St. Monance or Abercrombie, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png St. Monance or Abercrombie

Parish #454

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


ABERCROMBIE, or St. Monan's, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Pittenweem. This place, which appears to have been a distinct parish since the middle of the 12th century, is in ancient documents invariably called Abercrombie, or Abercrumbin; but, towards the close of the year 1647, on the annexation of the barony of St. Monan's, previously in the adjoining parish of Kilconquhar, it obtained the latter appellation, by which, till within the last thirty years, it was generally designated. The church, formerly the chapel of St. Monan, is said to have been originally founded by David II., about the year 1370, and by him dedicated to St. Monan, the tutelar saint of the place, in gratitude for the deliverance of his queen and himself from shipwreck on this part of the coast; it is a beautiful specimen of the English style prevailing at that period, and is a cruciform structure, with a square tower rising from the centre, surmounted by an octagonal spire. It now forms one of the most beautiful edifices in the country, adapted for a congregation of 530 persons.[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 St. Monance or Abercrombie. 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 St. Monance or Abercrombie as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year FHL Film Numbers Surname Indexes
1841      1042704 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042271 941.33 X22f
1861 0103832 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103995 None
1881 0203530 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208767 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

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1628-1691, 1707-1854 1040181 items 2-4
Marriages: 1627-1854 1040181 items 2-4
Deaths: Mortcloth dues for 1674-1681, 1690-1704, 1736-1749, 1756-1773 and 1781-1783  1040181 items 2-4
Deaths and burials for 1747-1817 and 1827-1854 1040181 items 2-4
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 three entries for 1682 and one for 1690 on the first page. Entries occasionally occur a few years out of the order of time. At 1817, there are six irregular entries dated 1807–1848 and a duplicate of record 1719–1747.
Marriages: There are no entries, excepting a few of proclamation fees, August 1691–May 1707 and November 1756–March 1758. There are occasional entries of irregular and clandestine marriages. There is a duplicate of record 1712–1740 and 1746–1747.
Deaths: There is only Mortcloth Dues prior to 1747 and no entries 1681–1690, 1704–1736. Deaths are recorded for August 1747–November 1756 and January 1773–July 1781. Burials are recorded after October 1783.
There are transcribed entries of Mortcloth Dues applicable to the blanks in the regular record 1756–1773 and 1781–1783. There are no entries for November 1817–January 1827 and a duplicate of the portion 1827–1844.
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 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 and Accounts 1597–1617, 1629–1660, 1665–1682–1939
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/1056.

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 List.

There are no known pre-1855 nonconformist churches or records for this parish.


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

St. Monance or Abercrombie 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 St. Andrews.

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. 1-23. Adapted. Date accessed: 02 May 2014.

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