Liberton (Midlothian)

Records, sources & information about the Parish of Liberton

Parish number 693

map of Midlothian

More maps of Liberton

Apprentices at Edinburgh
Banns & Marriages
Baronies in the parish
Births after 1854
Births before 1855
Books & articles
Burial records (before 1855)
Burial records (after 1854)
Burial ground (churchyard)
Burial ground (modern)
Cemetery (modern)
Cemetery (churchyard)
Census records
Churchyard: inscriptions
Deaths after 1854
Deaths before 1855
Gravestone inscriptions
Headstone inscriptions
Hearth tax records
History of the parish
Inscriptions on gravestones
Inventories of moveable property
Kirkyard: inscriptions
Land ownership
Manuscripts in the National Library
Marriages after 1854
Marriages before 1855
Memorials: Churchyard
Ministers of the parish church
Monumental inscriptions
Old Parish Registers (b/m/d bef. 1855)
Parish Church
Parish ministers
Parish Registers of b/m/d bef. 1855
Photographs of places (modern)
Poll tax records of 1695
Population statistics
Registers of Sasines: land registers
Sasines: land registers
Statistical Accounts
Statistics: Population
Statutory records of b/m/d aft. 1854
Tax Records: Poll tax 1695
Wills & inventories


Note This parish lies south-east of Edinburgh. Do not confuse with Libberton in Lanarkshire, which is sometimes called `Libberton in Clydesdale'. In old documents, both parishes are arbitrarily spelt with one or two `b's. Note also that, in addition to the `Niddry' in Liberton, there is a `Niddry' in Kirkliston WLN.

This page lists some of the available sources of information about Liberton before 1900, in particular, records that are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, where many of the records are open to the public at no charge.

The Old Parish Registers of births/baptisms, marriages and deaths/burials (1624-1854), the Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths beginning on 1 Jan 1855 and the census records for the parish for the years 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 may be seen, in person, in Edinburgh, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre. See details at the website for the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Indexes and actual records for the Old Parish Registers, Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages & Deaths and Censuses are also available online, following registration and the purchase of credits, at the official web-site, ScotlandsPeople. The statutory records of births can be seen at that site from 1855 up to 100 years ago; of marriages, from 1855 up to 75 years ago; for deaths, from 1855 up to 50 years ago. More recent records can be ordered.

The Old Parish Registers and census records are also widely available in libraries on microfilm. Microfiche indexes to the pre-1855 registers of baptisms/births and marriages (for all Midlothian) and of the censuses of 1881 and 1891 are also widely available.

The parish of Liberton lies within the area covered by the Lothians Family History Society.


NLSNational Library of Scotland
NRSNational Records of Scotland, formerly called the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and, before that, the Scottish Record Office [SRO]
HM General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY (Tel: +44-131-535-1314)
OPROld Parish Registers of Births/baptisms, Banns/marriages & Deaths/burials (pre-1855)


Books & articles


Statistical Accounts of Liberton


Maps of Liberton

1:25000 Ordnance Survey map - published 1955; shows Liberton at top right

1:10560 (Six inch) Ordnance Survey map - surveyed 1852, published 1855; shows Liberton at right

1:2500 (25 inch) Ordnance Survey map - published 1895; shows Craigmillar, Little France, Moredun

For the full range of maps of Liberton in the National Library, see National Library's Maps.

There are no Ordnance Survey maps before the 1850s.

Ordnance Survey 1:2500 scale map (Edinburghshire sheet 3.16), surveyed 1896 (reproduced as Liberton Dams at scale of ca. 1:4340 or 15 inches to the mile by Alan Godfrey.

Map of the parishes of Midlothian, ca. 1841

For a selection of maps of Edinburgh, see EdinPhoto: Maps.

ScotlandsPlaces: Liberton - an extensive collection of photographs, maps and records - but for some reason, their gazetteer is only aware of Libberton in Lanarkshire

map of Liberton

Above: modern street map of Liberton (© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA)
Click on the map above to go to OpenStreetMap centred on Liberton


Photographs of places

EdinPhoto: Craigmillar & Niddrie - old photographs of Craigmillar & Niddrie.

