"ORMISTON, a parish, containing the post-office village of Ormiston, and the village of House of Muir, in the midle of the western verge of Haddingtonshire. It is bounded on the west by Edinburghshire, and on other sides by the parishes of Tranent, Pencaitland, and Humbie. Its length, from north to south, is 4 1/4 miles; its breadth, owing to deep indentations and projections on its east side, is exceedingly changeful ... On the lands of Paiston anciently stood a village of about 1/2 a mile in length; and between that village and Templehall there were anciently a burying-ground and probably a church. The parish is well provided with roads; but the nearest railway is at Tranent. Population in 1831, 838; in 1861, 915." [From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868]
A lengthier description is available.



The Scottish Genealogy Society holds a list of gravestones in this parish (138 in total) in its library in Edinburgh. Similar lists may be available elsewhere, for example in the East Lothian District Library's Local History Centre at Newton Port in Haddington.

A copy can be viewed at the village newsagents, H & E Hart.


Church History

Reverend Whitehead's history of the parish includes a chapter all about the history of the church. See the History section above.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1637. 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 Scottish Record Office 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 East Lothian page for more details) the Rev. Alexander Colvill made the following comment about deficiencies in the registration of births in the parish of Ormiston in the late 18th century:

"In general, throughout Scotland, it is not a register of births that is kept by the clerk of the parish, but a register of baptisms. On this account, children who are not baptised (as several are not) are not registered. Children also, whose parents are unable or unwilling to pay the dues to the clerk, are generally not registered; so that from these, and various other circumstances, I am far from thinking that the register of baptisms in Scotland is to be depended upon, for bringing out an exact state of the population of our country."

Registers for the Pathhead and Ormiston Free Church are available in LDS family history centres around the world. These include christenings for 1843-1862.


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these and other records held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh, see the GRO tutorial .


Description & Travel

A leaflet on the village may be obtained from the village newsagents, H & E Hart. (Please confirm if this is still available!)

You can see pictures of Ormiston which are provided by:



Extracts for this parish from the 1868 National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland are available.



See "History of Ormiston" by Rev. W. Y. Whitehead, published at Haddington in 1937 (148 pages).



This map shows the location of the parish in the county.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT427667 (Lat/Lon: 55.890376, -2.91806), Ormiston which are provided by:


Military History

The names here have been transcribed from the Ormiston village war memorial. For more information on these people, please visit the Commonwealth War Graves website and enter the name in the search box.


John Allan
Gavin Anderson
Alex Scott Beattie
Thomas Bell
John Blackshaw
Charles Brown
John Brown
Thomas Chalmers
Alexander Christie
John Augustus Devine
Daniel Ferguson
Peter Ferguson
Peter Fergusson MM
Andrew Fulton
Robert G Gibson
James Gordon
Eben Grossart
John Hay
Andrew Hogarth
Patrick Keegan
James Kerr
John Logan
Peter Logan
William Lusk
George Malcolm
Robert Manners
James Moggie
Alexander McCraw
William McCraw
Alexander McEwan
David Steel McIvor MM
George Robertson
Peter Smith
William Smith
Wm Donaldson Smith
Robert Spence
Alexander Stewart
Ramsay Vickers
Richard Walkingshaw
William Wigham
Robert Wise


Hugh Armstrong
William Black
James Coull
James Docherty
Alexander Hogg
Jamieson Hogg
James Mack
Alexander Mackie
James Scott
John (Ian) Scott
Andrew Selkirk
Frederick Tague
Leonard Turner




Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:



For a social and economic record of the parishes of East Lothian together with considerable statistical 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.

Thanks to a joint venture between the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh the First and Second Statistical Accounts can now be accessed on-line at The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1799 and 1845.