Newton (Midlothian)

Records, sources & information about the Parish of Newton

Parish number 696

map of Midlothian

More maps of Newton

Adjacent parishes
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
Church Session records
Churchyard: inscriptions
Deaths after 1854
Deaths before 1855
Estate & family records
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 east of Edinburgh. Do not confuse with Kirknewton, which is west of Edinburgh.

This page lists some of the available sources of information about the parish of Newton 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 (1629-1854), 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 Newton lies within the area covered by the Lothians Family History Society.


Midlothian Archives hold some records for Newton. See Guide to the Archives.


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

  1. Reports on the State of Certain Parishes ..., 1627

    Neatone Parochin, pp. 91-93 of Reports on the State of Certain Parishes in Scotland made to his majesty's commissioners for plantation of kirks &c. in pursuance of their ordinance dated April xii M.DC.XXVII (Edinburgh: 1835) [See the full text of this below.]

  2. Old Statistical Account (1794): Vol. 11, pp. 532-536 by the Rev. Dr John Main [See the full text of this below.]

  3. New Statistical Account (Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1845): Vol. 1, pp. 557-589 by the Rev. John Adamson

Reports on the State of Certain Parishes in Scotland ..., 1627


The number of Communicantis is auchteine score or therby.

The lenth of the parochin is ane myle and ane halff and in breid halff ane myle.

The kirk is noways commodiusly buldit in respect of anie pairt of the parochin.

It is one of the Kings kirks of Dumfermling and his Maiestie is patrone.

The Minister his stipend is tua chalderis of victuall beire and aittis tuo hundreth marks of monie and the viccarage tinds wherof ane hundreth marks and tuo chalders of victuall with the viccarage is payed be the Kings Maiestie, the rest is payed be Sir Jhone Edmondstoune of that Ilke.

Ther is no Schoole in the parochine albeit ther is grait neid of one. Nather is ther a fundatione for ane hospitall nor fundit rent Ther is no Chaiplanryes Prebendaryes or Freir lands within the parochin.

The worth and rent of euery roume in the parochine.

Neatone of old payed for stok and tynd 12 chalders of victuall and now presently be gud laburing and limming is becomme better, bot what now it is woorth Wee can not tell. It pays no rentall boulls bot tak dewtie to his Maiestie, and the grassoumes pays according to the determinatione of his Maiesteis counsall Ther is nather multitude of houses nor walkmills lyme quarrells or anie vther commoditeis to mak the grund rich.

Schirefhall payed of old six chalders of victuall, bot now, by lymming it is becomme better, the worth therof We knaw not It pays rentall bolls to his Maiestie to witt 12 bolls whait beire and aitts and in all vther particulars it is lyk to Neatone.

Woolmet payed of old aucht chalders of victuall and no rentall bolls bot tack dewtie, bot now is becomme better in respect of gud laburing bot the worth therof We knaw not. In all vther particulars it is lyk to the vther.

Edmondstone of old payed aucht chalders of victuall whait beire and aittis besaids 12 aikers of land that payed 15s the aiker and now is become better be lymming and gud laburing decimis inclusis It pays no rentall bolls bot tak dewtie It hes no grassoumes It hes lyme ston bot We knaw not whow long it will lest.

Caldcotts payed of old 4 chalders of victuall and now presently 5 hundreth marks quhilk is more then the woorth therof It payes rentall bolls for the tynd to witt 12 bolls aitts 3 bolls whait 3 bolls beire. It pays no grassoumes, and in vther properteis lyk vnto the rest.

Hill payed of old 12 bolls victuall For the present it is better woorth be laburing and lymming. It pays for the tynd rentall bolls to witt six bolls aitts tuo bolls whait tuo bolls beire and in vther properteis lyk vnto the rest.

Ther is nonne of all thir roumes that can continow constant in paying except they be gudded with lyme.

The names of those that gaue ther oath.

