Area History and Local Societies

East Lothian History

Their mission statement –
‘A forum for local groups and individuals with an interest in, and passion for, East Lothian’s heritage, both natural and cultural.’
East Lothian Heritage has produced a series of publications on East Lothian, some of them with particular reference to Dirleton.
These are detailed on their and are available for purchase at the Coastal Communities Museum..

Gullane and Dirleton History Society

The Society aims to promote local history by means of lectures, projects, research, publications and outings.
The programme of lectures is listed on the Events Diary page on this website.
and the Gullane and Dirleton History Society website.

Coastal Communities Museum

School Road, North Berwick EH39 4JU
phone: 01620 894 313
opening times: See website.
Museum shop
Children’s area
Entry Free

Publications on Dirleton's History

The books listed below can usually be purchased at the Coastal Communities Museum and some North Berwick shops such as Sweet News.

Dirleton and Gullane, A Brief History
Published by Gullane and Dirleton History Society
2015, 15 pages, map and photos
ISBN 978 1 870479 20 2

Dirleton, Stories and Reminiscences
John Fergie, Bramble Publishing
2012, 136 pages, lots of photos £10
ISBN 978 0 9574562 1 1

Dirleton Primary School
John Fergie, Bramble Publishing
Including a History of Education in the Village and at the Old Public School

A History of RAF Drem at War Malcolm Fife
2016 Fonthill Media £18.99
ISBN 978 1 78155 523 1

There are more publications on the Kirk web pages – click here

Researching your family history and connections to Dirleton

If you have not started to research your family history, the Scotland’s People Centre and the John Gray Centre make excellent starting points:

The Scotlands People Centre is the official Scottish government resource for family history research. It provides access to the Scottish birth, death, marriage and census records, Catholic parish registers, Coats of Arms, valuation rolls, wills and testaments. It is located in central Edinburgh with search rooms in historic General Register House and New Register House. You can visit in person, but you will need to make a booking, and there is a scale of fees. If you are uncertain where to begin your research, there are afternoon introductory sessions to give you an overview. The very comprehensive website gives valuable advice on gathering information to make the most of your visit. There are also opportunities for group visits, talks and displays.
If you are unable to visit in person, there is valuable advice on useful websites to carry out your Family History Research online.
Click here for the National Records Scotland Site
telephone: 0131 314 4300 between 09:00 and 12:00 (Monday to Friday)
Email Contact for the NRS

The John Gray Centre in Haddington is a ideal starting point for East Lothian family research. It is a combination of the East Lothian Council Archives service and the Local History Centre.
The Archives aim to inform, delight and engage. Their responsibility is to collect, care for and make accessible the historical records of the county. As a result they hold a large collection of original source material going back almost 700 years. The collection includes manuscripts, minute books and images relating to many aspects of East Lothian’s history. They are also the repository for records of East Lothian Council and its predecessors. Looking to the future as well as the past, they are always looking to expand their collections and welcome digital as well as physical deposits.
If you are planning a visit, they recommend gathering together as much personal information as possible to make the most of your visit, and the website gives valuable advice on this.
Visit the John Gray Centre Website

Researching Family connections to Dirleton
An excellent starting point to get a sense of Dirleton’s past – the place and the people – is a book by local historian John Fergie, Dirleton, Stories and Reminiscences, which charts Dirleton back into the 1800s through the memories of residents (see Publications on Dirleton’s History, above)

Reseaching Parish Records As you search back further in time, parish records become increasingly important but are more complicated to access. Parish boundaries alter with time. For example, Gullane was once part of the parish of Dirleton. Some of the scattered farm hamlets around Dirleton would also be included in the parish. There are various commercial sites that can help you with your searches. Click here to visit such an example .

Use other links within the Village and Area Information section of this website for further information on publications, the local museum etc and the Kirk section, which has details of books on the graves within the Kirkyard and further publications.