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"WHITTINGHAM, a parish, containing a post-office village of its own name, in Haddingtonshire. It is bounded on the south by Berwickshire, and on other sides by the parishes of Garvald, Morham, Prestonkirk, Stenton, and Dunbar ... Whittingham parish formed of old two chapelries which were subordinate to the church of Dunbar. The chapel of Whittingham served the lower district, and that of Penshiel the Lammermoor district; and these chapels formed two of the prebends of Dunbar church after its being made, in 1342, a collegiate establishment. Penshiel chapel stood below Penshiel tower, in a glen which is still called from it Chapel-haugh. The Earls of March held their baronial courts at Whittingham."
from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.
A lengthier description is available.

This map shows the location of the parish in the county.
[View Maps of the Area.]


The Scottish Genealogy Society holds a list of pre-1855 gravestones in this parish (61 in total) in its library in Edinburgh. Similar lists may be available elsewhere, for example in the East Lothian District Library's Local History Centre at Newton Port in Haddington.

A survey of the churchyard has also been completed recently.

Church History

A brief history of the church may be found here.

Church History

19th Century ministers of the parish:

 Rev James Lumsden, a son of the Schoolmaster at Smailholm [Roxburghshire], took up the office in 1804.
Married Isabella Dale of Scoughall, North Berwick, East Lothian, 1807.
Died on 15th April 1850.

Rev Walter Scott, born Balmaghie, Kircudbrightshire, 1820, son of Walter Scott, Boatcroft, took up office in 1847.
Died, unmarried, 19th November 1864.

Rev James Robertson A.M., eldest son of Charles Robertson, schoolmaster of Lethendy, Perthshire, took up office in 1865.
Died 27 May 1920, aged 84, after serving in the parish for 55 years.

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1627. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the Scottish Record Office as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For details of these and other records held at the General Register Office in Edinburgh, see the GRO tutorial.


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.
Local photographs can be identified from various websites.


The Scottish Record Office holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

Monumental Inscriptions

The War memorial here commemorates 11 who died in the First World War:


Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:
Year Population
1755 714
1801 658
1831 715
1861 710
1871 657
1881 639
1891 586
1901 521


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.

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Last updated 3 October 2014

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