Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Kirkcaldy. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
KIRKCALDY, a royal burgh, a sea-port, and parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 14 miles (E. by N.) from Dunfermline, and 10 (N. by E.) from Edinburgh. This place derives its name from an ancient church founded here by the Culdees. The town is situated on the north of the Frith of Forth, upon a narrow strip of level land at the base of a ridge of rising ground. The parish formerly included the chief part of that of Abbotshall, which was separated from it in the year 1650. The parish church, situated upon rising ground in the High-street, is a handsome structure in the later English style, erected in 1807, on the site of the ancient building, which had fallen into a state of dilapidation. A church to which a quoad sacra district was annexed was erected near the east end of the town; it is called East Port Church, and has 840 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Episcopalians, Independents, Bereans, Original Burghers, and Scottish Baptists.
The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Kirkcaldy. Also available at the Family History Library.
A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.
Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kirkcaldy as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Numbers||Surname Index|
|1861||0103830||CD-ROM no. 2524|
|1881||0203526 and 0203527||6086574 (set of 8 fiche)|
|1891||0208760 through 0208762||None|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.
The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.
Established Church—Old Parochial Registers
|Event||Years||Family History Library Film Number|
|Births:||1614-1630, 1638-1662, 1673-1783||1040186|
|1783-1854, 1820-1854 (supplement)||1040187 items 1-4|
|1842-1851 (three neglected entries)||1040196 items 2-3|
|Marriages:||1615-1666, 1673-1688, 1732-1783||1040186|
|1783-1867||1040187 items 1-4|
|1752-1783||1040187 items 1-4|
Condition of Original Registers—
Index: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries January 1630–March 1638; March 1662–November 1673; April 1691–April 1696 and November 1730–January 1732, from which date to 1743 they are entered in parallel columns of the same record with marriages and deaths. This last portion is not carefully kept. There is a separate record of births after 1743 and an index, 1743–1783.
Marriages: There are no marriage entries January 1666–November 1673 and August 1688–January 1732. The record, 1733–1739 inclusive is one of persons contracted for marriage and it is not carefully kept during 1732–1743.
Deaths: Deaths prior to 1752; after that date deaths and burials. From 1732–1752 entries are recorded in columns of the register of marriages. There is a separate record after 1752.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family HistoryLibrary British Book 941 K23b.
Established Church—Kirk Session Records
The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of he minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.
Here is a list of the various surviving Kirk session records for this parish:
Various Minutes 1650–1660; 1764–1951
Accounts 1710–1731, 1758–1765, 1769–1845
Book of Correspondence 1847–1856
Churchyard Accounts 1838–1953
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/225. Catalog entries below:
CH2/225 Kirkcaldy, Abbotshall Kirk Session 1650-1961
CH2/225/1 Minutes 1650-1660
CH2/225/2 Minutes 1764-1789
CH2/225/3 Minutes 1793-1845
CH2/225/4 Minutes 1845-1905
CH2/225/5 Minutes 1906-1939
CH2/225/6 Accounts 1710-1731
CH2/225/7 Accounts 1758-1765
CH2/225/8 Accounts 1769-1790
CH2/225/9 Accounts 1790-1817
CH2/225/10 Accounts 1800-1802
CH2/225/11 Accounts 1818-1839
CH2/225/12 Accounts 1839-1845
CH2/225/13 Accounts 1923-1935
CH2/225/14 Accounts 1938-1946
CH2/225/15 Minutes of Bible Society 1823-1831
CH2/225/16 Book of Correspondence 1847-1856
CH2/225/17 Minute Book of Weavers' Loft 1711-1812
CH2/225/18 Baptisms 1887-1919
CH2/225/19 Proclamations 1855-1871
CH2/225/20 Proclamations 1871-1946
CH2/225/21 Proclamations 1946-1961
CH2/225/22 Seat Rent Accounts 1912-1932
CH2/225/23 Seat Rent Accounts East Gallery 1911-1921
CH2/225/26 Communion Roll 1943-1949
CH2/225/27 Communion Roll 1950-c 1955
CH2/225/28 Minute book of Churchyard Committee 1926-1951
CH2/225/29 Register of ground purchased in churchyard 1850-1900
CH2/225/30 Churchyard accounts 1938-1953
CH2/225/31 Churchyard burial certificate book 1924-1925
CH2/225/32 Churchyard burial certificate book 1926-1947
CH2/225/33 Churchyard burial certificate book 1952-1953
CH2/225/34 Minute book of: Women's Guild 1924-1930
CH2/225/35 Minute book of: Women's Guild 1930-1946
CH2/225/36 Minute book of: Women's Guild 1946-1951
CH2/225/37 Minute book of: List of members 1925-1926
CH2/225/38 Minute book of: List of members 1947-1948
CH2/225/39 Minute book of: List of members 1951-1954
CH2/225/24-25 Communion Roll c 1931
Scroll Minutes 1736–1747
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/636.