Mr JHONE MELVILL Minister at Neatone.

Forsomikele as the ansuer forsaid was fund deficient becaus the present and future worth of stok and tynd was not sett doune the Presbitrie ordined the Commissionars forsaid to be broucht before them lyk as they did compeire the 17 day of Maij and being be the Moderator and brithring admonised of ther error and desired to mend the same and the Minister at Neatone willing to communicat his knawlage with them in the premissis: they absolutly refusit alleging it was not pertinent to them to tray the rents of gentlemen.


Old Statistical Account (1794)


(County of Edinburgh - Presbytery of Dalkeith - Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale.)

By JOHN MAIN, D.D. Minister.


ACCORDING to Dr. Webster's report, the number of souls in this parish, in the year 1755, was1199
By an exact list, taken in June last (1793), it was found to be reduced to1135
Hence there is a decrease of64
Of the above number there areMales.Females.Total.
Under 8 years of age,147150297
Above that period of life,410428838
In all,5575781135
The number of families is,239
Annual average of baptisms for the last 10 years,43
---------------- marriages*, ------------------10

* No regular register of funerals has been kept for some time past. They can only be collected from the treasurer's accounts, who charges himself with the dues of the mortcloths, which he has received. This account must have been, for some time past, very deficient, owing to a circumstance, which will be explained afterwards, as the explanation may be useful to other parishes.

Proprietors.- There are 4 heritors in the parish; the Duke of Buccleugh, the Earl of Wemyss, Mr. Wauchope of Edmonstone, and his eldest son.

Ecclesiastical State.- Mr. Wauchope is patron of the parish. The stipend, which consists of money and grain, including 100 merks Scotch, as the interest of mortified money, and the allowance for communion elements, may be reckoned, at an average about 106l. per annum. The glebe consists of 7 acres, 1 rood, and 3 falls of good arable land, lying very conveniently round the manse, and all lately inclosed with a hedge, by the present incumbent. The church was built in the year 1742, and is situated very nearly in the centre, no part of which can be said to be more than a mile and a half distant from it. The manse was built in the year 1749, and stands within less than half a mile of the church, towards the E.

School.-The schoolmaster's salary is 100l. Scotch, The number of scholars, at an average of 10 years, amounts to 48; and the whole of his income, including the salary, school dues, and the emoluments of the session clerk's office, may be reckoned, at an average of that period, no more than 24l. per annum.

Poor.- The average of stated pensioners on the poor's roll, for the last 10 years, is 14. The expenditure on these, including occasional supplies to others, and the salaries of session clerk, precentor, beadle, synod and presbytery clerks, and presbytery officer, amounts, at an average, to 42l. per annum. The money at present in the kirk treasurer's hands, is a mere trifle. The poor, however, have been, hitherto, maintained pretty decently, by the funds arising from the weekly collections, and from the use of the parish mortcloths, without having recourse to any assessment for that purpose, though not without the necessity of frequent encroachments on the very small capital in the treasurer's hands.

