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Help and advice for Auchterderran

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Description of the parish in 1862

"Auchterderran parish is bounded by Ballingry, Beath, Abbotshall, Auchtertool, Dysart, Kinglassie and Kinross-shire. It is about 5 miles long by 3 miles wide. About three quarters of the land is under cultivation and everything connected with agriculture has made great progress during the last 10 or 12 years. Coal and ironstone are extensively worked. At Lochgelly Station there are 4 furnaces for smelting the ore, although recently the industry has been dull. The principal village is Lochgelly, small portions of it also being in the parishes of Beath and Ballingry. There are also villages at Cardenden and Clunie. The parish church is in the hamlet of Auchterderran; there is a chapel of ease in Lochgelly where there are also a Free Church and a UP Church. In the same village are a number of Roman Catholics who meet fortnightly in Littlejohn’s Hall. A small number of Mormons also worship in the same place." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Archives and Libraries

The ScotlandsPlaces website lets users search across national databases by geographical location. It includes, amongst other material,

  • catalogue entries for maps and plans held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh; some maps and plans can be viewed
  • photos and details of historical buildings and archaeological sites recorded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • 17th and 18th century tax rolls
  • Ordnance Survey [place] Name Books
  • an opportunity to transcribe thousands of historic documents


A very good description is to be found in the relevant chapter in History of the County of Fife: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time by John M Leighton, published 1840, online at Google Books.

Old Lochgelly (Stenlake Publishing) contains many photographs and full descriptions.


There are 3 cemeteries in Auchterderran parish:

1. Auchterderran Churchyard, Woodend Road, Cardenden (grid ref. NT 214961, GPS: 56.15038 -3.266295 Google map):

2. Bowhill Cemetery, Main Street, Cardenden (grid ref. NT 215957, GPS: 56.148332 -3.265029 Google map):

  • The current lair registers are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services Central, Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HQ. Tel. 01592 260277. Fax 01592 203438.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.

3. Lochgelly Cemetery, Auchterderran Road, Lochgelly (grid ref. NT 196944, GPS: 56.135516 -3.295246 Google map):

  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.
  • The current lair registers are administered by Fife Council, Cemeteries Department, Dunfermline Crematorium, Masterton Road, Dunfermline,KY11 8QR. Tel. 01383 724653. Fax 01383 738636.
  • St Fothad, Woodend Road/Balgreggie Road, Church of Scotland


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 405

The 1841 and 1851 returns can be searched on theFreeCEN website.

The 1851 census has been indexed and published by the Tay Valley Family History Society.

Some census records on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family Search Centres around the world.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Auchterderran 1042699 1042252 103825 103986 203516 208747
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.


  • St Finnian, Lochgelly, Scottish Episcopal Church

  • St Fothad, Woodend Road/Balgreggie Road, Church of Scotland

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Auchterderran area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

In addition to the parish church at Auchterderran, other churches include a Free Church, another Established Church and a United Presbyterian Church in Lochgelly.

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) gives this information about Dissenters:

  • In 1783, the Established Church had 105 families (430 individuals)
  • The Seceders and other sectaries had 188 families (770 individuals)
  • There is 1 Established minister and 1 Burgher minister.

The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) gives this information:

  • All our Dissenters are Presbyterians and there is a meeting house at Lochgelly.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, another Established Church in Lochgelly, the United Presbyterian Church in Lochgelly, and the Free Church in Lochgelly.

Information and pictures of the churches at the Scottish Churches website.

Details of church history:

