Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Midlothian Gotoarrow.png Dalkeith

Parish #683

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dalkeith. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.


DALKEITH, a market-town, burgh of barony, and parish, in the county of Edinburgh; containing the villages of Lugton and Whitehill, 6 miles (S. E. by S.) from Edinburgh. This place, at a very remote period, was the property of the ancient family of Graham. The town is beautifully situated between the rivers North and South Esk. The old parish church, on the north side of the High-street, is an ancient structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, and is partly dilapidated; the interior is but indifferently arranged, containing 1130 sittings. A new church was erected in 1840; it is a handsome cruciform structure in the later English style, and is beautifully situated in the north-west of the town, overlooking the vale of the North Esk. There are places of worship for members of the United Secession, Independents, the Relief Church, Wesleyans, and members of the Free Church.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Dalkeith as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available.

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church--Old Parochial Register

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1609-1627, 1639-1769 1066679

1770-1820 1066680

1820-1850 1066681

1850-1855 1066682

1841-1851 - neglect entries 1066682
Marriages: 1639-1769 1066680

1770-1820 1066681

1820-1855 1066682
Deaths: 1701-1780 - with index 1066681

1783-1819 1066681

1819-1854 1066682
Condition of Original Registers

Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may be indexed in the  Internation Genealogical Index. 
Births: There are no entries, except four pages with entries April–October 1612, June 1610–March 1616, and October 1627–October 1639. There are two separate records October 1690–June 1693 and there are no entries December 1746–June 1747.
Marriages: There are no entries August 1683–September 1690.
Deaths: Burials, There are no entries December 1780–October 1783 and May 1797–June 1800. There is a duplicate of portion 1786–1794 and and index to portion 1756–1780.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1582–1929; scroll minutes 1744–1763
Separate Register 1758–1842, 1851–1922
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/424.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

Dalkeith East Associate Presbyterian Church, Buccleugh Street

A praying society, which had existed from the time of the Covenanters in the village of Easthouses in the parish of Newbattle, which adjoins Dalkeith, acceded to the Associate Presbytery in October 1737. They were supplied with sermon on average once in six weeks. In February 1741 they were further increased by the accession of two elders and upwards of thirty other persons in the parish of Dalkeith. A church was built in 1742 and a second in 1812. This congregation became Burgher at the Breach in 1747. In 1878 a new church was built on Buccleuch Street. (See also the Back Street Church).
Membership: 1838, 600 (445 communicants); 1900, 470.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church
, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. FHL Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records Years FHL Film Number
Baptisms 1752-1762 0889484 item 5 X
Various minutes 1758-1903
Various accounts 1751-1883
Seat rents 1769-1809, 1829-1869
Congrational book 1788-1797
Communion roll 1842-1843

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/466.
The X means records have been extracted.

Dalkeith General Associate, later Back Street United Presbyterian Church

This congregation originated with a minority of the East congregation who adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod at the Breach in 1747 while the majority adhered to the Associate Burgher Synod. Church built in 1749. This congregation gradually faded out of existence in the late–1800s.
Membership: 1838, 200 (111 communicants).
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records Years FHL Film Number
Baptisms 1749-1809 1482992 items 4–6 X
Baptisms from session minutes 1849-1870 1482992 items 4–6 X
Marriages from session minutes  1749-1813, 1849-1867  1482992 items 4–6 X
Session minutes 1749-1808, 1813, 1820-1890 1482992 items 4–6
Collections, disbursements, charges 1749-1806 1482992 items 4–6
Communion rolls 1871-1872 1482992 items 4–6

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/68–69.
The X means records have been extracted.

Dalkeith West (later King’s Park) Relief Church

This congregation originated in unpopular settlements of ministers which took place about the same time in the parishes of Dalkeith and Cockpen. The parties who withdrew from the Established Church on these occasions joined in a petition to the Relief Presbytery of Edinburgh to be taken under their inspection as a congregation, which was granted in 1768. The congregation was organized in 1770 and the church built the same year.
Membership: 1838, 600 (380 communicants).
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Family History Library Film #477618. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records Years FHL Film Number
Baptisms 1839-1911      0889478 items 1–2 X (to 1885)
Marriages 1848, 1869-1906  0889478 items 1–2 X
Various minutes 1815-1911
Cash book 1799-1808
Congrational list and Young communicants  1834-1847
Communion roll 1842-1843

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/380.
The X means records have been extracted.

