Dysart, Fife, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Dysart. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
- 1 History
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
DYSART, a burgh, seaport town, and parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; including the villages of Boreland and Gallatown, the late quoad sacra parish of Pathhead, and part of that of Thornton; 2 miles (E.) from Kirkcaldy, and 14 (N. by E.) from Edinburgh. This place appears to have retained its original name, which in the Gaelic language signifies the "Temple of the Most High," from its rise to the present time. The parish, situated on the Frith of Forth. A church was erected by subscription in the village of Pathhead. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the Relief, and Antiburghers.
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 Edina Statistical Accounts of Scotland . Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Dysart. Also available at the Family History Library.
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 Dysart as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Indexes|
|1841||1042701||book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075|
|1861||0103828||CD-ROM no. 2524|
|1881||0203522||6086574 (set of 8 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on Scotland's People. 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.
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:||1582–1596, 1609–1662||1040108 item 4|
|1844–1853 (neglected entries)||1040110 items 1-3|
|Marriages:||1582-1592, 1612-1662||1040108 item 4|
|Deaths:||1582-1596 (burials)||1040108 item 4|
|1818-1855 (Mortcloth dues)||1040110 items 1-3|
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 of these records may be indexed and searchable on Historical Records at FanilySearch. org and then typing in Scotland in the search box to find those records.”
Births: There are no birth entries May 1596–November 1609, April 1610–November 1611 and 1623 is incomplete. There are no entries October 1679–December 1682, except 11 irregular entries, December 1694–January 1708. Mother's names are not recorded until 1645 and are often omitted until March 1662.
Marriages: Registers are contracts and marriages with no entries July 1592–January 1612, February 1648–January 1650, February 1653–December 1654, July 1677–December 1682 and December 1694–January 1708, except one for 1698.
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 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:
Cash Book 1779–1848
Poor’s Accounts 1686–1706, 1747–1845
List of Poor 1830–1840
Treasurer's Book 1846–1847
Tenants of the Earl of Rosslyn and their Rents 1841
Miscellaneous Accounts 1827
Seating Books 1830–1842
Burials 1795–1861 (different burying grounds)
Communion Rolls 1817–1866
Burial Register Dysart Relief Church, dates are unreadable, but likely mid 1700s on.
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/390.
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.
Dysart Relief Church
This congregation originated in the minister’s love of Evangelical truth on the part of those who took part in its formation. They obtained supply of sermon from the Relief Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1772 and built a place of worship for themselves the same year containing seating for 650. A new church was opened in 1867.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873.Film #477618. More details are given in the source, including ministers.
Records— Family History Library Film Number
Baptisms from Presbytery Minutes 1803–1829 1484196 item 3-5
Presbytery Minutes 1803–1847
Register of Baptisms 1828–1831, 1838
Various Minutes 1775–1813, 1819–1820, 1828–1831
Box Master's Accounts 1779–1828
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH13/5 and CH3/105.
Dysart Free Church
The minister of the parish, and a considerable congregation, came out in 1843. The church was erected in 1844. In 1874 the church was sold to the Earl of Rosslyn and a new church was built. The linen and mining industries in the town and district improved after1843 but the town suffered from failure of the spinning industry.
Membership: 1848, 170; 1900, 296.
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.
Baptisms 1843–1854, 1859–1922
Other post-1855 records
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1481.
Dysart Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints
Records— Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members 1840–1875 0104150 item 13
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.
Dysart 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 Scotland's People. 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 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.
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 320-349. Adapted. Date accessed: 25 April 2014.
[Return to the Fife parish list.]