Charitable Societies and Mortcloths.- The body of colliers, in this parish have been in use to keep what they call a box, from which they allow an aliment, or support, to such of the contributors as are laid aside from work by sickness. This, no doubt, afforded a temporary relief to the parish funds. But when the contributor dies, there is no provision made for the widow and family, who must, consequently, fall a burden on these funds. They purchased, some years ago, from this stock, a set of mortcloths, the use of which was given, gratis, to the contributors. The body of carters, who have a fund of the same kind, within these 2 or 3 years, followed their example. As the great body of the parish consists of these two descriptions of people, the kirk-session foresaw, that this practice, if allowed to continue, would soon go nearly to extinguish altogether the funds arising from the use of the parish mortcloths. They communicated their ideas on this circumstance to the heritors of the parish, who unanimously agreed to concur with the kirk-session in trying the point of law on this subject, and to defray the whole expence that should be incurred on this occasion. The neighbouring parish of Liberton, who were in the same situation, joined in the process. Accordingly, a decree of the Court of Session, dated November 30th 1792, was obtained, "strictly prohibiting the use of any but the parish mortcloths." Notwithstanding this decision in their favour, the kirk-session, in consideration of that degree of relief which they were sensible the parish funds derived from these boxes, by maintaining decently such of the contributors as may be laid aside, by accident or disease, were willing to grant them some indulgence. Accordingly, after having obtained the full consent of all the heritors, they agreed to allow them the use of their own mortcloths for the space of 20 years, by which time their present mortcloths may be supposed to be worn out; on condition that, at every time any of them are used, they pay to the kirk treasurer, for the benefit of the poor, the moderate sum of 4s.; it being expressly understood, that this indulgence shall continue only during the continuance of that aid which they have been accustomed to give to the parish funds; but, that the moment any of these boxes are given up, and consequently that aid is withdrawn, this indulgence shall be at an end; and the kirk-session, in that event, are determined immediately to avail themselves of the right which they now possess, by virtue of this decree.

Collieries.- Coal works have been very long carried on here. The following state of the seams of coal is given from the best authority: There are no less than 19 different seams that run through this parish, stretching nearly N. and S. Six of these seams are termed flat, because they lie in a horizontal position, and make but a small angle with the horizon; dipping to the eastward, 1 in 10, and sometimes 1 in 15 or 20 feet. The other 13 are called edge seams, owing to the position in which they stand, running down from the earth's surface in a perpendicular direction, and making an angle of near 90 degrees with the horizon. These seams vary in their thicknesses. The thickest of the flat seams are about 4 feet, and the thinnest about 2 1/2. The thickest of the edge seams are about 9 or 10 feet, and the thinnest about 2. All of these seams have been already wrought in part; some of them probably 200 years ago; several of them by levels taken from the sea, and others by levels from the lowest parts of these lands. Some of the flat seams, which are of the best quality, have been wrought of late, and are still working by fire engines, and other machinery, 26 fathoms perpendicular depth below the sea. There still remain to be wrought a great quantity of these seams; which, if ever attempted in any future period, will require very powerful fire engines to drain the water from them, and consequently a great outlay of money, before these coals can be brought to market.

Wages and Character.- The business of a collier seems to be a very lucrative one. Each of them may earn 18s. or 20s. per week. It is however matter of much regret, that very few instances are known, of such as are so attentive as to save any thing at all. On the contrary, it is the heavy complaint of all the coal-masters, that a collier will work none, so long as he has any money in his pocket. This is the real reason of the scarcity of that article, which was so deeply and universally felt during the course of last winter.

Antiquities.- The only antiquity here, that deserves to be taken notice of, is a very high ridge, of a circular form, and of considerable extent, which evidently appears to be altogether artificial. The people of the country have always called it "The Kaim," a corruption, it is supposed, of the word Camp. If it is the remains of a camp, it could not be a Roman one, as it is well known that their camps were of a square form.


Maps of Newton

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

1:10560 (Six inch) Ordnance Survey map - surveyed 1852-3, published 1854

1:2500 (25 inch) Ordnance Survey map - published 1894; shows Danderhall, Millerhill

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.

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

map of Newton

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


Recent photographs of places

See Photographs of Newton. National Grid ref. NT3169.

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


Parish church

Located at National Grid ref. NT315694. Built in 1742 to replace a kirk, the ruins of which and a handful of tombstones remain at NT334690.

Photo of Newton Kirk.


