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Help and advice for Saline

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Description of the parish in 1862

"Saline parish is on the western boundary of the county. It is bordered by Clackmannanshire, Culross, Torryburn, Kinross-shire, Dunfermline and Carnock. It is about 5.5 miles from east to west, by about 5 miles north - south. The district is chiefly pastoral, although there are some marshy areas and some good arable areas. Coal, limestone and ironstone abound. The chief employments are connected with coal and ironstone mining, and agriculture. The only work of a manufacturing nature is a rather extensive agricultural implement manufactory conducted by Barrowman & Co. There is both a parish church and a Free church. " 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


There is a chapter about Saline in Mercer's History of Dunfermline, published 1828, is at Google Books.

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.


There are 2 cemeteries in Saline parish:

1. Saline Old Churchyard, Bridge Street, Saline (grid ref. NT 024926; GPS: 56.115758 -3.571405 Google map):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions for Saline Old Churchyard 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
  • Transcripts of many of the older stones were made by Erskine Beveridge in the 1890s. They are included in Publication 37, Monumental Notes by Erskine Beveridge and Robert Monteith, published by the Fife Family History Society.

2. Saline Cemetery, Drumhead, North Road, Saline (grid ref. NT 016928; GPS: 56.117953 -3.581984 Google map):

  • The current lair registers (dating from 1890) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services West, Dunfermline Crematorium, Masterton Road, Dunfermline,KY11 8QR. Tel. 01383 602335. Fax 01383 602665.


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 455

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
Saline 1042704 1042271 103832 103995 203531 208767
(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 Saline 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 (which became Saline South), there was a Free Church in Saline (later Saline North).

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) gives the number of "sectaries" [those dissenting from the Established Church] as not exceeding 20 or 30.

The New Statistical Account (written in 1842) gives this information:

  • All families in the parish except 4 attend the Established Church.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and the Free Church.

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

  • Saline Kirk Session:

Prior to the reformation the church of Saline belonged to the Kirk of Dunkeld and the present day church was built in 1809. In 1890 parts of the lands of the parish of Saline were annexed and added to the Parish of Torryburn. In return an area consisting of Bonnington, Culymill, Cults, Hallcroft, Hallburn, Hillend, Hillside, Meadowland, Pow, and Wellwood were annexed form Torryburn and joined with Saline. Ministry at Saline is recorded from 1567 in the person of Peter Blackwood, formerly a monk of Holyrood Abbey. The United Free Church session of Saline North was linked with the old parish church in 1935, continuing under the name of Saline. A further link was formed with Blairingone in February 1958 and the two were united in 1993 to form the parish of Saline and Blairingone. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Dunfermline.

  • Saline Free Church (later United Free and North Church of Scotland):

The congregation of Saline Free Church, which sat within the Presbytery of Dunfermline, was established in 1843 at the time of the Disruption and at the request of the Free Church adherents living in the district. The church of Saline Free was erected in the following year and the manse was built in 1845. In 1900, at the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Saline Free Church became Saline United Free and in 1913 a mission hall was opened at Lower Steelend. The mission congregation was later incorporated with Saline in 1917. Following the 1929 union of the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, Saline U.F. was renamed Saline North and in 1935 Saline North was joined with the congregation of Saline South, under the name of Saline. After the local union the former North 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: 455

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

Saline OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
455/1 1746-1819 1747-1819 1747-1810
455/2 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.  No blanks, but irregular entries occasionally occur.
M.  Blank (exc. one entry) May 1783 - March 1794. No entries Dec. 1798 - Feb. 1800. The Record 1794 - 1817 is, with a few exceptions, one of Proclamations merely.
D.  (Mortcloth Dues.)