  • Auchterderran Kirk Session:
The medieval church of Auchterderran was granted c1059 to St. Serf's Priory, Loch Leven. Ministry began in 1567 under George Boswell, minister. Throughout its existence as a kirk session, Auchterderran has been within the jurisdiction of Kirkcaldy Presbytery. The Parish church of the modern era was built in 1789, being further extended in 1891. On 2 September 1979 Auchterderran became linked with Kinglassie, followed on 18 September 1991 by being linked with St. Fothad's, Cardenden.
  • Lochgelly St Andrews Kirk Session:
The parish of Lochgelly was established in 1868 when it was disjoined from that of Auchterderran and of Ballingry and erected quoad sacra, a chapel which had been erected at Lochgelly in 1855 became the parish church. The kirk session, which remains active today, sat within the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, later of Dunfermline and Kinross and, following the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, it became part of the Presbytery of Dunfermline.
  • Lochgelly Free Church (later Macainsh United Free then Church of Scotland):
Lochgelly Free Church began in 1849 with services in a subscription school. The charge was sanctioned in 1856 and a church building erected the following year. It passed successively to the United Free Church, as Lochgelly Macainsh, and to the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland charge is in the presbytery of Dunfermline (formerly Dunfermline and Kinross) and was in the synod of Fife until the abolition of synods in 1993.
  • Lochgelly (burgher) Associate congregation, (later United Presbyterian, United Free (Churchmount) and Church of Scotland):
Lochgelly (Burgher) Associate Congregation originated with a petition to the Burgher Presbytery of Dunfermline for supply of sermon in 1763. The petitioners were from a number of surrounding parishes, but Lochgelly was chosen as the site of the church, from its central location. The first minister was ordained in 1767. It passed successively to United Presbyterian and United Free Churches, in the latter case as Lochgelly Churchmount, and to the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland charge, which was in the presbytery of Dunfermline and Kinross and the synod of Fife, was dissolved in 1980.

Church Records

Data provided by the  Scottish Archive Network (SCAN)

The Parish Church (Established Church, Church of Scotland):

The original Old Parish Registers (of baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages, and deaths / burials) of the Church of Scotland, which cover the years up to 1854, are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and they can all be consulted there at the National Records of Scotland. The baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages and deaths / burials indexes can be searched at the ScotlandsPeople website. Copies of the register entries may be purchased.

Parish reference number: 405

The Old Parish Registers (OPRs) span the following dates (although there are gaps within these ranges):

Auchterderran OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
405/1 1664-1819 1681-1819  
405/2 1820-1854 1820-1854  
(Data supplied by the National Records of Scotland)

The Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland, published 1872, provides this information about the content of the OPRs, including the gaps within them:

B.  blank Dec. 1667 - Aug. 1684. Leaf at Sept. 1690 destroyed. No entries March 1696 - May 1697. Irregular about 1783 - 1793. Separate Record for Children of Dissenters at Lochgelly 1769 - 1805, the portion of which prior to 1779 is almost illegible.
M.  blank May 1684 - Oct. 1697, from which date till 1760 the entries are mixed with B. for the same period. M. 1760 - 1790 occur on occasional pages of Record of B. Separate Record from No. 1791. The entries for 1793 are Contracts (exc. one M.). Only two entries Oct. 1795 - Feb. 1798. From 1797 - 1806 incl., the entries are chiefly Contracts, with the fact of Marriage sometimes added 1798 - 1800.

Copies of the registers on microfilm may be consulted in some local libraries and at LDS Family Search Centres around the world. The indexes to baptisms / births and proclamations / marriages can also be searched on the LDS Family Search website or on the IGI on microfiche in local libraries.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

1040148 Items 2 - 3 Baptisms, 1664-1667, 1684-1854; Marriages, 1681-1771, 1783-1819; Baptisms (Lochgelly), 1769-1805; Marriages, 1820-1854; Family Register, 1820-1854.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Deaths / burials are listed on Fife Family History Society's  Pre-1855 Fife Deaths CD.

Further information on the main Fife page.

Kirk Session records are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Heritors' Records (HR236) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/21
    Auchterderran Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1663-1736, 1783-1811 (with accounts) and 1814-1855 (with accounts 1812-1874); Cash book, 1700-1758 (gaps); Notes of sermons, early 17th century, 1 vol.; Proclamations, 1855-1922 (also baptisms 1863-1879) and 1928-1948; Communion rolls, 1872-1947; Scroll minutes, 1874-1882; Young mens' guild minutes, 1889-1892.
  • CH2/1405
    Lochgelly St Andrews Kirk Session
    Proclamation register, 1962-1977.
  • HR/236
    Auchterderran parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1800-1930; Accounts, 1871-1930; Memo regarding churchyard, 1859; Plans of church, 1896, undated.

