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Markinch

Description of the parish in 1862

"Markinch parish is bounded by Kennoway, Wemyss, Dysart, Kinglassie, Leslie, Falkland and Kettle. It measures about 6 miles north to south by 4 miles broad. A small detached portion containing the village of Innerleven (or Dubbieside) lies at the mouth of the Leven and is cut off from the rest of the parish by that of Wemyss. The parish contains the villages of Markinch, Milton, Coaltown, Balcurvie, Windygates, Thornton, Woodside, Balbirnie Bridge and Kirkforthar Feus. Coal has been extensively worked, but the deposits at Balbirnie are becoming exhausted. There are paper mills at Balbirnie Bridge, Rothes and Auchmuty; flax and tow mills at Milton, Haugh Mill, Thornton and Sythrum; bleachfields at Rothes, Balgonie, Lochtyside and Kirkforthar Feus; a woollen manufactory at Balbirne Bridge and a power loom linen factory at Milton. There are also a number of flour, corn and saw mills in the parish; and a large distillery and malting establishment at Cameron Bridge. The parish church is at Markinch; there are chapels of ease at Thornton and Milton; a UP Church and a Free Church at Markinch; and a UP church at Innerleven. " 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
  • 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.

Old Markinch and Old Kennoway, Star & Windygates (Stenlake Publishing) contain many photographs and full descriptions.

Cemeteries

There are 4 cemeteries in Markinch parish:

1. Markinch Parish Churchyard, Kirk Street, Markinch (grid ref. NO 297019; GPS: 56.205057 -3.134328 Google map):

  • The old Markinch churchyard was closed in 1856.
  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are in Mitchell & Mitchell (see below).
  • Another listing of Markinch Old Churchyard inscriptions has been published by the Fife Family History Society in their Publication 18, Monumental Inscriptions.
  •  An index of burials from 1853-1856 is held by Fife Council, Bereavement Services Central, Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HQ. Tel. 01592 260277. Fax 01592 203438.
  • A list of the surnames and a transcript of those appearing in the Burial Registers from 1799-1854 is available on the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.
  • A transcript of the Burial Register 1799-1854 can be downloaded from the Markinch Parish Church website (click on History --> Genealogy).

2. Northall Cemetery, Northall Road, Markinch (grid ref. NO 300024; GPS: 56.208804 -3.12927 Google map):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are in Mitchell & Mitchell (see below).
  • The current lair registers (dating from 1854) 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. St Drostan's Cemetery, Lawhead, Markinch (grid ref. NO 302013; GPS 56.19902 -3.125726 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.

4. Milton of Balgonie Churchyard, Milton of Balgonie (grid ref. NO 323008; GPS: 56.194054 -3.092657 Google map):

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in "Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 1 South east parishes" by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061948

Census

Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 447

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.

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
Markinch 1042703 1042270 103831 103994 203529 208764
(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 Markinch 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:

  • "There are no Seceding meeting houses in the parish
  • The great body of the people continue steadfastly attached to the Established Church, about one sixteenth part only having joined the different sectaries." [Given the parish population of 2790, this would amount to about 174 people.]

The New Statistical Account (written in 1840) gives this information:

  • In 1836, parish population was 5328, in 1189 families.
  • 159 families are Dissenters, 25 of which reside in Innerleven
  • 10 Dissenter families (45 individuals)

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, 2 other Established Churches (Milton and Thornton), United Presbyterian Churches in Markinch and Dubbyside, and the Free Church.

A list of past ministers of the Parish Church is available on the Markinch Parish Church website (click on History).

Information and pictures of the churches at the Scottish Churches website. Details of church history:

  • Markinch Kirk Session:

The church of Markinch was established in the 6th cent and was dedicated to St Drostan however on 19 July 1243, Bishop David de Bernham re-dedicated the Church to St. John the Baptist. The church belonged to the priory of St Andrews. Ministry at Markinch is recorded from 1564 in the person of Peter Watson. In 1929 the Parish became known as Markinch St Drostan's and forty years later in 1969 Markinch St Drostan's united with Markinch St Marks, once more under the name of Markinch Parish Church. The kirk session sat with in the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy and formerly the Synod of Fife. The current church building dates from 1786.

  • St Mark's Church
In 1956 Markinch Brunton joined with the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie, to form the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie-Brunton, although this name was later changed to Markinch St Mark's. Further union followed in 1969 between Markinch St Mark's and Markinch St Drostan's, under the name of Markinch.
  • Markinch Free Church:

The congregation of Markinch Free Church, which sat within the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, was established in 1843 at the time of the Disruption when the minister and a number of the congregation of Markinch Parish Church adhered to the Free Church. The church and manse of Markinch F.C. were built and gifted to the session by two members of the congregation. In 1900, upon the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Markinch Free Church was renamed Markinch Brunton United Free Church and following the 1929 union between the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, Markinch Brunton U.F. became Markinch Brunton Church of Scotland. A number of years thereafter in 1956 Markinch Brunton joined with the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie, to form the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie-Brunton, although this name was later changed to Markinch St Mark's. Further union followed in 1969 between Markinch St Mark's and Markinch St Drostan's, under the name of Markinch. This united congregation remains active today, presently under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy.

