Markinch, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Markinch

Parish #447

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


MARKINCH, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; containing the villages of Coaltown of Balgonie, Dubbieside, Balcurvie, Burns, HaughMill, Milton, and Windygates, and part of Star, Thornton, and Woodside, 7 miles (N.) from Kirkcaldy. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Celtic language "the island of the forest," from the site having been at a remote period surrounded by water, of which, notwithstanding the land being drained, and partly covered with buildings, there are still evident traces. The church, a very ancient structure with a lofty tower and spire, situated on an eminence in the village, was partly rebuilt and enlarged in 1806, and contains 1360 sittings. Churches to which quoad sacra parishes were formally annexed have been built at Milton and Thornton; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church and United 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 Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Markinch.  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 Markinch as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Numbers Surname Indexes
1841      1042703 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042270 941.33 X22f
1861 0103831 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103994 None
1881 0203529 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208764 None

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on  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 the separate 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: 1635-1642, 1697-1702, 1712-1819 1040178
1820-1854 1040179
Marriages: 1670-1701, 1717-1805 1040178
1834-1855 1040179
Deaths: 1634-1647, 1713-1725 1040178
1649-1695 and 1796-1819 (Mortcloth dues) 1040178
1799-1854; 1820-1852 (Mortcloth dues) 1040179
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: Births are entered in parallel columns of the same record until 1647 with deaths. There are no entries July 1642–September 1697, July 1702–January 1712, and October 1777–October 1780. Mother's names are seldom recorded in entries until 1701.
Marriages: There are no entries June 1686–May 1697, November 1701–April 1712, August 1777–March 1779, and March 1805–1834.
Deaths: At pages 22–25 there are four columns of entries of deaths, which bear to be a roll of those who were killed at Tibbermore the 1st of September 1644, at Aberdeine, September 1644 and at Kilsyth the 15th of August 1645. There are no deaths prior to 1647 and no entries May 1647–April 1649, after which Mortcloth Dues, except 1713–1723, when deaths and burials are recorded. There are no entries June 1695–April 1713 and June 1723–August 1796.
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:

Minutes 1626–1646, 1650–1708, 1712–1715, 1798–1887
Cash Books 1833–1883
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/258.

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.

Markinch United Associate Church

About 1832, the United Associate Presbytery of Kirkcaldy opened a missionary station at Coalton, a village in the parish of Markinch. Many people, both seceders and members of the Established church were drawn to it. A hall was obtained as a meeting place and attendance increased. They were formed as a congregation in September 1834 and a church was built shortly thereafter in the gardens of one of the members. Seating was for 460.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Minutes 1835–1956
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/386.

Dubbieside, Innerleven Associate Church

Dubbieside, while in the parish of Markinch, adjoins the village of Leven in Scoonie parish by a bridge. Members of several praying societies in and about Leven acceded to the Associate Presbytery between 1738 and 1742. They attended public worship at Abbotshall in Kirkcaldy until 1744 when at their own request they were joined to the congregation of Ceres. The Breach in 1747 divided them. The majority adhered to the General Associate Anti-burgher Synod and continued with the congregation at Ceres. They sought to be disjoined from it in 1769 but there was opposition from the minister and the Synod. Finally in 1793 the members around Leven were formed into a separate congregation. A church was built in 1794 with seating for 400.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Session Minutes 1828–1834
Accounts 1776–1880
Librarian's Book 1839–1840
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/174.

Markinch Free Church

The minister of the parish and many of his people came out in 1843. The church and manse were built and presented to the congregation by two lady members.
Membership: 1848, 412; 1900, 320.
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 including ministers.

Minutes 1843–1937
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1844–1865
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/386.


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

Markinch 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  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. 225-244. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.

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