Dalkeith Free Presbyterian Church

James Monteith, senior minister of the parish, “came out” in 1843. A meeting had been held in December 1842 to prepare for possible contingencies so that at the Disruption there was an organized congregation to represent the Free Church in Dalkeith. The congregation worshiped at first in the United Associate Secession Church, kindly granted for the purpose. The new church was built and opened in December 1843. It was remodeled in 1845 and reseated in 1877. A school was erected in 1845 and a manse in 1863. The congregation carried on a mission at Newton Grange which became a sanctioned charge in 1884 under the name of Newbattle.
Membership: 1838, 484; 1848, 450; 1900, 408.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Family History Library Film #918572. More details may be given in the source including ministers.

Records Years FHL Film Number
Baptisms 1843-1911     0889477 items 7-8  X to 1906
Deacons' court minutes 1842-1911
Cash book 1848-1871
Building committee bank and cash books 1848-1855
School committee minutes 1844-1854

Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/379.

The X means that the record has been extracted.

Dalkeith Congregational Church

Towards the end of 1799, a house “for the preaching of the Gospel by ministers of Christ of every denomination” was opened in Abbey Road, Dalkeith. Considerable interest was aroused. This happened at the time when the Haldanes were conducting open–air meetings in the town, and it would appear that a Congregational church resulted from these combined evangelistic ventures around 1804. In 1805 a place of worship was acquired at the junction of Tait and Back Streets and was known as the Tabernacle. A new church was opened in High Street in 1868, by which name the congregation was thereafter known. This church closed in 1967. A second church at Croft Street was formed in November 1847 in connection with the Evangelical Union and they joined that body in 1855. That church was dissolved in 1928 and the building sold.
Membership: 1838, 73.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960; Family History Library book 941 K2es, also, The Scottish Congregational Ministry, by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, pub. 1993; Family History Library book 941 K2mwd. Both include lists of ministers.

Extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:

The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Dalkeith Episcopalian Church

The New Statistical Account for Dalkeith, dated 1844, states that there was a minister there from 1769 to 1772 but none following. The present church was dedicated to St. Mary in 1845.

Records—                       FHL Call Number
Christenings 1754–1757. . . 941 B2sa vol. 9
Christenings 1845–1854
Marriages 1846–1854
Note: Record may be available by writing to:
The Secretary
Buccleuch Estates Ltd.
Dalkeith Estate Office
Deer Park
Dalkeith EH22 2NA
Tel: 011–44–131 663 2217

Dalkeith South Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

A society was formed here in 1786. After Wesley preached here in 1788, a minister was settled in the town. The church was built in 1789. Membership at the turn of the century was larger than it was later after the Dissenting congregations opened their places of worship for Sabbath evening services. New chapel built in 1887.
Membership: 1838, 40.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Dalkeith, dated 1844. Family History Library book 941 B4sa, series 2, vol. 1, also Methodism in Scotland, by Wesley F. Swift, pub. 1947. Family History Library book 941 K2sw

Baptisms 1855–1914
Trustee Minutes 1849–1962
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH11/17.

Dalkeith Catholic Church

Records are unavailable. Church dedicated to St. David in 1854.

Baptisms 1854–1913
Marriages 1854–1913
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, Edinburgh, record RH21/76.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A branch was formed in Dalkeith about 1851 but ceased by the end of the decade.

Records—                              FHL Film Number
Record of members 1851–1858 . . .  0104150 item 8

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.


Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directories available for Dalkeith and district are:

1887-1902: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online.

Probate Records

Dalkeith was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburg until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Edinburg. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Midlothian and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Edinburg.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Midlothian. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Midlothian and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 259-280. Adapted. Date accessed: 10 April 2014.

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