Auchterderran, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Auchterderran

Parish #405

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


AUCHTERDERRAN, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Kirkcaldy; containing the village of Lochgelly. The church was built in 1789, and is situated near the east side of the parish. There is a place of worship for Seceders, in the village of Lochgelly.[1]

The population of the parish in the 1750s was about 1200, in 1821 was 1488, and in 1831 was 1590.  The only village is Lochgelly with a population of 612.  Potatoes, turnips, and hay are grown along with wheat, barley, pease and beans, and oats.  The Fife breed of black cattle is raised.  Coal and limestone are both quarried.  The parish church was built in 1789.  About half of the population is dissenting or seceding Presbyterians and there is a dissenting meeting house at Lochgelly [see below].  There are three schools (one parochial and two village) within the parish and a border school.  The total attendance is about 250.  There are 12 ale houses in the parish.

The above extract is from the account written in May 1836 by the parish minister, who had served there for fourty-nine years and makes several observances about the changes that have occured in forty years times. 

Source:  The New Statistical Account of Scotland, for Fife.  Family History Library 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  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 Auchterderran as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Index
1841      1042699 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042252 941.33 X22f
1861 0103825 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103986 None
1881 0203516 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208747 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 church records.

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

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Event Type Years Covered Family History Library  Film Number
Births: 1664-1854 1040148items 2-3
Marriages: 1681-1854 1040148 items 2-3
Deaths: None

Conditions 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 1667–August 1684 and March 1696–May 1697. Entries are irregular about 1783–1793. A separate record for the children of Dissenters at Lochgelly, 1769–1805, the portion of which prior to 1779 is almost illegible.
Marriages: No entries May 1684–October 1697, from which date until 1760 the entries are mixed with the births for the same period. Marriages for 1760–1790 occur on occasional pages of record of births. There is a separate record from November 1791. The entries for 1793 are contracts except for one marriage. There are only two entries for October 1795–February 1798. From 1797–1806, inclusive, the entries are chiefly contracts with the fact of marriage sometimes added 1798–1800
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 the 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 1663–1669, 1697–1736, 1783–1811, 1814–1855 - with accounts 1812–1874
Cash Book 1700–1758 - with gaps
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/21.

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.

Lochgelly Free Church

The church was erected in 1857. Many new congregations sprang up in the district served by Lochgelly.
Membership: 1859, 153; 1900, 453.
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.

Lochgelly United, Formerly Associate Burgher Presbyterian Church

At the time of the Secession, several members of this parish withdrew from the Established Church and connected themselves with the Seceders meeting in Kirkcaldy. When the church of Auchterderran became vacant in 1740, there was a division among the parishioners as to who should be the new minister. When one man was settled upon by the Church courts, those who had supported the other withdrew from the Established Church. Those in the north–east of the parish became part of a congregation forming in Leslie. Those in the west formally acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1742 and were joined to the congregation in Dunfermline. Those to the south connected themselves with the Seceder congregation of Kirkcaldy. The Breach in 1747 divided the Seceders. Those who adhered to the Associate Burgher Synod, and had been attending services at Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy, applied for and obtained supply of sermon as a separate congregation in 1765, in Lochgelly.
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.

The extent of pre-1855 records is unknown.

Lochgelly Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints

History—     Not available.

Records—                  Years Covered       Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members      1842-1854             0104154 item 12


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

Auchterderran 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 librarycatalog for the 'Place' of Fife and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Fife.

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. 72-84. Adapted. Date accessed: 24 April 2014.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]