Local studies

Official records

Old Parish Registers (OPRs)

These were maintained by parish ministers in the Church of Scotland from 1600 until 1855. They record:

  • Births and baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Deaths and burials.

We hold the registers for all Midlothian parishes on microfilm. However before 1855, it was not compulsory to register, so not everybody is recorded in the OPRs.

The Lothians Family History Society have compiled indexes of the death and burials entries for some Midlothian parishes.


The library holds census returns on microfilm for all Midlothian parishes from 1814 to 1901. The full 1881 Census covering Scotland, England and Wales is also available on CD-ROM

For all the people who were in a house when the census was taken, it gives you their 

  • names
  • ages
  • occupations
  • places of birth.

Electoral registers

We hold electoral registers from 1920 onwards.

Note: not everyone appears on the electoral registers, as the right to vote was only extended to people over the age of 18 in 1969.   

The National Library of Scotland holds registers from all over Scotland, and the British Library has electoral registers from all over the UK.

Valuation rolls

Valuation rolls are a record of the value of a property, the owner and principal tenant and their professions. We hold an almost complete run of valuation rolls for Midlothian from 1855 to 1989.

The National Records of Scotland holds valuation rolls for all of Scotland.