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West Lothian Surname List

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Parishes

Overview

The issue of parishes is, to say the least, a bit complex. This page is a very simple introduction to the subject and gives an outline of how parishes are used on this list. Taking the time to look over this page may answer some of your questions and allow you to submit accurate information to this Surname List.

Parishes originally began as ecclesiastical divisions associated with a given church, its clergy and congregation. In more recent times the designation of parish also refers to civil administrative regions set up for purposes of municipal government. These two types of parishes may represent the same geographic area... or they may not.

Parishes changed over time. Some ancient parishes were given new names or disappeared completely. Some were incorporated into one or more other parishes. Even within a given parish the borders may have changed over time. As urban areas built up new parishes were created to correspond with new churches or to meet the needs of burgeoning municipal government. Within a given county ecclesiastical parishes differ depending on which religious denomination you are researching.

This all leads to considerable confusion when starting genealogy research in an unfamiliar part the world. In most instances one has the name of an ancestor, an approximate age of birth, marriage or death and, if lucky, a 'place name' associated with that ancestor. What does that 'place name' really represent? the name of a town or village? an ancient parish name? a civil parish? even the name of an estate or farm?

Note: When making a submission to this Surname List please make every attempt to clarify whether a 'place name' is a village/town or a parish. Sometimes they are one and the same... sometimes not.


Core parishes

As a parish reference this site uses the Victorian Ordnance Survey Maps of Scotland based on a survey in the mid-1800s. Listed below are the West Lothian parishes (surveyed 1851-1860) present on this map series.

Abercorn
Bathgate
Bo'ness
Carriden

Dalmeny
Ecclesmachan
Kirkliston
Linlithgow

Livingston
Torphichen
Uphall
Whitburn


Additional parishes

1. Ancient parishes

The following list is 'in progress' and gives the names of ancient parishes; i.e. those that disappeared, for what ever reason, prior to the mid 1800s. The second column gives the name of the core parish, if known, that was the successor to the ancient parish. Please remember, the list below does not imply that a given pair of parishes are geographical equivalents; some ancient parishes may represent only part of a successor parish or indeed may have been split between two adjacent successor parishes. Any additions or corrections gratefully accepted.

Ancient Parish Successor Parish
Auldcathie
Binning
Kinniel
Strathbrock
Temple-liston

Dalmeny
Linlithgow
Bo'ness
Uphall
Kirkliston

2. Recent parishes (up until 1975)

The following list is 'in progress' and gives the names of parishes that came into existence, for what ever reason, subsequent to the mid 1800s. The second column gives the core parish which was the forerunner of the recent parish. Please remember, the list below does not imply that a given pair of parishes are geographical equivalents. Any additions or corrections gratefully appreciated.

Recent Parish
Forerunner Parish

Armadale
Blackburn
Blackridge
Fauldhouse
Queensferry
Stoneyburn

Bathgate
Livingston/Whitburn
Torphichen
Whitburn
Dalmeny
Whitburn


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