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:

1040181 Item 5 Baptisms, 1746-1782.
1040339 Items 1 - 2 Baptisms, 1782-1854; Marriages, 1747-1784, 1794-1854; Mortcloth dues (burial records), 1747-1810.
(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 at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Heritors' Records (HR411) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/321
    Saline Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1704-1714, 1848-1889 and 1900-1941; Cash books, 1872-1925 and 1930-1935; Baptisms, 1859-1876 and 1882-1936; Proclamations, 1855-1867; Communion roll, 1877-1933; Minutes and Accounts, 1747-1847.
  • HR/411
    Saline parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1719-1767, 1788-1930; Cash book, 1808-1811, 1868-1930; Accounts, 1788-1796, 1926-1930; Papers relating to transference to Church of Scotland, 1928-1930; Correspondence, 1924-1929.

Other Churches:

Records for other churches are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh :

  • CH3/277
    Saline Free Church (later United Free and North Church of Scotland)
    Session minutes, 1843-1935; Deacon's Court minutes, 1844-1917; Account book, 1843-1878; Collection book, 1871-1897 and 1931-1932; Treasurer's cash book, 1909-1917; Register of members and contributions, 1916-1922; Seat letting book, 1867-1892; Communion roll, 1848-1866 and 1911-1934; Proclamations, 1932-1935.

    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    LDS Library Film Numbers:

    1886474 Saline Free Church Session minutes, 1843-1869 (with scroll minutes, 1848-1852); Deacons court minutes, 1844-1875; Account book, 1843-1858; Communion roll, 1848-1866. CH3/277/1, 4, 6, 13 National Records of Scotland
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
  • Saline Free Church
    These are not included on the OPR microfilms but have been filmed as part of the Minor Records series:
      Births, marriages and deaths
    Saline Free Church 1843-1883

    They are also available from the LDS Library, Film Numbers:

    1068234 Item 12 Saline Free Church Baptisms, 1843-1883; Marriages, 1844-1865; Burials, 1844-1866. Original documents: MR18/1 National Records of Scotland
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

The Saline 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
Saline 455 1855 1971
Saline 431 1972 1975
Dunfermline 432 1976 2002
Fife 432 2003  

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

Court Records

Fife Family History Society have published a list of Saline Jurors 1851 on the Records  pages of their website.

Description and Travel

Saline town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°6'54"N
NT 023925 56.115220
KY12 9UQ Lon. 3°34'26"W

Surrounding parishes: Culross, Dunfermline, Carnock, in Clackmannanshire: Clackmannan, in Kinross-shire: Fossoway, Cleish.

You can see pictures of Saline which are provided by:


Westwood's ParochialDirectory 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 Saline 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, a detached part of Torryburn parish was transferred to the parish of Saline. It comprised Bonnington, Cultmill, Cults, Wester Cults, North Cults, South Cults, Hallcroft and Hallburns, Hillend, Hillside, Meadowland, Pow and Wellwood.
On the same date, a detached portion of Saline parish was transferred to Torryburn parish. It comprised Inzievar, Inzievar Stables, Blair (part), Braidless, Duckill, Langlees, Mavisbank, Rimalton, Sunnyside, Oakley railway station and land near it, Fernwoodlee, Over Inzievar, Blairhall, Brown Muir and Rennieswells.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Saline 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 NT023925 (Lat/Lon: 56.115270, -3.572826), Saline which are provided by:


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, 30.


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 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 Dunfermline combination poorhouse.

Fife Family History Society have published a list of Saline Paupers 1845-1852 on the Records  pages of their website.


Year Population  
1755 1285  
1801 945  
1851 1792  
1901 1012  * boundary changed
1951 1413  

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 Saline may be found in either the Stirling Commissariot (CC21) 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) Sheriff Court.

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

Local sources worth searching for deeds include Stirling 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/6/51
    Saline Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1845-1925.


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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Saline Primary School
    Log books, 1874-1980.
  • Steelend Public School
    Log books, 1909-1953.
  • Saline School Board
    Minute Books 1873-1919.

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
Saline Saline 200 98


"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.