Ballingry, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Ballingry

Parish #408                      

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


BALLINGRY, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Blair-Adam Inn. This place is supposed to have derived its name, of Gaelic origin, from its having been, at one time, an occasional residence of the Scottish kings. The church is a substantial and neat structure, erected in 1831.[1]

Ballingry is said to signify the village of the cross, and to be compounded of the Gaelic word Bal, a village, and the initials inscribed on crosses in the fields, J.N.R.J. for Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum, or Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. 

The population in 1755 was 464, in 1799 was 220, and in 1831 was 372.  Produce of grain of all kinds as well as potatoes, turnips, and hay are grown.  There are two coal works within the parish but no limestone at present.

A new parish church was built in 1831.  The number of families attending the Established Church is 53 and that of Dissenters is 16.  There is one parochial school, built in 1825.  There are two ale house but there is no drunkeness.

The above extract is taken from the account written in December 1837.

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

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Indexes
1841      1042699 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042253 941.33 X22f
1861 103825 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 103987 None
1881 203517 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 208748 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: 1670-1854 1040194 items 3-5
Marriages: 1670-1854 1040194items3-5
Deaths: 1670-1793 1040194items 3-5

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: Births are recorded in parallel columns of the same pages with deaths and marriages, 1670–1701. There are no entries 1701–1722. From 1722–1745 births are entered in alternate pages of the same register with marriages. No birth entries 1745–1754 except for a few irregular entries.
Marriages: Marriages are recorded on parallel columns of the same pages with births and deaths for 1670–1701. Record is incomplete 1695–1701 with a separate entry for contracts, which to some extent supplement the record. There are no entries 1701–1722. From 1722–1745 they are usually entered on alternate pages of the same register with the births. There are no entries 1745–1754; except a few irregular entries, and none for 1819.
Deaths: Deaths are recorded on parallel columns of the same page with births and marriages for 1670–1701. Records are burials to December 1684 and deaths for 1685–1701, inclusive. There is a page containing irregular entries.
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 1669–1681, 1702–1745, 1757–1808, 1852–1882
Accounts of Rents of Lands Belonging to the Poor 1687–1702
Accounts 1719–1745, 1819–1831
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/382.

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.

Glencraig and Lochore United Free Church, later Church of Scotland

No records are available.

Baptismal Register 1843–1852
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1407.

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- Vital Records' for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Ballingry 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. 91-101. Adapted. Date accessed: 24 April 2014.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]