Other Churches:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/864
    Lochgelly Free Church (later Macainsh United Free then Church of Scotland)
    Minutes, 1857-1981; Deacons' court minutes, 1857-1919; Baptismal register, 1860-1916; Congregational temperance society minutes, 1885-1890; Members, adherents and children, 1892; Bible class temperance society, 1883-1889; Temperance association minutes, 1885; Miscellaneous, nd; Plans, 1916-post 1929.
  • CH3/943
    Lochgelly (burgher) Associate congregation, (later United Presbyterian, United Free (Churchmount) and Church of Scotland)
    Sermons, 1773-1778; Minutes, 1782-1980 (gaps); Accounts, 1784-1791, 1810-1813; Deacons' minutes, 1866-1980; Miscellaneous, nd; Baptismal register, 1869-1980; Marriage register, 1962-1979; Communion roll, 1949-1980; Youth fellowship minutes, 1950-1954; General accounts, 1949-1972; Accounts, 1948-1964.
  • MR52/1
    Lochgelly Associate Congregation
    Record of texts preached on by the Reverend David Greig, minister, 1773-1778.These records have been filmed as part of the Minor Records series.
    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    1068237 Item 7 Lochgelly Associate Congregation Blotter registers, 1773-1778; record of sermon texts preached, 1773-1778. Original source: MR52/1National Records of Scotland, now transferred to NRS CH3/943/1
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
At the National Records of Scotland and on the ScotlandsPeople website:
  • Lochgelly, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic congregation
    Indexes to and images of the Roman Catholic births and baptism registers, 1866-1908.
At the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, USA, but available on microfilm at LDS Family History Centres around the world:
  • Microfilm no. 104154 Item 12
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lochgelly Branch
    Record of members, 1842-1854.

The Auchterderran page of the LDS Family Search Research Wiki has more information about church history and records.

Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. Full information on the main Fife page.

Registration districts covering this parish:

Registration district number start date end date
Auchterderran 405 1855 1908
Auchterderran 405/1 1909 1971
Auchterderran 427 1972 2002
Fife 427 2003  
Lochgelly 405/2 1909 1971
Lochgelly 429 1972 2002
Fife 429 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts.

Description and Travel

Auchterderran church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°9'0"N
NT 214960 56.150187
KY5 0NE Lon. 3°16'0"W

Surrounding parishes: Ballingry, Kinglassie, Dysart, Kirkcaldy, Abbotshall, Auchtertool, Beath, Portmoak (Kinross-shire).

You can see pictures of Auchterderran which are provided by:


The parish entry in Pigot's National Commercial Directory for the whole of Scotland, 1837, is online at Google Books.

Westwood's Parochial Directory for the Counties of Fife and Kinross for 1862 and 1866 are online at Google Books. On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is a transcription of the 1862 edition.


There is a list of places in Auchterderran parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

Several old gazetteers are available. They all contain descriptions of the parish and many are also worth searching for entries of places within the parish.

  • David Webster's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1819, online at Google Books.
  • Fullarton's Topographical, Statistical and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland, published 1842, online at Google Books.
  • Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1846, online at British History Online.
  • Barbieri's Descriptive and Historical Gazetteer of the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, published 1857, is at Google Books.
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4) and John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887), are on A Vision of Britain (click on "Historical places and writing").
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland(1892-6) on Electric Scotland

Historical Geography

On 15th May 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Ballingry to the parish of Auchterderran: Brigghills Farm (part) and Spittal Farm (part).

A Vision of Britain provides historical descriptions, population & housing statistics, historic boundaries and maps.

You can see the administrative areas in which Auchterderran has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Land and Property

Details of historic buildings and archaeological sites in this parish held by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh, are catalogued at ScotlandsPlaces. In the results, click RCAHMS. Unfortunately, not all entries have digital images.


Historic maps:

Present-day maps:

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT214960 (Lat/Lon: 56.150237, -3.266780), Auchterderran which are provided by:


Andrew Campbell has produced Fife Deaths from Newspapers 1822-1854 - a compilation of deaths recorded in local newspapers. Copies of this index are held by the Fife libraries and the Family History Societies.

Fife Deaths Abroad 1855-1900 - a compilation of overseas deaths recorded in Fife newspapers - has been produced by Andrew Campbell of Fife Family History Society. The Society have re-published it in their Publications Series, 26 (for Auchterderran) and 28 (for Lochgelly).


The parish is included in Andrew Campbell's compilation of Fife Shopkeepers and Traders 1820-1870 taken from newspapers and directories. It is available in most Fife reference libraries, in the libraries of the family history societies, and at the Manuscript Department of the Special Collections Department of St Andrews University Library. It is also available as Fife Traders and Shopkeepers on CD from Fife Family History Society.

There is a series of articles about many Fife family businesses in Fife Family History Society's Journal, New Series 9.

The Scottish Mining website has extensive information about mining in Fife in general and in this parish in particular.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The relief of paupers after 1845 was carried out by the Parochial Board and later by the Parish Council. Their records are at the Fife Council Archive Centre and Dunfermline Carnegie Library. See Public Records below.

