Falkland, Fife, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Falkland. 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
- 3.1 Established Church—Old Parochial Registers
- 3.2 Established Church—Kirk Session Records
- 3.3 Nonconformist Church Records
- 4 Civil Registration Records
- 5 Probate Records
- 6 References
FALKLAND, a royal burgh and parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 10 miles (W.) from Cupar, and 24 (N. N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing the villages of Balmblae, Freuchie, and Newton. This place, anciently called Kilgour, signifying in the Gaelic language the "Hill of Goats," is situated in a secluded spot at the northern base of the East Lomond hill, and was one of the principal strongholds of the Macduffs. The church, erected in 1620, and repaired in 1770, is a plain structure containing 687 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, and Baptists of Free Communion.
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 Satistical Accounts of Scotland. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Falkland. 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 Falkland as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1841||1042701||book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075|
|1861||0103829||CD-ROM no. 2524|
|1881||0203523||6086574 (set of 8 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on Scotlands 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:||1669–1674||1040111 item 2|
|1669–1674 (duplicate of record from session book)||1041475|
|1820-1855||1040111 item 4|
|1826–1852 (neglected entries)||1040337item 1|
|Marriages:||1669–1682, 1661–1667 and 1682–1706 (proclamations)||1040111 item 2|
|1702–1755, 1772–1821||1040111item 3|
|1661–1706 (duplicate of record from session book)||1041475|
|1820–1849||1040111 item 4|
|1849–1855||1040337 item 1|
|Deaths:||1661–1667, 1666–1683, 1682–1706 (Mortcloth dues)||1040111 item 2|
|1737–1758 (Mortcloth dues), 1777–1795, 1817–1820||1040111 item 3|
|1820–1853||1040111 item 4|
|1820–1853 (duplicate)||1040337 item 1|
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 records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries July 1674–February 1702; January 1746–June 1748. Records are incomplete March 1755–July 1758 and there are no entries, except four, May 1759–March 1768. From 1772 –July 1780 the entries are alphabetically, according to the baptismal names of the children in the form of an index. There are six pages of irregular entries 1789–1817.
Marriages: Marriages are mainly proclamations intermixed with other matters prior to 1669 and from 1687–1705. There are no entries November 1688–October 1691 nor May 1703–January 1705, except entries of pledges, after which the record is pure. There are no entries May 1746–May 1748; December 1755–April 1772 and April 1780–April 1786. The fact of marriage is rarely recorded after 1687.
Deaths: There are no entries September 1706–March 1737, April 1780– October 1784, and June 1795–January 1817.
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 1643–1661; 1667–1681; 1691–1750; 1755–1896
Cash Disbursements 1643–1644
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/428.
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.
Falkland Free Church
The minister of Falkland with many of his congregation came out in 1843. He conducted the first Free Church communion service on the West Green on July 16, 1843. The congregation worshiped for five months in the Congregational Church and then in the Town Hall, until March 1845 when the new church was opened. An unfortunate division over the election of a successor retarded progress. The manse was built in 1867.
Membership: 1848, 142; 1900, 118.
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.
Session Minutes 1845–1938
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH3/357.
Freuchie United Presbyterian Church
The congregation of Freuchie originated with members of the Established Church who, being desirous of having a place of worship more conveniently situated for them than the parish church of Falkland, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Perth in 1794. The church was built the following year; a new one in 1869.
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.
Freuchie Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Records— Family History Library Film Number
Record of Members 1851–1854 0104151 item 4
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.
Falkland 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 Scotlands 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. 411-428. Adapted. Date accessed: 25 April 2014.
[Return to the Fife parish list.]