Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Dalgety parish is bounded by Dunfermline, Beath, Aberdour and Inverkeithing. It is triangular in shape, being about 5 miles from north to south and 3 miles along the shores of the Forth. Coal abounds in the parish and there is an extensive colliery at Fordel, employing nearly half the Population. The present parish church was built in 1830, and there is also a chapel of ease at Mossgreen. Most of the coal is shipped at St David’s, a small harbour in the parish, and is conveyed hither from the pits by means of a small railway. The villages in the parish are St David’s, Fordel, part of Crossgates and part of Hillend." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

part of Crossgates part of Hillend
Dalgety Bay Mossgreen
Fordel St Davids

Places in Dalgety 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.

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


There are 4 cemeteries and 1 private burial chapel in Dalgety parish:

1. St Bridget's Churchyard, Four Lums Road, Dalgety Bay (grid ref. NT 169838, GPS: 56.039751 -3.334535 Google map):

2. Dalgety Churchyard, Four Lums Road, Dalgety Bay (grid ref. NT 167845, GPS: 56.046807 -3.338171 Google map):

3. Hillend Cemetery, Clockluine Road, Hillend (grid ref. NT 146842, GPS: 56.043074 -3.371688 Google map):

4. Mossgreen Cemetery, Coaledge, by Crossgates (grid ref. NT 153887, GPS: 56.083723 -3.361592 Google map):

5. A private burial chapel at Fordell (grid ref. NT 146854, GPS: 56.053416 -3.371983 Google map):

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions for Dalgety Churchyard and Dalgety (St Bridget's) 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.

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


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 422

The 1841 and 1851 returns can be searched on theFreeCEN 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
Dalgety 1042700 1042254 103827 103989 203519 208751
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.

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Church History

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

The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) gives this information:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and another Established Church at Mossgreen.

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

Details of church history:

The original church of Dalgety, the ruins of which still remain standing today, was dedicated to St Bridget and record of the church's existence dates back as far as the year 1178. The St Bridget's church remained in use for worship until the early 19th cent when, due to having fallen into a state of repair no longer considered safe, a new church was erected to replace the ancient building. In 1940, as a result of dwindling numbers within the parish, Dalgety became a linked charge with Aberdour St Fillan's however in 1965 the first houses of the new settlement at Dalgety bay were constructed and the link with Aberdour was dissolved, leaving Dalgety Parish restored once more to full status. As the population of the new town began to expand, the old Dalgety Church became too small and expensive to maintain and so a new parish church was erected in the centre of the town, in 1981. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Dunfermline, later of Dunfermline and Kinross and, following the restructuring of the presbyteries in 1976, it became part of the Presbytery of Dunfermline once more.
A church was built at Mossgreen in 1852 which in 1860 was granted status as a chapel-of-ease. The parish of Mossgreen was subsequently disjoined, quoad sacra, from Aberdour, Dalgety, Inverkeithing and Dunfermline in 1879, with the chapel-of-ease, which had been enlarged two years prior, becoming the Parish Church of Mossgreen. In 1948 Mossgreen established a union with the former United Free Church congregation of Crossgates, under the name of Mossgreen and Crossgates, after the union both churches continued in use alternately and united charge was linked with Cowdenbeath West in 1986. The session of Cowdenbeath Trinity was later formed in 1998 when Mossgreen and Crossgates with Cowdenbeath West united with Cowdenbeath Cairns. The kirk session sat with in the Presbytery of Dunfermline, later of Dunfermline and Kinross and, following the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, it became part of the Presbytery of Dunfermline once again.

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: 422

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

Dalgety OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
422/1 1644-1650 1644-1707 1697-1709
422/2 1717-1819 1709-1819 1710-1785
422/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 1833-1854
(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 May 1650 - March 1717. One leaf headed 'Seceders' containing entries 1777 - 1783, after Record for 16th Dec. 1778.
M.  blank 1662 - 1698, from which date there are only entries of Proclamation Fees till Oct. 1717. Only one entry for 1726. Blank July 1794 - May 1797, and July 1804 - May 1811. There are, however, entries relating to irregular Marriages, dated 1741 - 1813, a number of which are applicable to the period blank in the regular Record.
D.  Mortcloth Dues till June 1717, then Deaths to end of Record. Blank March 1748 - March 1750. After Nov. 1785, only nine entries, viz. one for 1817, and eight for period 1833 - 1852.

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:

1040127 Items 3 - 5 Baptisms, 1644-1650, 1717-1854; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations), 1644-1662; Marriages, 1698-1707, 1718-1817, 1784-1840; Mortcloth dues (burial records), 1697-1709; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations and Mortcloth dues), 1709-1717; Burials, 1718- 1785.
1040126 Item 1 Marriages, 1839-1855; Burials, 1833, 1843-1854.
(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 National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (422/1 and 422/2).

Heritors' Records (HR185) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records 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 :

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

At the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, USA, but available on microfilm at LDS Family History Centres around the world:

The Dalgety 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
Dalgety 422 1855 1967
Dunfermline 424 1968 1971
Dunfermline 432 1972 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 transcribed a list of Dalgety Jurors, 1851 on the Records pages of their website.

Description & Travel

Dalgety Bay town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 562'11"N
NT 156835 56.036920
KY11 9UY Lon. 321'23"W

Surrounding parishes: Inverkeithing, Dunfermline, Aberdour.

There is an informative Dalgety Bay website.

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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 Dalgety 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

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.


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, 27.

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.

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


Year Population
1755 761
1801 890
1851 1513
1901 1133
1951 1578

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 Dalgety 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 Dunfermline (SC21) 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:


School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Dalgety 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
Dalgety Hillend 268 190
Mossgreen 268 190


"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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