Kettle, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Kettle

Parish #435

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


KETTLE, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife; including the villages of Balmalcolm, BanktonPark, Coalton, and Holekettle-Bridge, and the hamlets of Muirhead and Myreside; 6 miles (S. W. ) from Cupar. This place derives its name, which, in ancient documents, is written Catril and Katel, from its having belonged to the kings of Scotland, by whom it was appropriated to the pasture of the cattle of the royal household. The church, a handsome cruciform edifice in the later English style, with a square tower, was erected in 1834–5, and is adapted for 1200 persons. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church and Relief.[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 Kettle. 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 Scotland Census Records.

Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Kettle as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library FIlm Number Surname Index
1841     1042702 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042268 94133 X22f .
1861 0103829 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103992 None
1881 0203524 6086574 (set of 8 fiche)
1891 0208758 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 Records

Record Type Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1636-1658 (in session book), 1633-1646, 1682-1797 1040114 items 2-4
1773-1819 (arranged by family), 1797-1854 1040336
Marriages: 1633-1635, 1636-1658 (proclamations), 1682-1721 1040114 items 2-4
1701-1705 (in session book), 1723-1854 1040336
Deaths: 1700-1723 (Morthcloth dues), 1719-1722 1040336
1734-1799, 1808, 1817-1842 (burials)       "
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 is one birth entry for 1639 and a separate record until July 1645. There are no entries July 1645–July 1646, after which, births are intermixed with marriages. There are no entries May 1658–February 1682. At February 1714 there are two pages containing irregular entries for four families, 1705–1826. There are no entries September 1717–June 1719. No entries July 1721–January 1723, after which there is a separate record. Except for May 1682–February 1699, mother's names are not recorded until October 1731 and sometimes they are omitted during the period above stated. After August 1741 there are some irregular entries for one family.  Entries for 1843 and 1849 are found after the burials.
Marriages: There is a separate record until June 1635 and no entries 1635–April 1640. There are no entries May 1658–February 1682, September 1717–June 1719, June 1721–January 1723, December 1751–December 1752, and October 1755–May 1760, after which several pages are imperfect.
Deaths: There are no burial entries June 1723–December 1735. There is a separate record for the West and South divisions of the churchyard, 1735–1800; for the East division, 1735–1797, and for burials in the church and Forther's burial–place, 1721–1791. There are no entries, January 1799–February 1817 except one for 1808.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970 Family History Library BritishBook 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:

Stipend 1782–1840
Cash Book 1778–1788
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/207.

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.

Kingskettle Relief, later United Presbyterian Church

As the result of the settlement of an unpopular new minister at Kettle in 1777, a large portion of the parishioners withdrew and applied to the Relief Presbytery of Dysart to be recognized as a forming congregation, which was granted. In spite of having no regular minister until 1781, the members built a church in 1778, with seating for 600. A new church, with seating for 725, was built in 1852–1853.
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 including list of ministers.

Various Minutes 1819–1930
Accounts 1789–1854
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/188.

Kettle and Cults Free Church

The Free Church adherents in these parishes were formed into a congregation at the Disruption. The church was built on the border between the two parishes about a mile from Kingskettle.
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.

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

Kettle 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 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.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 1-22. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]