Parish ministers 1560-1900

adm.: admitted, bapt.: baptised, ord.: ordained, pres.: presented, tr.: translated

Lawrence Watson1576reader
John Barbour1586
John Nymbill (Nimmo)1597-1614tr. from Cranston 1597; re-tr. to Cranston 1614
John Aird1614-1615adm. 1614; tr. to Newbattle 1615
John Melvill1617-1638b. 1595, 4th son of James M., min. of Kilrenny; MA(St Andrews 1613); adm. 1617; d. 1638
Robert Carson1640-1661 or laterMA(Edr 1624); ord. 1640; pres. 1641
Archibald Douglas1673-1681from Cavers; pres. 1673; tr. to Newbattle 1681
Robert Bannerman1681-1689b. 1656; MA(Edr 1675); pres. 1681; deprived 1689; d. 1719
John Shaw1696-1698ord. 1696; tr. to Leslie FIF 1698
Thomas Moffat1700-1743b. 1665; ord. 1700; d. 1743
David Gilchrist1743-1770ord. 1743; d. 1770
John Main1770-1795b. 1728 Edr; ord. 1757; pres. 1770; d. 1795 unmarried
Leslie Moodie1796-1800ord. 25.3.1796; tr. to Kelso 21.8.1800
Thomas Scott1801-1825b. 1764; ord. 1789; d. 1825
John Adamson1826-1863b. 1797; ord. 1826; mar. 1844; d. 1869
Malcolm MacGregor1863-1888b. 1832 Greenock; ord. 1863; d. 1888
Archibald Fleming1888-1897ord. 1888; tr. to Tron, Edr 1897
John MacBeth1897-b. 1867 Blackford PER; ord. 1897


Church Session Records of the Parish Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/283/...
do1651-71, 1679-962
do1651-76, 1679-171010
do (collections)1705-4411
do (disbursements)1710-4412
do1798-181217 & 18 (2 copies)
Baptismal register1855-8421
Proclamation register1855-192023
Communion roll1833-6624
Electoral roll189728
Parochial & missionary association cash book1864-8529
Poor's fund minutes1831-5930
Poor's fund accounts1812-3031
Petition for James Wauchope of Edmonstone1740? 1742?34
Scroll minutes1884-9135


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 (1629-1854)

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
    • 1629 - Oct 1640
    • Sep 1651 - 1854 (Imperfect in Jun 1747)

  2. Banns & Marriages
    • 1639 - Jun 1640
    • Sep 1651 - Oct 1688
    • Jun 1692 - Sep 1695
    • Jul 1697 - 1854

  3. Deaths & Burials
    • 1730 - Dec 1771
    • Only dates and surnames extant for Jan 1772 - Feb 1790
    • Mortcloth dues for Mar 1790 - Apr 1805
    • Apr 1823 - 1854


Monumental inscriptions

All inscriptions in Newton Kirkyard (420 stones) and in Newton Old Kirkyard (7 stones) are in R. Torrance (ed.), North-East Midlothian Monumental Inscriptions, Scottish Genealogy Soc., Edinburgh, 2000, ISBN 0-901061-88-3.


Midlothian Archives hold Newton churchyard and cemetery burial registers (1855-1989).


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.


Population statistics

17551199(Dr Alexander Webster)
June 1793557*578*1135(Old Statistical Account)

* In June 1793, there were 239 families. Of the 557 males, 147 were under 8 years of age; of the 578 females, 150 were under 8 years.


Farm horse tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Newton:


Poll tax records for the 1690s

Not extant


Hearth tax records for 7 Mar 1694

NRS ref. E.69/16/1/37

Images of the original records for Newton, accessible only on payment of subscription:


Estate & family records

Wauchope of Edmonstone Papers, 1667-1965 in Midlothian Archives, ref. WE1-107 (See details at Guide to the Archives.)


Registers of Sasines: Land ownership

The registers of sasines (changes of ownership of land) for the Sheriffdom of Edinburgh (which includes Newton) 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.

Two testaments of people with Newton connexions

Edr = Edinburgh
portr. = portioner; rel = relict; serv = servant; sp = spouse

namedesignationdate testament
was recorded
John Alexanderwright, indweller in Wolmet3.8.1652
David Symingtonfarmer at Shawfair17.2.1763


This page updated 22 Jun 2013