EdinPhoto: Gilmerton - old photographs of Gilmerton.

EdinPhoto: Liberton - old photographs of Liberton. Liberton Village - recent photographs of Liberton Village. National Grid ref. NT2769. Mortonhall - recent photographs of Mortonhall. National Grid ref. NT2668.

ScotlandsPlaces: Liberton - an extensive collection of photographs, maps and records


Parish church

Located at National Grid ref. NT275695 in the Kirkgate, Liberton, Edinburgh. Present building is by Gillespie Graham, 1815. Photo of Liberton Kirk

History of Liberton Kirk


Parish ministers 1560-1941

adm.: admitted, ass.: assistant, bapt.: baptised, contr.: contract, dem.: demitted, dep.: deposed, ind.: inducted, lic.: licensed, mar.: married, min.: minister, ord.: ordained, pres.: presented, rel.: related, res.: resigned, suc.: successor, test.: testament, tr.: translated

Alexander Forrester 1562 - 1564?tr. to Jedburgh before 25 Jun 1566
Andrew Blackhall 1564 - 1569?tr. to Ormiston after 5 Jun 1567
Thomas Cranston 1569 - 1579adm. 1 Aug 1579, minr. in Peebles 1571-74, d. 21 May 1585
John Davidson 1579 - 1584demitted 7 Oct 1584, adm. to Prestonpans 1596
Michael Cranston 1586 - 1590tr. from Selkirk & pres. 8 Mar 1586, tr. to Cramond 1590
James Bennet 1591 - 1609?tr. May 1591, d. before 20 Mar 1609
John Adamson 1609 - 1623b. 1576, adm. 20 Mar 1609, tr. to be Principal of Edinburgh University 1623, d. 1651
John Cranston 1624 - 1627pres. 12 Mar 1624, tr. to S. Leith 1627
Andrew Learmonth 1627 - 1639pres. 7 Sep 1627, deposed 1639, d. 4 Nov 1662
Archibald Newton 1639 - 1657b. 1605, tr. from Duddingston & adm. 19 May 1639, d. 2 Jun 1657
Andrew Cant 1659 - 1673adm. 10 Mar 1659, tr. to Trinity College Kirk, Edinburgh, 13 Jul 1673
Ninian Paterson 1674 - 1683tr. & adm. 14 Oct 1674, deposed for immorality 1683, d. Dec 1688, aged ca. 52
Robert Farquhar 1683 - 1687tr. & installed 12 Apr 1683, d. 6 Mar 1687
Alexander Cumming 1689deprived 14 May 1689, d. 26 Apr 1713, aged 60
James Webster 1689 - 1691ord. to congregation at Craigmillar 1688, minr. from 17 May 1689, tr. to Whitekirk 1691
Gideon Jacque 1692? - 1695adm. before 16 Oct 1692, returned to Ireland 1695
Samuel Semple 1697 - 1742b. 1666, ord. 31 Aug 1697, d. 7 Jan 1742
John Jardine 1741 - 1750ord. assistant & successor 30 Jul 1741, tr. to Lady Yester's Kirk, Edinburgh, 6 Dec 1750
David Moubray 1751tr. & adm. 28 May 1751, d. 3 Oct 1751, aged 35
Thomas Whyte 1752 - 1789b. 1717, ord. 20 Aug 1752, d. 13 Jan 1789
James Grant 1789 - 1831b. 1760, ord. 18 Aug 1789, d. 8 Jun 1831
William Purdie 1832 - 1834b. 23 Oct 1805, ord. 26 Jan 1832, d. 16 Nov 1834
James Begg 1835 - 1843b. 31 Oct 1808, tr. & adm. 25 Jun 1835, joined Free Kirk at disruption 1843
John Stewart1843 - 1879b. 26 Jun 1793, tr. & adm. 28 Sep 1843, d. 27 Dec 1879
William Henry Gray1880 - 1898b. 13 Feb 1825, tr. & adm. 3 Jun 1880, d. 6 Dec 1908
Robert Burnett1898 - 1928b. 11 Jan 1865, ord. 21 Jul 1898, d. 22 May 1928
John Spence Ewen1928 - 1941tr. from Buccleuch 5 Dec 1928; d. 16 Sep 1941




Statutory Records of Births, Marriages, Deaths (1855 to present)

These are online at ScotlandsPeople.