  • Markinch United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, Balbirnie United Free and Church of Scotland):

In 1831 Kirkcaldy became the seat of a United Secession Presbytery, and during their first meeting a request was put that regular sermon be supplied in Markinch. This request was granted and a station was opened in November 1833. From this time regular service was provided, with expenses being met by occasional grants from the Home Mission Fund, and Markinch United Associate congregation was sanctioned in 1834. During the following year, William Halley, the first minister of the charge, was ordained and a number of years thereafter in 1898 a new church was opened. In 1900, upon the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Markinch U.P. Church was renamed Markinch Balbirnie United Free Church and following the 1929 union between the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, Markinch Balbirnie U.F. became Markinch Balbirnie Church of Scotland. A number of years thereafter in 1956 Markinch Brunton joined with the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie, to form the congregation of Markinch Balbirnie-Brunton, although this name was later changed to Markinch St Mark's. Further union followed in 1969 between Markinch St Mark's and Markinch St Drostan's, under the name of Markinch. This united congregation remains active today, presently under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy.

  • Innerleven (Dubbieside) Associate Congregation (later United Free)
see under Wemyss parish.

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: 447

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

Markinch OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
447/1 1635-1777 1697-1777 1635-1723
447/2 1780-1819 1779-1805  
447/3   1649-1686 1649-1819
447/4     1799-1819
447/5 1820-1854    
447/6   1834-1854 1820-1854
447/7     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 D.  entered in parallel cols. of the same Record till 1647. At pp. 22 - 25 are four cols. of entries of Deaths which bear to be 'Ane roll off thois quho wer killed at Tibbermure 1 Septemb. 1644, and at Kilsyth 15 August 1645'.
B.  blank July 1642 - Sept. 1697, July 1702 - Jan. 1712, Oct. 1777 - Oct. 1780. Mothers' names seldom recorded in entries of B. till 1701. [In vol. 447/1, pages 336 and 337 (B. 1762) have been placed at the end of the Burial entries for 1723.]
M.  blank June 1686 - May 1697, Nov. 1701 - April 1712, Aug. 1777 - March 1779, and March 1805 - 1834.
D.  Deaths prior to 1647. Blank May 1647 - April 1649, after which Mortcloth Dues, exc. 1713 - 1723, when Deaths and Burials are recorded. Blank June 1695 - April 1713, and June 1723 - Aug. 1796.
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, Death records 1799 - 1819, and 1820 - 1854  were added to the OPR series (vols. 447/4 and 447/7.]

A transcript of the Burial Register 1799-1854 can be downloaded from the Markinch Parish Church website (click on History --> Genealogy).

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:

1040178 Baptisms 1635-1642, 1697-1702, 1712-1819; Marriages 1670-1701,717-1805; Burials 1634- 1647, 1713-1723; Baptisms 1761-1762; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations 1670- 1686, and Mortcloth dues [burial records] 1649- 1695, 1796-1819)
1040179 Burials 1799-1854; Baptisms 1820-1854; Marriages 1834-1855; Mortcloth dues 1820-1852
(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 at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material for the parish church is also to be found in the OPR records (447/3 and 447/6).

The Presbytrie Book of Kirkcaldie, the record of the proceedings of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy (which includes references to this parish), from 15 April 1630 - 14 September 1653, is available through the web archive.

Heritors' Records (HR59) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/258
    Markinch Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1626-1646, 1650-1664, 1681-1708, 1712-1715 and 1798-1960; Cash book, 1833-1883; Proclamations of Marriage, 1855-1902, including registration of deaths, 1828-1854; Baptismal register, Parish of St Drostan, 1912-1966; Baptismal register, Markinch Free Church, 1844-1969.

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

  • Markinch Kirk Session
    • 447/3
      Collections, 1647-1659; accounts, 1796-1819.
    • 447/6
      Accounts, 1820-1834.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/59
    Markinch parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1788-1866, 1868-1928; Accounts, correspondence, vouchers and miscellaneous papers, 1785-1930; Plans of church, manse and glebe, 1877-1903, undated.

Other Churches:

Kirk Session and similar records for the following churches are held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/1648
    St Mark's Church
    Kirk Session Minutes, 1958-1969.
  • CH3/386
    Markinch Free Church
    Session minutes, 1875-1929; Deacon's Court minutes, 1874-1930; Cash book, 1876-1930; Baptismal register, 1875-1928; Communion roll, 1900-1929; Deacon's Court minutes, 1844-1911.
    The registers are being made available on the ScotlandsPeople website.
  • CH3/387
    Markinch United Associate Congregation (later United Presbyterian, Balbirnie United Free and Church of Scotland)
    Minutes, 1835-1856; Manager's minutes, 1856-1950; Baptismal register, 1876-1955; Communion roll, 1933-1956; Proclamations, 1932-1956.