CH2/636/25 Baptisms 1662-1666
CH2/636/26 General Assembly's Schemes committee minutes 1836-42
Ladies' Association committee minutes 1849-51
Baptisms 1770-1840 [including 'Pet Marjory' 15 January 1803]
Proclamations 1836-7 [2 ff. only]
Baptisms 1874 [with one for 1845] 1770-1870
CH2/636/27 Proclamation register 1894-1909
CH2/636/28 Burial register 1826-1856
CH2/636/29 Burial register 1856-1950
Burial register 1972 [last burial in old kirkyard] 1856-1972
CH2/636/30 Temporary register of deaths and burials 1783-1838
List of dates of burials from burial letters to session clerk 1807-40
Burials 1826-83 1768-1883
CH2/636/31 Seat rent cartulery [register of pews] 1806-1923
CH2/636/32 Printed Overtures and Acts of Assembly 1705-1717
CH2/636/33 An exposition upon the Ten Commandments: with other sermons. By Ezekiel [Hopkins], late lord bishop of London-Derry. London 1692 1692
CH2/636/34 Minutes and accounts 1614-31
Minutes and accounts 1633-45 1614-1645
CH2/636 Records of Kirkcaldy, Old, (St Bryce) Kirk Session 1614-1972
CH2/636/1 Scroll minutes 1736-1747
CH2/636/2 Minutes [register] and accounts 1663-1690
CH2/636/3 Minutes and accounts 1690-1697
CH2/636/4 Minutes and accounts 1697-1704
CH2/636/5 Minutes and accounts 1704-1708
CH2/636/6 Minutes and accounts 1708-1715
CH2/636/7 Minutes and accounts 1715-1720
CH2/636/8 Minutes and accounts 1720-1728
CH2/636/9 Minutes and accounts 1728-1736
CH2/636/10 Minutes and accounts 1729-1754
CH2/636/11 Minutes and accounts 1747-1758
CH2/636/12 Minutes and accounts 1754-1784
CH2/636/13 Minutes and accounts 1784-1805
CH2/636/14 Minutes and accounts 1805-1841
CH2/636/15 Minutes and accounts 1842-1871
CH2/636/16 Minutes and accounts 1872-1884
CH2/636/17 Minutes and accounts 1884-1908
CH2/636/18 Treasurer's book 1713-1733
CH2/636/19 Accounts 1713-1742
CH2/636/20 Accounts 1742-1762 Check details
CH2/636/21 Accounts [charge and discharge] 1761-84
Accounts [seat rents] 1763-84 1761-1784 Check details
CH2/636/22 Accounts [charge and discharge] 1784-99
Accounts [seat rents] 1784-?1799 1784-c 1799 Check details
CH2/636/23 Accounts [charge and discharge] 1799-1808
Accounts [charge and discharge] 1855
Accounts [seat rents] 1800-?1807
Accounts [seat rents] 1854 1799-1854 Check details
CH2/636/24 Cash book [Thomson's Trust] 1854-1892
Various Minutes 1840–1926
Communion Rolls 1848–1898
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/907.
Various Minutes 1835–1844
Baptismal Register 1844–1854
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/925.
Kirkcaldy, St. James
Various Minutes 1854–1969
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/967.
Nonconformist Church Records
A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.
For a list of the nonconformist churches of Kirkcaldy with their histories and records, click here.
Civil Registration Records
Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.
Kirkcaldy was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of St. Andrews until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Fife of Cupar. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Fife and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of St. Andrews.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Fife. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place' of Fife and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'
Read more about Scotland Probate Records.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 82-98. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.
[Return to the Fife parish list.]