They can also be seen in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh - see details at ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Old Parish Registers of Births/baptisms, Banns/marriages, Deaths/burials (1624-1854)

These are online at ScotlandsPeople.

They can also be seen in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh - see details at ScotlandsPeople Centre.

They are also widely available on microfilm in libraries and Family History Societies. Microfiche indexes (for all Midlothian) of the baptisms/births and banns/marriages in these registers are also widely available in libraries and Family History Societies.

  1. Births & baptisms

    • 1624 - Jul 1650
    • Jul 1650 - Oct 1651 - only 1 entry
    • Oct 1651 - Dec 1854
  2. Banns & Marriages

    • Jul 1631 - Apr 1632 - one page of entries
    • Jul 1654 - Sep 1681
    • May 1683 - Jan 1684
    • Dec 1685 - Dec 1854
    • includes reg. for Meeting House at Craigmillar May 1688 - Sep 1710

    Mentions of people in the parish of Liberton found in the marriage register of the parish of Edinburgh:

    Mentions of people in the parish of Liberton found in the marriage register of the parish of Canongate:

  3. Deaths & Burials

    • 1647 - May 1689
    • Mar 1691 - 1819


Monumental inscriptions in Liberton Churchyard

All inscriptions in Liberton Kirkyard are in R. Torrance (ed.), North-East Midlothian Monumental Inscriptions, Scottish Genealogy Soc., Edinburgh, 2000, ISBN 0-901061-88-3.

A list of surnames on headstones and a plan of the kirkyard are at Liberton Kirk Churchyard details

Plan of Liberton Kirkyard, 1862 - unfortunately, illegible

Modern Cemeteries & Burial records

See Burial records

There is no transcript or index of monumental inscriptions in Liberton Cemetery, so far as I know.

See also Monumental inscriptions in Liberton Churchyard


Population statistics

1755 2793(Dr Alexander Webster)
Autumn 1786 3457(Mr Thomas Whyte, p. 373)
Population details here
1795 (Old Statistical Account)
1801 3565
1811 186021734033
1821 207721994276
1831 189521684063
1841 3450
1851 3528
1861 3507
1871 3791
1881 6026
1891 8266
1901 7233


Poll tax records for 1694

NRS ref. E.70/8/12 (relates to 6-12 November 1694)
NRS ref. E.70/15/1 (receipts for poll money, 9-12 November 1694 - just 4 items)
Manuscript transcript available in Scottish Genealogy Society Library. Also now published as part of R. Torrance (ed.), North-East Midlothian Monumental Inscriptions, Scottish Genealogy Soc., Edinburgh, 2000, ISBN 0-901061-88-3. Contains names of 1071 heads of household and some others; wives and children are mentioned but in most cases not named. Unfortunately, some of the sub-headings such as 'cottars' and 'servants' of this publication are misleading; they mark where lists of cottars or servants begin, but fail to indicate where the lists end.


Hearth tax records for 7 Mar 1694

NRS ref. E.69/16/1 [but for Brunstane, see entries therein for Duddingston parish]


Census records from 1841

These are online at ScotlandsPeople.

They can also be seen in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh - see details at ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Census records are also widely available in libraries (such as the Scottish Genealogy Society's Library and Edinburgh Central Library) on microfilm. Microfiche indexes to the censuses of 1881 and 1891 are also widely available.

Indexes to the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses have been published by the Lothians Family History Soc.

The censuses of 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 do not name individuals.


Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh


Baronies within the parish of Liberton

Details of some of the individual baronies are here.


Boys with Liberton connexions who were apprenticed to Edinburgh masters

See List of apprentices from Liberton, 1583-1800.


