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Kinghorn

Description of the parish in 1862

"Kinghorn parish extends along the coast of the Firth of Forth for 4 miles. It is bounded by Burntisland, Aberdour, Abbotshall and Auchtertool. It contains the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn, the village of Invertiel (now a suburb of Kirkcaldy), the harbour of Pettycur and the island of Inchkeith. To the north-west of the town is Kinghorn Loch, which extends to about 20 acres. It is well stocked with pike. A combination Poor’s House for the parishes of Burntisland, Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy and Abbotshall, stands on the shore a little to the east of Kinghorn burgh. There are 2 spinning mills and a bleachfield at Tyrie at which great numbers of the inhabitants are employed. There is also a brewery, a large corn & flour mill and an extensive glue manufactory in the town. There is an apology for a harbour which is of little use except for fishing boats; however the harbour at Pettycur affords good accommodation for vessels and was the regular ferry station from Fife to Newhaven and Leith before the opening of the E P& D Railway and the transference of the ferry station to Burntisland. In addition to the parish church, there is a Free Church and a UP Church in Kinghorn, and a chapel of ease at Invertiel" 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

Bibliography

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.

Cemeteries

There are 2 cemeteries in Kinghorn parish:

1. Kinghorn Churchyard, Nethergate, Kinghorn (grid ref. NT 272869, GPS: 56.069859 -3.171783 Google map):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are in Mitchell & Mitchell (see below).
  • Transcripts of many of the older stones were made by Robert Monteith in An Theater of Mortality, 1713. They are included in Publication 37, Monumental Notes by Erskine Beveridge and Robert Monteith, published by the Fife Family History Society. Montieth's book is available at the Internet Archive texts.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.

2. Kinghorn Cemetery, Viewforth Place, Kinghorn (grid ref. NT 265864, GPS: 56.06537 -3.181551 Google map):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are in Mitchell & Mitchell (see below).
  • The current lair registers (dating from 1874) 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.

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 2 The western parishes by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061972

Census

The original 1841 census returns were lost in transit to Edinburgh.

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 439. Some parts in 442 from 1861 (see Civil Registration).

The 1851 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN 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
Kinghorn - 1042268 103829 103992 203524 208759
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Kinghorn 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, other churches include a Free Church, a relief / burgher congregation (later United Presbyterian) - Rosslands, and a Free Church at Invertiel.

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

  • "Of the 1768 inhabitants, 1237 adhere to the Established Church and the remaining 531 are Seceders of different denominations, mostly Burghers.
  • Every year there are several irregular marriages and several baptisms (particularly among the Seceders) that are not entered in the parish register."

The New Statistical Account (written in 1843) gives this information:

  • In the parish, belonging to the Established church - about 700 communicants (500 at the parish church, 200 at Invertiel, Auchtertool and Abbotshall)
  • A Burgher dissenting chapel has existed in the town for upwards of 60 years.
  • There are 165 communicants in the parish belonging to the Burgher meeting house, and nearly 100 more in communion with either Dissenting congregations in Kirkcaldy or Burntisland.
  • There are also a few Anabaptists.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, a second Established Church at Invertiel, the United Presbyterian Church, the Free Church in Kinghorn and the Free Church at Invertiel.

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

Details of church history:

An authoritative book (for the churches now in Kirkcaldy) is Kirkcaldy's Churches, 1999, Kirkcaldy Civic Society, ISBN 0946294178, available from Fife Family History Society. The much briefer historical notes below were provided by the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN).

