Monimail, Fife, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Fife Gotoarrow.png Monimail

Parish #448

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


MONIMAIL, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife; including the villages of Easter Fernie and Letham, 5½ miles (W.) from Cupar. The name of this place is of uncertain derivation, but most probably of Celtic origin. The church, which is inconveniently situated near one extremity of the parish, is a handsome building with a tower; it was erected in 1796, and affords accommodation for a congregation of 600 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.[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 Monimail. 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 Monimail as well as the library numbers for any surname indexes available:

Year Family History Library Film Number Surname Indexes
1841      1042703 book 941.33 X22s; films 1145982-3; CD-ROM no. 1075
1851 1042270 941.33 X22f
1861 0103831 CD-ROM no. 2524
1871 0103994 None
1881 0203529 6086574 (8 fiche)
1891 0208765 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 the separate 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 Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1656-1854 1040338 items 1-3
Marriages: 1656-1685 (proclamations), 1685-1754, 1761-1861 1040338 items 1-3
Deaths: 1685, 1697-1720, 1738-1754, 1780-1790, 1817-1835, 1844, 1853-1854 1040338items 1-3

Condition of Original Registers—

Index: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  The records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
Births: Births are intermixed with marriages until 1687. There are no entries February 1657–September 1658, July 1679–July1682, July 1684–November 1686, August 1689–August 1680, and August 1696–January 1798. After May 1747 entries of children of Seceders 1738–1748. There is a duplicate of record 1725–1749. There is a page of irregular entries 1799–1810 at June 1806. There are entries 1823–1854 on four pages at the end of 1814. Mother's names are seldom recorded until 1666, and occasionally omitted until about 1682.
Marriages: Prior to 1687, marriages are intermixed with births. There are no entries December 1687–August 1690, June 1696–November 1697 and November 1754–July 1761.
Deaths: There are four entries for 1685. The regular record begins October 1697. There are no entries April 1720–January 1738, June 1751–January 1753, except for three entries October 1754–March 1784. There are only two entries August 1786–January 1817.
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 1631–1644, 1690–1699, 1705–1706, 1724–1908
Accounts 1686–1751, 1765–1820, 1845–1944
Communion Rolls 1848–1862
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH2/548.

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.

Monimail Free Church

The minister of the parish and many of his people adhered to the Free Church in 1843. A church was erected at Bow of Fife and opened in 1844. The site was granted by D.M. Makgill Crichton then of Rankeillor. The church was renovated in 1878. A new and beautiful church was built in 1898 and presented to the congregation by Sir Michael Nairn of Rankeillor. The population tended to decrease but this did not affect the prosperity of the congregation.
Membership: 1848, 146; 1900, 148.
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.

Minutes 1843–1932
Baptisms 1843–1845
Deacon’s Court Minutes 1845–1944
Note: Available at St. Andrews University Library, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, record CH3/679.


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

Monimail 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. 255-272. Adapted. Date accessed: 01 May 2014.

[Return to Fife parish list.]