Men with Liberton connexions who were admitted burgesses and gildbrethren of Edinburgh, 1406-1841

B. = Burgess; G. = gildbrother; C. = Edinburgh Town Council
dr. = daughter; fr. = father; s. = son; w. = wife
mt. = merchant; p. = apprentice; yr = younger
dec. = deceased; umq. = umquhile, i.e. deceased

namedesignationadmitted asby right ofdate
Mr Johne Adamsonminister at Libbertoune (corslet)B. and G.w. Marioune, dr. to umq. Thomas Achmmoutie, mt., B. and G.14 Feb. 1610
William Andersonfarmer at Upper Wm. A., indweller, B.1 Mar. 1758
David, farmer at Libberton, B. and G.4 Sept. 1771
James Wm. A., farmer at Liberton, B.15 Sept. 1796
John BegriegrocerB.w. Ann, dr. of Adam Henderson, indweller in Morton in the parish of Libberton, B.2 Aug. 1775
Capt. Mathew Campbellmt.B. and G.w. Mrs. Magdalen, dr. to dec. Sir Francis Kinloch of Gilmertoun, B. and G.17 Sept. 1712
Mr Andrew Cantminister at the kirk of LibbertounB. and G.gratis20 Jan. 1660
William Cleghornmiller, Nether LibbertonB.w. Jean, dr. of Robert Veitch, silk dyer29 July 1817
Johne Falconer of NewtounB. and G.w. Elizabeth, dr. to umq. Mr Johne Cant of Morton, B. and G.9 Dec. 1657
Thomas Gibsonservitor to (Francis Kinloch of) Gilmerton, yor.B. and 9 May 1679
James Graybaker in GilmertonB. and G.w. Janet, dr. of James Reid, mt.6 Oct. 1819
Patrick Hendersonindweller in Patrick H., baxter, B.3 Sept. 1735
Adam Hendersonindweller in Morton in the parish of Patrick H., indweller in Libberton, B.6 May 1772
Walter Hendersonresiding at Adam H., indweller in Merten [Morton] in the parish of Libberton, B.24 July 1783
Mr John Jardineminister at LibertounB. and G.w. Jean, dr. to George Drummond, Esq., Lord Provost, gratis, by act of C. for good services. (Entry in Minutes of the Town Council)25 Feb. 1747
Patrick Johnstounlait servitor to Francis Kinloch, yor., of GilmertounB. and, by act of C. of 27 Aug.8 Sept. 1686
Francis Kinloch, yr of GilmertonB. and G.s. to present Lord Provost, Sir Francis K. of G., gratis, by act of C. of 9 May25 June 1679
James KinlochB. and G.s. to present Lord Provost, Sir Francis K. of Gilmerton, gratis, by act of C. of 9 May 167925 June 1679
Mr David KinlochB. and Sir Francis K. of Gilmerton, Bart., B. and G., gratis, by act of C. for good services10 Nov. 1736
Sir Francis Kinloch of GilmertonB. and G.umq. fr. Sir Francis K. of G., B. and G. (Lord of Session), gratis, by act of C. of 23 inst.21 July 1708
Gabriel Little of LibertounB. and G.late grandfather --- Little, late provost of this city, gratis, by act of C, dispensing with his father's not entering (Wm. Little, provost 1586 and 1591)2 Dec. 1724
William Charles Little of Libberton, Esq.B. and, by act of C. for his generous gift of the water on his ground6 Sept. 1786
--- Mitchellin, for his paines in finding out the spring that brings the water to the citie23 Dec. 1674
Walter Mitchellfarmer at MortounB. and G.w. Agnes, dr. to Wm. Somervell, skinner, deacon23 Aug. 1738
John Peacockindweller in LibbertounB. and act of C. of 11 Jan.18 Jan. 1660
Alexander Peacock
(apprenticed 26 Nov. 1735)
at Nether p. to Thomas Ferguson, mt., B.29 Mar. 1758
Walter Ramsay
(apprenticed 6 Dec. 1738)
late brewer at Hamilton's Folly, now officer of Excise,B. and p. to Thomas Trotter of Mortonhall, late brewer, B. and G.11 Jan. 1775
Mr Thomas Rig (Rigg) of Mortonadvocate, one of the sheriffs-depute of MidlothianB. and Mr Thomas R., writer, B. and G., gratis, by act of C. of 1 Mar. 17108 Mar. 1710
Mr Thomas Rig of MortonadvocateB. and Mr Thomas R., gratis, by act of C. for good services2 Jan. 1760
John Rossservitor to Francis Kinloch of Gilmerton, Lord ProvostB. and G.s. to Wm. R., B. and G., gratis, by act of C.31 Oct. 1677
Alexander Rowanservitor to Sir Francis Kinloch of Gilmertoun, late Lord ProvostB. and, by act of C. of 2 May18 July 1688
James Runsheman (Runchiman)servitor to (Mr George Winrahame) the Laird of Libertoun act of C., gratis27 Dec. 1648
David Salmontenant in Stenhouse, parish of LibbertonB.6 Mar. 1783
Andrew ScottKing's Constable of Excise for ScotlandB.w. Marjory, dr. of Adam Henderson, indweller in Morton3 Aug. 1786
Mr Samuel Sempleminister at LibbertonB. and, by act of C. of 22 Jan. 1720 for good service done24 Feb. 1720
William Sheillsgardener in BrunstainB. and G.admission by Magnus Prince, treasurer8 Sept. 1680
Patrick Taylorlate servant to Henry Trotter of MortonhallB.gratis18 May 1681
Henry Trotter of Mortoun HallB. and G.umq. fr. John T. of M., gratis, by act of C. of 11 Feb.16 Feb. 1676
Thomas Trotters. to John T. of MortounhallB. and G.grandfather Henry T. of M., B. and G., dispensing with fr.'s omission to enter. (Entry in Minutes of the Town Council.)14 Mar. 1729
Thomas Trotters. to John T. of MortonhallB. and G.said fr., who had right through his fr. Henry T. of M., dispensing with omission to enter, by act of C. of 14 March inst. (Entry in Burgess Roll)26 Mar. 1729
John WilsondruggistB. and G.w. Marjory, dr. of Walter Mitchell, farmer at Morton, B. and G.8 June 1768
Mr George Wynrahame of LibertounB. and, by act of C. of this date27 Dec. 1648


