Leuchars, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Leuchars

Parish #445

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Leuchars. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.


LEUCHARS, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife; containing the village of Balmullo, 1901 inhabitants, 7½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Cupar. This place appears to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a marshy flat," from some low grounds to the east and west of the village, which, previously to the draining of the lands, were covered with water during the greater part of the year. The church, situated in the village, is a highly-interesting structure, and appears to have been erected at different periods, exhibiting beautiful specimens of the ancient and later styles of Norman architecture, with additions of a much more recent character. It is adapted for a congregation of nearly 900 persons. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church, and in the village of Balmullo is one for a congregation of the Original Secession.[1]

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 Leuchars. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

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 Leuchars as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Numbers Surname Indexes
1841      1042703 book941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042270 941.33 X22f
1861 0103831 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103994 None
1881 0203528 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208764 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.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.  

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1665-1699, 1705-1781 1040386item 5
1781-1854 1040189 items 1-2
Marriages: 1665, 1677-1699, 1714-1855 1040189items 1-2
Deaths: 1720-1765 (Mortcloth dues), 1766-1854 (burials) 1040189 items 1-2
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 December 1692–November 1695 and October 1699–February 1705. Entries prior to August 1761 are tabulated. Mother's names are omitted between March and September 1665.
Marriages: There are two contract entries September 1665–January 1678 and one, December 1692–November 1695. There are no entries January 1699–October 1714. Entries prior to April 1792 are tabulated.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. Family History Library 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 surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Records—                                                                               Family History Library Film Number
Kirk Session Minutes and Accounts 1762–1807, 1829–1869        1484199 item 1
Minutes and Accounts 1665–1689, 1706–1737
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/1209.

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 List.

Leuchars Free Church

Immediately after the Disruption a congregation was organized here and supply provided. The church was erected in 1844. A manse also was provided.
Membership: 1848, 294; 1900, 209.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

The extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.


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.

Probate Records

Leuchars 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 at 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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 157-175. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.

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