Torryburn, Fife, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Torryburn. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
TORRYBURN, a parish, in the district of Dunfermline, county of Fife; containing the villages of Torryburn, Torry, and Crombie-Point, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Dunfermline. This place takes its name from the situation of the church and principal village on the burn of Torry, and comprises the ancient parish of Crombie, which, after its church had fallen into decay, was annexed to Torryburn about the year 1620. The church, which is situated at the east end of the village, was rebuilt in 1800, and is a neat plain structure in good repair, containing 502 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.
Torryburn consists of the united parishes of Torrie (a very ancient parish) and Crombie (once attached to the Abbey of Culross), which were joined sometime after 1586. It includes the lands of Inzievar and Oakley which at one time belonged, quoad civilia, to the parish of Saline but were cut off by the intervening parish of Carnock. Torrie or Torry is said to mean the ‘kings’s height’ in Gaelic, and the parish church is situated by the side of the burn of Torrie. The parish forms the south-west corner of the county of Fife. It is about five miles in length and from one to two in breadth, comprising an area of five or six square miles. The surface is beautifully varied. Across the Firth of Forth, which bounds the parish on the south, the castle and part of the city of Edinburgh can be seen.
The villages are Torryburn, Torrie or Newmill, Crombie, and Crombie Point. The nearest market-town is Dunfermline, 3 miles to the east of the parish boundary. There is a fair held annually at the west end of Torryburn village on the second Wednesday of July, but little business is now transacted. There are working collieries in the parish and there were salt works in the 18th century. As early as 1632, there was a school in the parish. In 1655, there were as many as four schools, as was still the case in 1841. In 1697 there was a time of great scarcity all over the country and there were 114 burials recorded in the parish register, it is said due in consequence of unwholesome food.
The population has gone up and down over the centuries, with the high points being around 1670 and 1770 when it was about 1800 (and the collieries were flourishing). Here is a list of other times: in 1640, 1250; in 1755, 1635; and in 1841, 1435. The parish register is not complete, parents not infrequently neglecting to have the names of their children inserted in it; others are altogether indifferent about religious ordinances and, in consequence, their children are unbaptized.
The parish church was rebuilt in 1800 and is located at the east end of the village of Torryburn. It is too small for the population. There are no Seceding or Dissenting places of worship in the parish and the majority of the people profess to adhere to the Established Church. In 1836, the number professing to belong to other denominations was 160 of which 126 were United Secession, 17 Relief Church, 10 Original Burghers, 3 Reformed Presbyterians, and 2 Episcopalians. They likely attend services in Dunfermline.
The above is an extract of the account written in 1841 and revised in 1843.
Source: The New Statistical Account of Scotland for Fife, FHL 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 http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/. Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish you are interested in. 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 Torryburn as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||FHL Film Numbers||Surname Index|
|1841||1042704||book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075|
|1861||0103832||CD-ROM no. 2524|
|1881||0203531||6086574 (8 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 the separate 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||FHL Film Number|
|Births:||1663-1819||1040182 items 3-5|
|1819-1854||1040387 items 1-3|
|Marriages:||1629-1665 (proclamations), 1702-1819||1040182 items 3-5|
|1819-1843||1040387 items 1-3|
|Deaths:||1768-1816 (Mortcloth dues)||1040182 items 3-5|
|1696-1854||1040387 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 records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: The first page of vol. 2 contains entries 1688–1695 of children of Seceders, most of them baptized in other parishes. A few interpolated entries occur after 1783, this record appears to have been regularly kept.
Marriages: There are four entries 1675–1681. There are no entries November 1665–January 1702 and October 1710–December 1711. After 1723 the record is one of persons who gave up their names to be proclaimed. The date of marriage, however, is frequently not added to the entries after 1800.
Deaths: Mortcloth Dues with no entries November 1817–December 1820.
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:
Records— FHL Film Number
Baptisms 1629–1641 0304666 item 11
Deaths 1696–1773 0304666 item 11
Minutes, 1671–1689, 1695–1955
Burial Ground Register 1793–1853
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/355.
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.
Torryburn Free Church
The minister of Torryburn and four fifths of the congregation came out in 1843. They worshiped for a time in a shed fitted up by the proprietor. The church was built in 1843 and the manse a few years later. Both were renovated in 1869 when the earthen floor of the church was replaced by one of wood.
Membership: 1848, 243; 1900, 98.
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.
Records— FHL Film Number
Session Minutes 1843–1888 1886481 items 2–6
Deacon’s Court Minutes, with Accounts 1843–1855 " "
Account Book 1843–1857 " "
Communion Rolls 1858–1875 " "
Baptisms 1874–1924 " "
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.
Torryburn was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Stirling 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 www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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 Family History Library for the 'Place' of Fife and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Stirling.
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. 546-567. Adapted. Date accessed: 02 May 2014.
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