you would like to consider helping us then please contact Dave Howie.