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Parish #442

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.



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.[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 Kirkcaldy.  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 Kirkcaldy as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Numbers Surname Index
1841     Missing None
1851 1042269 941.33 X22f
1861 0103830 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103993 None
1881 0203526 and 0203527 6086574 (set of 8 fiche)
1891 0208760 through 0208762 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 indexes through the library.

Church Records

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
Deaths: 1732-1752 (burials) 1040186
1752-1783 1040187 items 1-4

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  The records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
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:

  Kirkcaldy Abbotshall

Abbotshall Kirk Session Minutes 1793-1812 at The Family History Library and also published by the Fife Family Hiitsory Society Publication No 21 in 2002

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

 Old Kirkcaldy

Scroll Minutes 1736–1747
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/636.

Kirkcaldy Old Church Burials 1855-1972 in the Family History Library and Published by the Fife Family History Society 

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 1855-70
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 1768-95
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

Kirkcaldy, Pathhead

Various Minutes 1840–1926
Accounts 1840–1843
Communion Rolls 1848–1898
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH/907.

Kirkcaldy, Invertiel

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.


Probate 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 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. 82-98. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]


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  • This page was last modified on 21 June 2015, at 19:11.
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