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Help and advice for Dunino

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Description of the parish in 1857

"The parish of Dunino is bounded on the north by Cameron and St Andrews, on the east by St Andrews and Kingsbarns, on the south by Kingsbarns and Crail and on the west by Carnbee and Cameron. The lands of Kingsmuir belong to this parish although claimed by Crail. The parish is 3 miles from east to west and 2.5 miles in breadth. With an area of 3315 acres, 2955 are under cultivation, 300 are wooded and 60 are waste land. The highest elevation, Dunino Law from which the parish probably derives its name, is about 300 feet above sea level. It is watered by 3 rivulets that unite into the Kenly or Pitmilly Burn, which empties itself into the German Ocean. Till lately the soil was wet and moorish, especially King's Muir - which is rather a stiff clay; while other parts are sandy or alluvial. Much has been done this century by draining, planting and enclosing, and reclaiming waste land. There are 12 thrashing mills and 1 corn mill. Land valued at £2600 in 1797 is now worth nearly £12000. Bogs have been converted into corn land. Formerly little wheat was raised, now it surpasses oats and barley. The cattle are of the Fifeshire breed. There are about 200 sheep in the parish. There are 4 heritors. The whole parish presents vestiges of coal workings at a former period although none is worked now, it being brought from St Andrews, Anstruther or any other neighbouring parish. Limestone exists for local use. Much fine marble exists, which when polished has a beautiful yellow and white striated appearance. The freestone is durable and fine in texture. Ironstone has been found. The parish is wholly agricultural. The patron is the United College, St Andrews. The stipend £202-6-6, with a glebe of £28. There are 2 public houses in the parish. Though the post town is St Andrews, there are 6 post offices within from 3 to 7 miles. There is no village and the nearest market town is St Andrews, 4 miles distant. East Anstruther is 5 miles distant and Cupar 13. The inhabitants are intelligent, sober and industrious, and certainly more moral than they had been in 1650 (when the weavers were sometimes cited before the Kirk Session for carrying home their webs on Sundays, millers were grinding their corn and reapers were cutting down corn on the holy day). The present church was erected in 1826, and there is no dissenting church in the parish." from A Descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan, M Barberi, published 1857.

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.


Dunino Churchyard, Dunino (grid ref. NO 540109, GPS: 56.288772 -2.743141 Google map):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 3 The north east parishes by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061999
  • Another listing has been published by the Fife Family History Society in their Publication 15, Monumental Inscriptions.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.
  • The current lair registers (dating from 1871) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services East, County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar, KY15 4TA. Tel. 01334 659336. Fax 01334 412896.


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 425. See also Civil Registration.

The 1841 and 1851 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

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

The 1861 census has been indexed and can be downloaded here

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
Dunino 1042701 1042266 103828 103990 203522 208754
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Dunino 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

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

  • Number of members of the Established Church - 151
  • Number of Burgher Seceders - 11 in Dunino, 4 in Kingsmuir
  • Number of Relief Seceders - 3

The New Statistical Account (written in 1837) gives this information:

  • There are but 2 or 3 families of Seceders.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists only the parish church.

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

Details of the church history:

  • Dunino Parish Church:

The church of Dunino formerly belonged to the college of St Salvator in St Andrews and the session records ministry from 1564, in the person of David Guild. The present day church was erected in 1826. Dunino established a link in 1965 with Boarhills and a further link followed in 1993 with St Andrews Martyrs'. The link with St Andrews Martyrs' continued following the union of Boarhills and Dunino in 1994, under the name of Boarhills and Dunino. The kirk session sits within the Presbytery of St Andrews.

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: 425

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

Dunino OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
425/1 1643-1771 1643-1771 1750-1771
425/2 1771-1819 1771-1819 1771-1819
425/3 1820-1854 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.  and M.  intermixed throughout. Record blank (exc. one entry of B.) Nov. 1646 - Feb. 1648, also June 1692 - Sept. 1694.
D.  (Deaths and Burials.) No entry for 1797. Only one entry Nov. 1811 - March 1813.

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:

1040107 Item 4 Baptisms, 1643-1690; Marriages, 1643-1689
1040108 Items 1 - 3 Baptisms, Marriages, 1689-1855; Burials, 1750-1854
(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 Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (425/1).

Heritors' Records (HR64) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies of the earlier volumes at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/405
    Dunino Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1647-1805 and 1848-1948; Collections and disbursements, 1805-1874; Baptisms, 1857-1866; Proclamations and marriages, 1860-1977; Communion roll, 1864-1874 and 1898-1992; Record apart (discipline), 1911-1925; Inventory of property, 1960-1984; Property register, 1964-1991; Envelope containing notebook and miscellaneous modern documents, including newspaper cuttings; Plan of Dunino church, 18th-19th cent.

Included in the Old Parochial Registers on microfilm and at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh but not online:

  • 425/1
    Dunino Kirk Session
    Collections and a few Minutes 1643-1646

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/64
    Dunino parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1819-1928; Cash book, 1856-1927; Papers relating to transference to Church of Scotland, 1926-1928; Plans of church and manse, 1927.

Other Churches:

The Dunino 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
Dunino 425 1855 1965
St Andrews and St Leonards 453 1966 1967
St Andrews 453 1968 1971
St Andrews 413 1972 2002
Fife 413 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Part of Crail parish was transferred to Dunino registration district in 1880.

Description and Travel

Dunino church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°17'18"N
NO 541109 56.288318
KY16 8LU Lon. 2°44'36"W

Surrounding parishes: Cameron, St Andrews, Crail, Carnbee.

You can see pictures of Dunino which are provided by:


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 Dunino 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 1st January 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Crail to the parish of Dunino: Balkaithly Farm (part); Beley; Beley Bridge; Chesters Farm (part); New Bridge.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Dunino 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 NO541109 (Lat/Lon: 56.288369, -2.743069), Dunino 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, 29.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The relief of paupers after 1845 was carried out by the Parochial Board and later by the Parish Council. None of their records are known to exist.


Year Population  
1755 598  
1801 326  
1851 289  
1901 272  * boundary changed
1951 183  

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 Dunino may be found in either the St Andrews Commissariot (CC20) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records. From 1824, commissary business has been conducted by the Sheriff Court of Fife at Cupar (SC20).

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.

None known


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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Dunino School
    Log books, 1888-1992; Admissions Registers, 1909-2004.

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
Dunino Dunino 91 70


"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.

See also the Early Taxation Records page.