Registers of Sasines: Land ownership

The registers of sasines (changes of ownership of land) for the Sheriffdom of Edinburgh (which includes Liberton) can be seen in person in the Historical Search Room at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.


Testaments (wills & inventories), recorded at Edinburgh

Indexes to all extant pre-1926 testamentary records (wills & inventories of moveable property) can be searched free of charge at ScotlandsPeople. Digital (and paper) copies of the documents can be purchased at that site.

They can also be seen in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh - see details at ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Note that hardly any of these testaments before 1800 include the will of the deceased, being largely accounts of the 'goods and gear' of the deceased and of debts owed and owing. Some of them mention relatives.

Lib = Liberton; Gil = Gilmerton; Nid = Niddry; Edr = Edinburgh
par. = parish; portr. = portioner; rel = relict;
serv = servant; sher. = sheriffdom; sp = spouse; s.t. = sometime

16th century testaments of people with Liberton connexions

namedesignationdate testament
was recorded
Robert Aitkenin Todhills, par. of Liberton. (See also Jonet Purdie.)21 Feb 1578-9
Thomas Bordlandin St Katherine's, par. of Liberton. (See also Margaret Thomson.)17 Dec. 1586
Mr Thomas Cranstounminister of Liberton23 Feb 1587-8
Jane Crichtonrel of John Prestoun of Quhythill14 Dec. 1593
Patrik Darlingin Stratoun, par. of Liberton, sher. of Edinburgh27 Jan 1591-2
Richard Dicksonindweller in Mortoun16 May 1580
John Fiddesmaltman in Over-Libbertoun23 Feb. 1576-7
Alexander Gourlawin Gilmertoun14 Dec. 1590
Mungo Greigindweller in Mortounhall9 Mar. 1576-7
William Hepburngoodman of Gilmertoun24 Nov. 1586
John Libertonin Nether-Liberton, sher. of Edinburgh26 Dec. 1597
Dame Isobel Lindsay, Lady Borthuiksp to George Prestoun, s.t. of Cameron27 Apr. 1580
Robert Peacockin the BrigendSee Wilson, Marion.
Thomas Peacockin Cammeroun, par. of Liberton. (See also Margaret Wilson.)5 Apr. 1592
George Prestoun, s.t. of CameronSee Lindesay, Dame Isobel
John Prestoun of Quhythill [Whitehill]See also Jane Crichton.14 Dec 1593
Jonet Purdierel of Robert Aitkin, in Todhills, par. of Liberton21 Feb 1578-9
Margaret Thomsonsp of Thomas Bordland, in St. Katherine's, par. of Liberton17 Dec. 1586
John Todindweller in Over-Libertoun3 May 1581
AndroWilsonin Carnetows, par. of Liberton20 Apr. 1586
Margaret Wilsons.t. sp to Thomas Pacok, in Cammeroun, par. of Liberton5 Apr. 1592
Marion Wilsons.t. sp to Robert Pacok, in the Brigend, par. of Liberton29 Nov 1582


