Forgan, Fife, Scotland Genealogy
This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Forgan. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.
FORGAN, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 9 miles (N. E. by E.) from Cupar; containing the villages of East and West Newport, and Woodhaven. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Saxon language "a fore-ground," from the elevated and conspicuous situation which it occupies on the bank of the river Tay. The old church, situated in a pleasing and sequestered spot, at the southern extremity of the parish, formerly belonged to the priory of St. Andrew's, and is said to have been built on that site for the accommodation of a family residing in the neighbouring mansion-house of Kirkton. This edifice has been suffered to go to ruin, as, from the inconvenience of its position for the generality of the parishioners, a new church was erected in 1841 in a more central part of the parish. There is a place of worship near Newport for a congregation of Independents.
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 edina.($) Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Forgan. Also available at the Family History Library.
A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.
Here is a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Forgan as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:
|Year||Family History Library Film Number||Surname Index|
|1841||1042702||book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075|
|1861||0103829||CD-ROM no. 2524|
|1881||0203523||6086574 (set of 8 fiche)|
The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on scotlandspeople.($) 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:||1695-1855||1040384 items 1-2|
|Marriages:||1703-1855||1040384 items 1-2|
|Deaths:||1703-1855||1040384 items 1-2|
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. Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on familysearch.org.
Births: There are no birth entries October 1700–January 1704. Mother's names are not recorded until November 1723.
Marriages: After January 1782 the record is one of proclamations only.
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 1695–1700; 1717–1935
Volume of Transcriptions for 1695–1717
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/160.
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.
Newport Free Church
The minister of Forgan parish and many of his congregation came out in 1843. The church and manse were erected at Newport in 1844. A new church was built in 1869. Originally a small Fife village, Newport became a suburb of Dundee. This brought increase of membership. The church at Wormit was an offshoot from Newport.
Membership: 1848, 250; 1900, 418.
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 1843–1930
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH3/1583.
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.
Forgan 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 scotlandspeople.($) 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 thelibrary 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 thelibrary 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. 441-457. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.
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