  • Kinghorn Kirk Session:
The church of Kinghorn was dedicated to St Serf and was granted to Holyrood Abbey by King William the Lion between 1165 and 1177. Ministry of the parish is recorded from 1562. The present parish church was built in 1774 and renovated in 1894. There was also a quoad sacra church built within the parish in the village of Invertiel, or Westbridge. Following 1929, when the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church were joined together, Kinghorn parish church, which had become known as Kinghorn St Leonard's, was united with the former United Free Church congregation of Kinghorn Rosslands in 1961. After the union the kirk session reverted back to the name of Kinghorn. The kirk session sits within the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy.
  • Kinghorn United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, United Free Rosslands, united in 1918 with Kinghorn Ladyburn Church of Scotland):
The congregation of Kinghorn United Associate Church (Relief and Burgher congregation) was established in 1778 following the presentation of a petition to the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow, requesting that sermon be provided at Kinghorn. The congregation was duly formed and in 1779 a church with 550 sittings was erected. Additionally in 1779 Joseph Johnstone, the first minister of Kinghorn Relief Church, was ordained however in 1788 Rev. Johnstone chose to return to the Established Church and withdrew his position at Kinghorn. Following his resignation a request in the name of elders, mangers and members of Kinghorn Relief Church was presented to the Burgher Presbytery of Dunfermline, requesting that they be taken under the Burgher Presbytery's charge. This transferal was immediately agreed to and Kinghorn Relief became Kinghorn Burgher Church, with many Burgher families in the area, who had prior to this time had to travel to Kirkcaldy for sermon, consequently joining with the congregation. In 1847 Kinghorn Burgher Church became part of the United Presbyterian Church and in 1900, upon the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland, Kinghorn Free Church was renamed Kinghorn Rosslands United Free Church. In 1918 a union was established with the former Free Church charge of Kinghorn Ladyburn , under the name of Kinghorn United Free Church. After the local union the Rosslands Church continued in use as the place of worship and the former Ladyburn church was sold. In 1929, following the union of the United Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland, Kinghorn U.F. became Kinghorn Rosslands Church of Scotland and a further union followed in 1961 with the congregation of Kinghorn St Leonard's, under the name of Kinghorn Church of Scotland, and under the ministry of Rev J.A. Nisbit, minister at Kinghorn St Leonard's. The congregation of Kinghorn Church of Scotland remains active today and presently sits within the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy.
  • Kinghorn Free Church, United Free Ladyburn (united in 1918 with Kinghorn Rosslands):
In 1843, the year of the Disruption, a Free Church Association was formed in Kinghorn and regular service was provided from November of that year. A probationer was appointed to superintend the congregation in May 1844 and Kinghorn Free Church, which sat within the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, was sanctioned in the following year. The church was erected in 1846. In 1900, upon the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland, Kinghorn Free Church was renamed Kinghorn Ladyburn United Free Church, and in 1918 a union was established with the former U.P. charge of Kinghorn Rosslands, under the name of Kinghorn United Free Church. After the local union the Rosslands Church continued in use as the place of worship and the former Ladyburn church was sold.

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: 439

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

Kinghorn OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
439/1 1576-1689    
439/2 1689-1724 1683-1724 1685-1716
439/3 1725-1782 1725-1782  
439/4 1782-1819 1782-1819  
439/5 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 Aug. 1581 - June 1601, April 1623 - Feb. 1640. Mothers' names recorded after June 1601.
M.  Two leaves imperfect at 1783 - 1784.
D.  Only one entry dated prior to June 1698.

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:

1040167 Baptisms, 1577-1581, 1601-1623, 1640-1724; Marriages, 1683-1724; Burials, 1685, 1698-1716.
1040168 Baptisms, Marriages, 1725-1854.
(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.

Some of the OPR entries can be searched on the FreeREG site.

Further information on the main Fife page.

Kirk Session records are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. The Presbytrie Book of Kirkcaldie, the record of the proceedings of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, from 15 April 1630 - 14 September 1653, is available through the web archive.

Heritors' Records (HR238) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/472
    Kinghorn Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1605-1610, 1622-1632, 1639-1647 and 1716-1961; Collections and debursements, 1716-1775 , 1794 and 1829-1920; Proclamations, 1855-1946; Communion roll, 1848-1963; Minutes of Henry Bursary to St Andrews School, 1759-1952; Minutes of St Andrews School, 1835-1839; Cash book, 1930-1957; Baptismal register, 1887-1913.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/238
    Kinghorn parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1752-1928; Accounts, 1815-1928; Locality of stipend, 1915; Plans of church, churchyard and glebe, 1873-1899, undated.

Other Churches:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/405
    Kinghorn United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, United Free Rosslands, united in 1918 with Kinghorn Ladyburn Church of Scotland)
    Session minutes, 1824-1856 and 1862-1961 [Minutes volume has baptisms 1862-1871]; Trustee's and manager's minutes, 1842-1914; Manager's minutes, 1914-1918 and 1938-1960; Communion roll, 1906-1918 and 1928-1960; Baptismal register, 1927-1961.
  • CH3/406
    Kinghorn Free Church, United Free Ladyburn (united in 1918 with Kinghorn Rosslands)
    Session minutes, 1845-1918; Deacon's court minutes, 1846-1918; Baptismal register, 1886-1926.

