Description of the parish in 1852

Map showing the location of the parish

"Abdie parish, which is of considerable extent, but greatly intersected by other parishes, lies on the south bank of the river Tay, amongst those highlands to the westward, which have acquired the apellation of the Ochil hills. The surface is remarkably uneven, but the soil is in general fertile. It possesses three quarries of granite, of which considrable quantities are shipped for paving the streets of London. The parish is well watered with lochs, the chief of which is the lake of Lindores, about a mile in length, and of irregular breadth. This piece of water is well stored with fish, and being surrounded by some romantic scenery, is a beautiful object in the view of the country." from Slater's Directory, published 1852.

Towns and Villages

Mount Pleasant (part of Newburgh)

Places in Abdie parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

Please read the main Fife pages if you have not already done so.

Archives and Libraries

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


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.

Gordon Johnson has published a genealogical index to Lindores Abbey and its Burgh of Newburgh (published 1876). The book is online at the Open Library.


Abdie Churchyard, Grange of Lindores (grid ref. NO 259164, GPS: 56.333692, -3.199136 Google map):

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A list of the population of the parish, 1821, is amongst the Abdie Kirk Session Records held by the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library. The Tay Valley Family History Society has a copy.

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

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 400. Parts in 423 from 1861 until 1891.

The 1851 return 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
Abdie - 1042252 103825 103986 203516 208746
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.

Church History

In addition to the parish church, there was a Free Church of Abdie and Newburgh.

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) has this to say about the religious views of the inhabitants:

The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) has this to say:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, and the Free Church of Abdie & Newburgh.

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

Details of church history:

The parish church of Abdie, which was known of old as Lindores, was dedicated to St Adrian and it belonged, prior to the reformation, to the Abbey of Lindores. The old parish church ceased to be used for worship in 1827, the year in which the present day church was built. In 1965 Abdie united with the charge of Dunbog under the name of Abdie and Dunbog and a link later followed in 1983 with Newburgh. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Cupar, until the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, when it became part of 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: 400

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

Abdie OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
400/1 1620-1786 1691-1785 1784-1785
400/2 1786-1819 1786-1819  
400/3 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 entries between Dec. 1624 and Oct. 1625. Imperfect leaf at June 1680. Blank Jan. 1717 - May 1719. Leaves of Record 1660 - 1677 much frayed. Mothers' names not recorded till March 1783.
M.  blank July 1713 - Oct. 1719, and (exc. entries of Contract or Proclamation Money 1759 - 1767) July 1759 - May 1784. No entry for 1787.
D.  (Burials.)

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:

1040143 Item 6 Baptisms, 1620-1786; Marriages, 1691-1713, 1720- 1767, 1784-1785; Burials, 1784-1785.
1040144 Items 1 - 2 Baptisms, Marriages, 1786-1854.
(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 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 (400/1).

Heritors' Records (HR649) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Special Collections Department of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh :

At the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Other Churches :

There are no known records for the Abdie Free Church. 

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

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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
Abdie 400 1855 1931
Newburgh & Abdie 450 1932 1967
Newburgh 450 1968 1971
Newburgh 416 1972 2002
Fife 416 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Parts of Abdie parish were included in Dunbog registration district until 1891.

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Description & Travel

Abdie church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5620'1"N
NO 259164 56.334149
KY14 6JN Lon. 311'55"W

Surrounding parishes: Dunbog, Monimail, Collessie, Newburgh.


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 Abdie 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.

Historical Geography

Before May 1891, the parish of Abdie consisted of 3 separate parts. On 15th May 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Abdie to the parish of Dunbog: Aytonhill, Ayton, Carpullie (part), Denmuir and Denmuir Hill. The following subjects were transferred from Abdie parish to Newburgh parish: Lochmill and Wester Lumbenny.

The upper parts of the town of Newburgh (Mount Pleasant) are situated in Abdie parish.

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

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:


Historic maps: Present-day maps:
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Military History

War graves can be seen at the Scottish Wargraves Project and war memorials can be seen at the Scottish War Memorials Project.

Names, Geographical

There is an index to the Ordnance Survey Object Name Books for this parish here.


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.


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.

Poorhouses, 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.


Year Population
1755 822
1801 723
1851 1486
1901 664  * boundary changed
1951 629

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 Abdie 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.

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:


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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

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
Abdie Abdie 152 74


"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.

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