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"ORMISTON, a parish, containing the post-office village of Ormiston, and the village of House of Muir, in the midle of the western verge of Haddingtonshire. It is bounded on the west by Edinburghshire, and on other sides by the parishes of Tranent, Pencaitland, and Humbie. Its length, from north to south, is 4 1/4 miles; its breadth, owing to deep indentations and projections on its east side, is exceedingly changeful ... On the lands of Paiston anciently stood a village of about 1/2 a mile in length; and between that village and Templehall there were anciently a burying-ground and probably a church. The parish is well provided with roads; but the nearest railway is at Tranent. Population in 1831, 838; in 1861, 915." from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.A lengthier description is available.
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In his entry for the Statistical Account of Scotland (compiled 1790s, see the Statistics section of the East Lothian page for more details) the Rev. Alexander Colvill made the following comment about deficiencies in the registration of births in the parish of Ormiston in the late 18th century:
"In general, throughout Scotland, it is not a register of births that is kept by the clerk of the parish, but a register of baptisms. On this account, children who are not baptised (as several are not) are not registered. Children also, whose parents are unable or unwilling to pay the dues to the clerk, are generally not registered; so that from these, and various other circumstances, I am far from thinking that the register of baptisms in Scotland is to be depended upon, for bringing out an exact state of the population of our country."Registers for the Pathhead and Ormiston Free Church are available in LDS family history centres around the world. These include christenings for 1843-1862.
Extracts for this parish from the 1868 National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland are available.Nearby places can be identified from the GENUKI Gazetteer.
Alex Scott Beattie
John Augustus Devine
Peter Fergusson MM
Robert G Gibson
David Steel McIvor MM
Wm Donaldson Smith
For a social and economic record of the parishes of East Lothian together with considerable statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, which was compiled in the 1790s. Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.
Thanks to a joint venture between the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh the First and Second Statistical Accounts can now be accessed on-line at The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1799 and 1845.