Testaments of people with Liberton connexions, 1601-1800 - just a few so far

namedesignationdate testament
was recorded
John Andersonmason in Upper Lib9.12.1736
William Armourcoalier at Nid26.6.1784
William Auchinleck (Affleck)smith at Mortonhall9.2.1754
James Aytonson of Walt. A. in Over Lib12.2.1702
Walter Aytonin Over Lib (see also Bessie Crightoun, James Ayton)12.2.1702
William Ballenyoversman to Sir John Baird's coal work at Gil16.10.1744, 20.12.1744
Robert Brownindweller in Stenhouse (see Marion Swan)-
Janet Cairnsrel of Robt Peacock at Lib Kirk20.6.1745
Dr Patrick Campbelllate of Jamaica, afterwards residing at Lib Kirk2.3.1787
William Carsegardener in Nid17.7.1747
Alexander Clarkshipmaster in Dundee, thereafter residing at Stanedykhead2.11.1799
John Cleghornbrewer at Burnhead16.3.1763
George Colvillportr. & feuar in the West-field of Stenhouse4.2.1744
John Crawfarmer in Nid5.12.1744
Bessie Crightounsp to Wm Ayton in Over Lib12.2.1702
Thomas Currietenant in Carthall15.3.1742
Thomas Davidsonwright in Over Lib5.12.1711
James Dewartenant at Brigend20.11.1723
John Dewarwright in Nether Lib26.7.1710
William Dontenant of Cameron & residenter at Clearburn9.8.1733
Alexander Grayfarmer in Nid21.11.1737, 9.3.1739
John Handysidetenant at Lib Kirk22.3.1749
Robert Kerrarchitect & tacksman of the coalwork at Gil27.4.1721
Jean Mathiesp of James Stevenson, farmer in Braid (see also Walter Stevenson)19.12.1735
William Mathiefarmer in Myreside (see Jean Mathie)-
William Mitchellin Over Lib (see Jonet Symington)-
Robert Peacockat Lib Kirk (see Janet Cairns)-
John Pringlebrewer in Gil3.2.1786
David Ramsaylate tenant in Brokenbridge12.1.1763
John Ramsaytenant in Southhouse24.7.1770
Marion Ramsayrel of Robt Swan, carter at Greenend13.8.1761
John Reidsurgeon at Reidhouse23.12.1718
Euphan Robertsonrel of John Veitch, tenant in Gil24.5.1771
James Robertsonbaxter in Gil14.4.1740
Gideon Rutherfordof Green Park31.1.1789
John Scougallwright in Gil20.6.1753
Mr Samuel Sempleminister at Lib11.3.1742
James Setonmert. in Edr, residenter at Cameron16.4.1784
William Spottiswoodfarmer in Stenhouse26.5.1707
Adam Steeltenant in Drum9.1.1749
James Stevensonfarmer in Braid (see Walter Stevenson)-
Walter Stevensonserv to John Baird of Gil, lawful son of decd. James S., farmer in Braid & Jean Mathie (sister to decd. Wm M., farmer in Myreside)19.12.1735
John Stewarttenant in Southouse-Kaims26.7.1749
William Straitontenant in Straiton21.6.1749
Marion Swanrel of Robert Brown, indweller in Stenhouse27.1.1748
Robert Swancarter at Greenend (see Marion Ramsay)-
Jonet Symingtonrel of William Mitchell in Over Lib3.1.1682
John Veitchtenant in Gil (see Euphan Robertson)-


This page updated 22 Jun 2013