Inverkeithing, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Parish #432

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Inverkeithing. 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 edina.($) Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Inverkeithing. 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 Inverkeithing as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year FHL Film Number Surname Index
1841     1042702 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042267 941.33 X22f
1861 0103829 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103991 None
1881 0203523 6086574 (set of 8 fiche)
1891 0208757 None

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.

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

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about church records.
Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Record Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1676-1711, 1725-1774, 1772-1805 1040384 items 3-4
1805-1854 1040112 items 1-3
Marriages: 1676-1710 1040384 items 3-4
1748-1819, 1734-1749, 1770-1855 1040384 items 3-4
1736-1805 (proclamations) 1040112 items 1-3
Deaths: 1702-1710, 1783-1784 1040384 items 3-4
1698-1721 (Mortcloth dues) 1040112 items 1-3

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.  Some of these records may be indexed and searchable on
Birth: Births are intermixed with marriages until December 1697. There are no entries March 1684–March 1685. The records for 1698–1710 are for the united parishes of Inverkeithing and Rosyth. There are no entries January 1711–April 1725, December 1734–May 1737, except one for November 1738– July 1744.
Marriages: There is a separate record from April 1698 and there are no entries December 1710–December 1748.
Deaths: There are burials until 1708 and no entries April 1708–January 1710. Deaths are recorded until December 1710 then no entries until November 1783, after which date burials are recorded.
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:

Minutes 1688–1698, 1721–1838
Scroll Minutes 1724–1802
Cash Book 1735–1764
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/195.

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.

Inverkeithing United Presbyterian Church

This dissenting congregation was formed as the result of a disagreement over the settlement of a new parish minister in 1752. A great body of the parishioners withdrew from the Established Church and applied to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Dunfermline for supply of sermon, which was granted. A Church was built in 1753.
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 a list of ministers.

Records—                                      FHL Film Number
Marriages 1756–1758, 1764–1852      0889483 item 5
Baptisms 1764–1775, 1821–1852       0889483 item 5
Minutes 1776–1802, 1820–1852         0889493 item 5
Baptisms 1756–1758
Various Minutes 1753–1818
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/452.


Civil Registration

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

Inverkeithing 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 the librarycatalog 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 Fife parish list.]