West Lothian (Linlithgowshire), Scotland Genealogy

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West Lothian (or Linlithgowshire until 1921) is a county in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Firth of Forth, on the east and south-east by the county of Edinburgh, on the south-west by Lanarkshire, and on the west by the county of Stirling.  It is about 21 miles in length and 12 miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 112 square miles or 71,680 acres.  It is the western division of the ancient province of Lothian. 
After the departure of the Romans, great numbers of the emigrants from the Irish coast, who had established themselves in Cantyre, removed to these parts.  After the union of the kingdoms of the Picts and Scots under Kenneth II (about the year 971), they became identified with the Scots.

There are twelve parishes.  Linlithgow is the county-town and a royal burgh where all the courts are held.  There are also the royal burgh of Queensferry, the burgh-of-barony of Bathgate, and the burgh-of-regality of Borrowstounness, with some smaller towns and populous villages.

The surface is most pleasingly diversified with gentle undulations and is intersected nearly in the centre by a range of hills.  In the east and south the land is generally level, but towards the west are some hills clothed with verdure and crowned with woods.  About four-fifths of the land is arable and the remainder is woodland, plantations, and waste.  The pastures are rich.  There are not many sheep but there are cattle and horses raised.  There is coal, limestone, freestone, and ironstone, which contains silver, all of which are wrought.  The principal manufactures are of salt and of shoes, the spinning of cotton and printing of calico, and there are extensive tanneries, breweries, and distilleries.  The chief commerce is the exportation of coal.

The population in 1851 was 26,872.

(Source:  Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851.  Family History Library book 941 E5L.)


Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of West Lothian (or Linlithgowshire) with their parish numbers.  Click on a parish name to see information about records.

Parish No.
Abercorn 661
Bathgate 662
Borrowstounness 663
Carriden 664
Dalmeny 665
Ecclesmachen 666
Kirkliston 667
Linlithgow 668
Livingstone 669
Queensferry 670
Torphichen 671
Uphall 672
Whitburn 673

Census Records

The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) for 1881.   The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.


Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.

Linlithgow, c. 1845.jpg

Click here to see an outline map of the parishes of West Lothian.

Poorhouse Records


Helpful websites

[Return to county list.]