Abdie, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #400              

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


The name of this parish, Abdie or Ebtie, is supposed to be the Gaelic word abtaob signifying waterside.  The ancient name of the parish was Lindores, which is still the name of the principal village in it, a place of great antiquity.  The church of Abdie was always reckoned to have belonged to the abbey of Lindores.  In 1633, the whole of the parish of Newburgh was disjoined from Abdie.  The old church, which is now in ruins, may be traced to the beginning of the fifteenth century.  There are also the ruins of old Lindores castle.  The present church was built in 1827.

The parish contains the Loch of Lindores. A stream which flows from it turns several mills including a saw mill, a bone mill, and corn and barley mills.  Grain, potatoes, turnips, and hay are raised.  Grain and potatoes are exported.

The population of the parish in 1755 was 822, in 1801 was 725, and in 1831 was 870.  The school in the parish is attended by an average of 40 children.  Several children near the schools at Newburgh, Dunbog, and Collessie attend there.

The above extract is from the account written in 1836.

Source:  The New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Fife.  FHL book 941 B4sa, 2nd series, vol. 9. 


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 you are interested in. 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 Abdie as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841     Census is missing None
1851 1042252 941.33 X22f
1861 0103825 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103986 None
1881 0203516 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208746 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 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

Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1620-1786 1040143 item 6
1786-1854 1040144 items 1-2
Marriages: 1691-1713, 1720-1767, 1784-1785 1040143 item 6
1786-1854 1040144 items 1-2
Deaths: 1784-1785 1040143 item 6

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers. Some records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: There are no entries between December 1624–October 1625, and January 1717 May 1719. Mother's names are not recorded until March 1783.
Marriages: There are no entries July 1713–October 1719, 1759–1767, July 1759–May 18 1784, and for 1787 except entries of contract or proclamation money.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. FHL British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The Kirk 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 1719–1797
Accounts 1719–1908, 1924–1945
Proclamations 1855–1897
List of Population of the Parish 1821
Communion Rolls1876–1940
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/828.

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.  

Abdie and Newburgh Free Church

The ministers of these parishes adhered to the Establishment in 1843. Those who adhered to the Free Church were formed into a congregation under the minister of Dunbog, who with many of his people came out at the Disruption.
Membership: 1848, 190; 1900, 132.
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

Abdie 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.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]