"PENCAITLAND, a parish, containing the post-office station of Pencaitland, and the villages of Easter Pencaitland, Wester Pencaitland, and Newton, in the western division of Haddingtonshire. It is bounded by Gladsmuir, Salton, Ormiston, and Tranent ... Population in 1831, 1,166; in 1861, 1,187." [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 (188 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.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1598. 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. Henry Sangster made the following comment about deficiencies in the registration of births in the parish of Pencaitland in the late 18th century:

"in the country parishes, many of the common people, since the date of the tax upon the registration of baptisms, do not register the births in their families"

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

You can see pictures of Pencaitland which are provided by:



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



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

The Scottish Record Office holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

  • 1831: The estate of Wester Pencaitland. Scale 1:3200. Size 62x52cm. Grid (map) reference NT4368

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT440686 (Lat/Lon: 55.90679, -2.897234), Pencaitland which are provided by:



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.