"PRESTONKIRK, a parish a little north-east of the centre of Haddingtonshire. It contains the post-office station of Prestonkirk, the post-office village of East Linton, and the villages of New Linton and Old Preston. It is bounded by North Berwick, Whitekirk, Dunbar, Stenton, Whittingham, Morham, Haddington, and Athelstaneford ... Originally, and so early as the 12th century, the parish was called Linton; during some time before the Reformation, it was called indifferently Linton and Haugh; after the Reformation, it was called Prestonhaugh; at a later period it got its present name of Prestonkirk ... Baldred, who flourished in the latter part of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th, was long the tutelary of the parish, and is said to have dignified it by his residence, and founded its earliest church. Preston, the site of the church, was one of three villages which contended for his body after his decease. His statue long lay in the burying-ground, and was intended to be built into the church-wall, but was broken in pieces by an unromantic mason ... On the farm of Markle stand the ruins of an ancient monastery, considerable in extent, but unrefined in architecture, of whose history little is known." [From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868]
A lengthier description is available.



An excellent Gravestone Index for Prestonkirk Parish Church in East Linton has now been produced.


Church History

A brief history of the church, and parish may be found here.

Photos of the churches are available.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1658. 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).


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 Prestonkirk 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:

  • 1750: Road plan of Whittingehame, Stenton and East Linton, showing houses, churches, standing stone and plantations. Scale 1:8000. Size 55x77cm. Grid (map) reference NT6174. SRO reference RHP.56/2
  • 1792: Estate plan of Beanston. Scale 1:3600. Size 47x32cm. Grid (map) reference NT5476. SRO reference RHP.1036

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT575773 (Lat/Lon: 55.986798, -2.682686), Prestonkirk 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.