Cults, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #419

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


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 your parish of interest. 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 Cults as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841    Missing None
1851 FHL 1042254 941.33 X22f
1861 FHL 0103826 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 FHL 0103988 None
1881 FHL 0203518
FHL 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 FHL 0208750 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

Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1693-1854 FHL 1040100 items 2-3
Marriages: 1693-1854 FHL 1040100 items 2-3
Deaths: 1704-1854 FHL 1040100 items 2-3

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index available on computers at the Family History Library and family history centers.  The records may be indexed in the
Births: Births are intermixed with marriages 1693–1748 and Mortcloth Dues also included from February 1704. There are no entries July 1709–September 1726. From February 1751, births, marriages and deaths for each year are recorded by turns in the same register. Mother's names are inserted in entries after December 1696.
Marriages: There are no entries July 1709–September 1726 and no entries December 1708–January 1727. From 1751–1764 inclusive both contracts and marriages are recorded.
Deaths: There are no entries July 1709–September 1726 and October 1765–1773. There are Mortcloth Dues for October 1765–1773.
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 1845–1903
List of Ministers from the Reformation to 1936
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1160.

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.

Pitlessie United Presbyterian Church

When a disagreement arose over appointment of a new parish minister in 1835, a number of the parishioners withdrew and applied to the United Associate Presbytery of Cupar to be taken under their inspection as a forming congregation, which was granted. They met in a village hall until a church was built.
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.

Cults Free Church

A church was built here in 1843 at first Cults was a preaching station. It was eventually sanctioned in 1860. A manse was erected in 1863 and the church enlarged in 1880. Cults became a suburb of Aberdeen with suburban railway and tramway car service.
Membership: 1866, 119; 1900, 340.
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 including list of ministers.

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

Cults 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.

[Return to the Fife parish list.]