Home    Colonel Andrew Balfour    News & Notes    The Descendants     About this Site     Family Stories    Photos        

Post Office Papers     Documents & Other Stuff     GEDCOM     Search    Message Board     E-mail to Us      Links  


Geographical Notes


La Prairie, Illinois - La Prairie is a village in Northeast Township. It was first known as Gibbs, then Gibbstown, Pitman and finally La Prairie.

Temple 2 miles southwest of Gorebridge, is a charming village which takes its name from land once belonging to the Knights Templar of Jerusalem whose existence (was) in the 12th century.  The ruin of Temple Old Kirk was repaired in recent years by the Council assisted by other agencies.

Temple -

"A village and a parish in the S of Edinburghshire. The village stands 605 feet above sea-level, on the right bank of the South Esk, 3 miles SW of Gorebridge station, 7 S by W of Dalkeith, and 12 1/4 SSE of Edinburgh. It is a quiet, sequestered, little place, with a post office under Gorebridge.

The parish is bounded NE by Borthwick, SE by Heriot, S and SW by Innerleithen and Eddleston in Peeblesshire, and NW by Penicuik and Carrington. Its utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 8 1/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 5 5/8 miles; and the area is 22 1/2 square miles or 14,250 3/4 acres. A detached part of the parish, containing the greater part of Gorebridge village, and comprising 228 acres, was transferred by teh Boundary Commissioners in 1891 to the parish of Borthwick. The river South Esk, rising at an altitude of 1700 feet on the western slope of Blackhope Scar, winds 9 7/8 miles north-by-eastward through all the length of the parish, and quits it at the influx of Fullarton and Redside Burn, ahich traces all the north-western border."

(Extract from Groomes Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland c.1895)

The population of Temple was 855 in 1801.

 Midlothian -

"EDINBURGHSHIRE (or Mid-Lothian), maritime Co. in SE. of Scotland; is bounded E.by Haddington (or East-Lothian), Berwick, and Roxburgh; S. by Selkirk and Peebles; SW. by Lanark; and NW. by Linlithgow (or West-Lothian); coast-line, 12miles; 231,724 ac., pop. 389,164. The surface is finely diversified. The Moorfoot Hills, a continuation of the Lammermuirs, occupy the SE.; the Pentland Hills stretch across the Co. from the SW. All the streams, with the exception of the Tyne and Gala, in the E. and the SE., run to the Firth of Forth; the principle are the North Esk, the South Esk, the Water of Leith, and the Almond; the North Esk especially is noted for its picturesque scenery. The lowlands towards the Forth are the most fertile; the hilly parts of the S. are chiefly
under pasture; in the W. are dairy-farms; in the vicinity of the city of Edinburgh are extensive nursery grounds and market gardens. The principal crops are oats and barley, turnips and potatoes. The Co. consists chiefly of carboniferous strata; and coal, shale, ironstone, lime- stone, and freestone, are extensively worked."

(Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887)


"The metropolis of Scotland and county town of Midlothian, is situated 2 miles South of the Firth of Forth. The city is built on ridges of east and westward extension of varying height, and on the valleys between or the slopes beyond. The hills are partly overlapped by, and partly extend beyond, the city; they occupy an area within a circuit of about 6 miles; and, at their northern margin, about 2 miles from the Firth, are bounded by a slightly inclined plain, which extends from them to the shore. These hills consist mainly of erupted rocks, thrown up from what was once a flat surface by a series of upheavals, and afterwards much modified by denudation and other causes.

Edinburgh from whatever point the eye regards it, presents a variety of scenic groupings of such singular effect as is met with in no other city of the world."

(Extract from Ordinance Gazeteer of Scotland 1885)

Prestonpans  (Preston)
East Lothian

Parish Church, Prestonpans
2001 Gazetteer for Scotland

Located between Musselburgh and Cockenzie. Prestonpans was created a burgh in 1552 and over time it became a collection of joined villages, including Aldhamer, Preston and Cuthill. Known mainly for its coal and salt industries, there was also fishing (including oyster beds offshore) and the making of pottery and bricks. The Guild of Chapmen (pedlars) also met annually here until the late 19th century to elect their 'King'. Mining ended with the closure of Prestongrange Colliery in 1952.

The early post-Reformation parish church (1596, enlarged 1774) has an 18th-century painting of a fishing scene. Other sights include the Mercat Cross, Preston Tower (15th century shell), a War Memorial (1921), two large doocots, and two 17th century mansions, Hamilton House and Northfield House. Harlaw Hill House, from the late 17th and early 18th centuries, is described as 'a townscape gem despite dereliction'.

The defeat of the government (Hanoverian) troops at the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) gave the Jacobites control of most of Scotland barring several castles and forts. Sir Walter Scott lived in Prestonpans while gathered historical information concerning the battle for his novel Waverley.

For festivals there is the annual Fisherman's Walk to celebrate the traditional annual return of the boats, and the Miners' Gala. There is also an 18 hole golf course at Preston Grange House.



"The Handbook to Edinburgh" published by The Mercat Press at James Thin, 53-59 South Bridge, Edinburgh. First published in 1981 with a second revised edition in 1991. ISBN 0901824984. A definitive guide to Edinburgh, telling of places of interest and what to look for. Also has many coloured illustrations.

"Portrait of Edinburgh" by Ian Nimmo. Published by Robert Hale & Co, London in 1969. The story of Edinburgh and its people, its old town and new town, its culture and its ceremony. With 23 black and white photographs.

"Ruins and Remains, Edinburgh's Neglected Heritage, A Commentary on Edinburgh's Graveyards and Cemeteries" by Anne Boyle, Colin Dickson, Alisdair McEwan, Colin McLean. Printed by University of Edinburgh, Old College. ISBN 0-907692-81-8. Describes the development of graveyards and cemeteries in Edinburgh. Describes some of the headstones also has some black and white photographs.

"Edinburgh in the '45, Bonnie Prince Charlie at Holyrood" by John Sibbald Gibson was published by The Saltire Society, 9 Fountain Close High Street, Edinburgh in 1995. ISBN 0 85411 067 4. The book is about the events of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion in Edinburgh.






Overview of Scotland





This family is associated principally with lands around Markinch, Fife, and the name is linked to the River Ore (Bal-Orr). Early traditions suggest that the lands were granted in the reign of Duncan I, while later records show that family members included Mary Beaton, a lady in waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots; Cardinal Beaton; Sir Andrew Balfour, creator of the Botanic Garden of Edinburgh; and Arthur James Balfour, prime minister. Branches of the family are also associated with Kinloch, Burleigh, Denmylne, Forret and Torry.

 2000 Gazetteer for Scotland, Sponsored by:
The Robertson Trust 
The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland  The Royal Scottish Geographical Society  The Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh 



Back to the Top


Home    Colonel Andrew Balfour     News & Notes    The Descendants    About this Site     Family Stories    Photos        

Post Office Papers     Documents & Other Stuff     GEDCOM     Search     Message Board     E-mail to Us      Links