Description of the parish in 1857

Map showing the location of the parish

"Dunbog parish is bounded on the north by the Tay, on the south by Monimail, on the east by Flisk and Creich, and on the west by Abdie. It is 3 miles long by 1 mile broad. Area 1900 acres; under tillage 1700 acres; under pasture 250 acres; under wood 40 acres. The parish forms a rich valley lying between two ridges of hills, running from west to east, being parts of the Ochils. Most of the soil is a rich black mould, though shallow, and resting upon whinstone; in some parts the subsoil is sand or gravel; in others a hard till, or cold clay. Rent of land from £1 to £4-10s. While the valley produces abundant crops of every description of grain, from draining on a suitable subsoil, and other means, the south hill, which rises to a height of nearly 500 feet above sea level, is, generally speaking, barren and uncultivated; though the north hill is cultivated to the top, the want of fences is here severely felt; the breed of cattle is mixed, and the shorthorns preferred; the sheep are Cheviots and the black-faced breed. Being entirely an agricultural parish, there is neither coal, lime or freestone; though whinstone is abundant; coals have to be brought from the pits of Balbirnie or Coul, 8 or 9 miles distant. There are 3 heritors - Lord Dundas (now Earl of Zetland), Balfour of Fernie and Murray of Ayton. Patron: the Crown. Parish church only, no others. Parish school only, no others. No public house. The large village, with its weekly market, has disappeared, owing to the modern system of farming. The nearest market and post town is Newburgh, about 4 miles distant from the church." from A Descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan, M Barberi, published 1857.

Towns and Villages


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

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

Archives, Libraries and Museums

A separate Records Page page gives details of the records for this parish held by Scottish archives.

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.


Dunbog Cemetery, off A913 to Newburgh (grid ref. NO 288185, GPS: 56.349157 -3.158189 Google map):


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

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 423. See also Civil Registration.

The 1851 return can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

The 1851 census has been indexed and published 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
Dunbog - 1042265 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) does not mention any dissenters from the Established Church.

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

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists only the parish church.

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

Details of church history here.

Church Records

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: 423

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

Dunbog OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
423/1 1695-1819 1705-1819  
423/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 1829-1853
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 Dec. 1698 - Jan. 1705. Three entries (1823, 1828 and 1830) after Dec. 1817. Mothers' names not recorded till 1818.
M.  Intermixed with B. till Dec. 1817. No entry Nov. 1719 - June 1721.

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:

1040126 Items 2 - 3 Baptisms, 1695-1698, 1705-1855; Marriages, 1705-1855; Burials, 1823-1853.
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 Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR254) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Other Churches :

Records for other churches are held at the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library.

Details of church records here.

The Dunbog 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
Dunbog 423 1855 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. Dunbog registration district included parts of Abdie and Flisk parishes until 1891. From 1892, it included parts of Flisk parish only.

Description & Travel

Dunbog school Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5621'10"N
NO 288185 56.353457
KY14 6JF Lon. 39'10"W

Surrounding parishes: Abdie, Monimail, Creich, Flisk.


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 Dunbog 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.

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Historical Geography

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.

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

Land & 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:

This British Library webpage uses small examples of historical maps of London to show the differences between maps at various scales.

Present-day maps:

Military History

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.

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. Details of records here.


Year Population
1755 255
1801 232
1851 220
1901 286  * boundary changed
1951 216

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

Prior to 1824, wills, testaments & inventories of residents of Dunbog 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.


School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

Education statistics for Fife schools in 1891-2 list the following board schools in the parish:

School Board School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Dunbog Dunbog 120 82


"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.

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