The Markinch 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
Markinch 447 1855 1898
Markinch 447/1 1899 1967
Thornton 457b 1902 1967
Glenrothes 433 1968 1971
Glenrothes 420 1972 2002
Fife 420 2003  
Windygates 447/2 1899 1967
Kennoway 434 1968 1971
Kennoway 419 1972 2002
Fife 419 2003  

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

Court Records

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Mk
    Markinch Burgh records
    Police court case register, 1950-1975.

Description and Travel

Markinch town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°12'11"N
NO 296016 56.201773
-3.136290
KY7 6AA Lon. 3°8'7"W

Surrounding parishes: Wemyss, Dysart, Kinglassie, Leslie, Falkland, Kettle, Kennoway, Scoonie.

You can see pictures of Markinch 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 Markinch 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

The parish of Markinch had a detached portion situated at Dubbieside (or Innerleven). On 15th May 1891 it was transferred from the parish of Markinch to the parish of Wemyss. It comprised Innerleven, Innerleven Acres and Haugh Lands, and a large number of small properties, chiefly urban, in the police burgh of Buckhaven Methil and Innerleven.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Markinch 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 Markinch to another place.

History

  • The Markinch Heritage Group has a very informative website.
  • The Fife Council Archive Centre holds estate papers and accounts of the Rothes family from the 1640s to the 1900s concerning their estate in Leslie and Markinch parishes, including:
    • wage books & other records of miners employed at Cadham, Strathore & Cluny mines c.1680-1750
    • household accounts for Leslie House, including records of payments to the family's household and farm servants
    For an overview of the papers, see Introduction to the Rothes Papers, W G Rowntree Bodie, in Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 110, 1978-80, 404-431. There is an index to them on the Fife Council website (select  A in the A-Z list, then  Archives enquiries).

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.

The Fife Council Archive Centre holds estate papers and accounts of the Rothes family from the 1640s to the 1900s concerning their estate in Leslie and Markinch parishes, including: wage books & other records of miners employed at Cadham, Strathore & Cluny mines c.1680-1750; household accounts for Leslie House, including records of payments to the family's household and farm servants.
For an overview of the papers, see Introduction to the Rothes Papers, W G Rowntree Bodie, in Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 110, 1978-80, 404-431. There is an index to them on the Fife Council website (select  A in the A-Z list, then  Archives enquiries).

Maps

Historic maps:

Present-day maps:

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NO296016 (Lat/Lon: 56.201823, -3.136303), Markinch which are provided by:

Obituaries

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 recently 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.

There is a series of articles about many Fife family businesses in Fife Family History Society's Journal, New Series 11.

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. See Public Records below.

Peter Higginbotham's website has a lot of information about Dysart combination poorhouse (which, despite the name, was in Thornton, in Markinch parish).

Population

Year Population  
1755 2188  
1801 3130  
1851 5843  
1901 6803  * boundary changed
1951 8846  

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 Markinch 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 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/6/44
    Markinch Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1845-1930.
  • Fife Family History Society have published an index to people sent to the poorhouse by the Parish Councils of Dysart and Markinch. (includes Markinch Paupers 1868 - 1888, Dysart Paupers 1878 - 1883) in their Publications Series, 34.

Schools

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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Preston School
    Log books, 1893-1953.
  • Kirkforthar School
    Log books, 1874-1934.
  • Markinch Public School
    Log books, 1876-1936.
  • Markinch Infants School
    Log books, 1877-1927.
  • Markinch Primary School
    Admission registers, 1925-1939.
  • Markinch School Board
    Minutes, 1876-1885, 1902-1919.
  • Balcurvie Primary School
    Log books, 1874-1979.
  • Milton of Balgonie School
    Log books, 1875-1982; admission registers, 1923-1973.
  • Coalton of Balgonie School
    Admission registers, 1921-1967.
  • Thornton Primary School
    Log books, 1881 onwards.
  • Thornton Public School
    Admission registers, 1873-1888, 1909-1956.
  • Thornton Public School Infant Dept.
    Admission registers, 1888-1909.
  • Thornton Public School Senior Dept.
    Admission registers, 1888-1923.

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
Markinch Balcurvie 292 175
Coaltown 200 111
Kirkforthar Feus 94 27
Markinch 394 285
Milton 104 61
Preston 163 101
Thornton 189 184

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

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 Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • B/Mk
    Markinch Burgh records
    Police Commissioners and town council minute books, 1890-1975; Police court case register, 1950-1975.