The Kinghorn 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
Kinghorn 439 1855 1967
Kirkcaldy 442 1968 1971
Kirkcaldy 421 1972 2002
Fife 421 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Parts of Kinghorn parish are in Kirkcaldy registration district.

Court Records

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Kh
    Kinghorn Burgh records
    Registers of deeds and burgh charter books, 1682-1975.

At Kirkcaldy Museum:

  • Kinghorn Burgh records
    Burgh court book, 1642-1653; Minute book Dean of Guild Court, 1895-1907.

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds (1682-1854).

Description and Travel

Kinghorn town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°4'9"N
NT 269868 56.068423
-3.175733
KY3 9TU Lon. 3°10'34"W

Surrounding parishes: Burntisland, Aberdour, Auchtertool, Abbotshall.

You can see pictures of Kinghorn which are provided by:

Directories

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.

Gazetteers

There is a list of places in Kinghorn 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.
  • 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 Aberdour to the parish of Kinghorn: Kilrie Gate and part of Kilrie Farm.

In 1901, part of the parish of Kinghorn (Invertiel) was included in the combined parish of Kirkcaldy & Dysart.

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

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

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Kinghorn to another place.

History

Notices from the Local Records of Dysart,a compilation from various sources covering both parish and burgh matters from 1534 to 1697, published in 1853, is available online at the Internet Archive. It includes references to matters in this parish.

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.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • VR/48
    Valuation Rolls: Kinghorn Burgh
    1855-1930; the Roll from 1930 is included in the Valuation Roll for the County of Fife
  • VR101
    Valuation Rolls: Fife
    1892-1975; covers the part of the parish outwith the Burgh
  • B/39
    Kinghorn Burgh Records
    Kinghorn burgh records, 1810-1927, including: Register of sasines, 1810-1927; Register of sasines minutes, 1810-1927; Index to register of sasines, nd.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Kh
    Kinghorn Burgh records
    Registers of sasines, 1620-1809.

Maps

Historic maps:

Present-day maps:

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT269868 (Lat/Lon: 56.068471, -3.175747), Kinghorn which are provided by:

Obituaries

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, 28.

Occupations

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.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

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

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

Population

Year Population  
1755 2389  
1801 2308  
1851 3030  
1901 3400  * boundary changed
1951 2899  

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 Kinghorn 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). From 1960, it has been conducted at 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, Cupar Sheriff Court and Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds.

Public Records

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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • FCC/6/36
    Kinghorn Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1845-1930.

Schools

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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Kinghorn Public School
    Log books, 1909-1917.
  • Kinghorn Primary School
    Log books, 1874-1999.
  • Kinghorn Continuation School
    Log books, 1890-1899.
  • Kinghorn School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1919.
  • B/Kh
    Kinghorn Burgh records
    Papers relating to Philps charity and Kinghorn School, 1823-1846.

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
Kinghorn Burleigh Street 132 48
Kinghorn 409 234
Kinghorn Infant School 245 156

Statistics

"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

Taxation

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • E326
    Assessed Taxes Schedules 1748-1802
    Kinghorn Royal Burgh

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.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • B/39
    Kinghorn Burgh Records
    Kinghorn burgh records, 1810-1927, including: Register of sasines, 1810-1927; Register of sasines minutes, 1810-1927; Index to register of sasines, nd.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Kh
    Kinghorn Burgh records
    Town Council minutes, 1709-1772, 1873-1975; Police Commissioners minutes, 1873-1899; registers of sasines, 1620-1809; registers of deeds and burgh charter books, 1682-1975; town council accounts, 1822-1964 (with gaps); correspondence, 1834-1975; papers relating to Philps charity and Kinghorn School, 1823-1846: lists of voters for local and parliamentary elections, 1832 and 1867-1874.

At Kirkcaldy Museum:

  • Kinghorn Burgh records
    Town Council minute books, 1733-1741, 1749-1820; Treasurers books, 1656-1868; Burgh court book, 1642-1653; Letter books, 1821-1880; Minute book Dean of Guild Court, 1895-1907.

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds (1682-1839).

Voting Registers

There are Voters' Rolls at Ancestry.co.uk for Kinghorn burgh for 1832 and 1892.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Kh
    Kinghorn Burgh records
    Lists of voters for local and parliamentary elections, 1832 and 1867-1874.