Peter Higginbotham's website has a lot of information about Dunfermline combination poorhouse.


Year Population  
1755 1143  
1801 1045  
1851 3210  
1901 8626  * boundary changed
1951 17602  

There is a page with census statistics from 1755 to 1961 here.

See also A Vision of Britain and Histpop for population statistics.

Probate Records

Probate records are 'Confirmations' in Scotland.

Prior to 1824, wills, testaments & inventories of residents of Auchterderran may be found in either the St Andrews Commissariot (CC20) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records.  From 1824 to 1960, commissary business was conducted by the Sheriff Court of Fife at Cupar (SC20). From 1960, it has been conducted at Dunfermline (SC21) or Kirkcaldy (SC23) Sheriff Court.

Indexes and finding aids are given on the main Fife page.

Local sources worth searching for deeds include St Andrews Commissary Court and Cupar Sheriff Court.

Public Records

Parochial Boards and their successors, Parish Councils, administered many local functions including poor relief.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • FCC/6/5
    Auchterderran Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1890-1922.

At the Local History Department, Dunfermline Carnegie Library:

  • Auchterderran Parochial Board
    Minute Book, 1867-1881.


School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Auchterderran records:

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Auchterderran East Primary School
    Admission registers, 1929-1957.
  • Auchterderran Public School
    Log books, 1890-1949.
  • Auchterderran Evening School
    Log books, 1894-1924.
  • Auchterderran Public School, Infant Department
    Log books, 1878-1936.
  • Auchterderran East School
    Log books, 1914-1955; admission registers, 1945-1970.
  • Auchterderran Higher Grade School, Continuation Class
    Log books, 1929-1941.
  • Auchterderran Junior High School
    Log books, 1949-1971, 1976-1980.
  • Cardenden Public School
    Log books, 1900-1914; admission registers, 1900-1929.
  • Denend Primary School
    Admission registers, 1916-1927.
  • Lochgelly East School
    Log books, 1882-1964.
  • Lochgelly East Infants School
    Log books, 1912-1934.
  • Lochgelly Evening Continuation School
    Log books, 1894-1938.
  • Lochgelly South School
    Log books, 1912-1931.
  • Lochgelly West Primary School
    Log books, 1912-1959; admission registers, 1912-1960.
  • Lochgelly West Infants School
    Log books, 1912-1947.
  • St Ninian's Primary School, Cardenden
    Log books, 1944-1961; admission registers, 1926-1977.
  • St Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary School, Lochgelly
    Log books, 1891-1994; admission registers, 1903-1912, 1920-1987.
  • Auchterderran School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1912.
  • Lochgelly School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1919.
  • Cluny Combination School Board (part Auchterderran and part Kinglassie parish)
    Minutes, 1886-1901.

Entries less than 50 years old may contain sensitive personal information and are not on open access. If you are a former pupil you are entitled to see your own entry. Please contact the Archivist for further details.

Education statistics for Fife schools in 1891-2 list the following board schools in the parish:

School Board School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Auchterderran Auchterderran 403 228
Lochgelly Lochgelly 1019 853


"Statistical accounts" giving fascinating insights into the local topography and history, social and economic conditions, and even the daily lives of people, were written by the parish ministers in the 1790s and the 1840s. For more information see the main Fife pages


The hearth tax, clock & watch tax, male servants tax, female servants tax, and farm horse tax are all on ScotlandsPlaces.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • GD26/7/301
    List of hearths on lands of Redhous [Redhouse], Muirtoun [Muirton], Muirtounhills [Muirtonhills] and Capledrae, belonging to Mr. David Dewar of Redhous, advocate, in parish of Aughterdirane [Auchterderran] and sheriffdom of Fife, 1690.
  • GD26/7/308
    List of hearths in Westerlochgelly [Wester Lochgelly] in parish of Aughterdiran [Auchterderran], 1690.
  • GD26/7/309
    List of hearths in lands of Easter Bowhill and Parsons Mill in parish of Aughterdirane [Auchterderran], 1690.
  • GD66/1/189
    Roll of taxation of teinds for the parish of Auchterderane [Auchterderran], 1635.

See also the Early Taxation Records page.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Lo
    Lochgelly Burgh records
    A few records only.

At the Local History Department, Dunfermline Carnegie Library:

  • The more recent archives of the former Burgh of Lochgelly.