Falkland

Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Falkland parish contains the Royal Burgh of Falkland and the villages of Newton of Falkland and Freuchie. It is bounded by Kinross-shire, Strathmiglo, Auchtermuchty, Kettle, Markinch and Leslie. It measures about 6 miles by 4 miles. There is a considerable tract of flat land between the northern boundary of the parish and the burgh and this was once part of the royal chase. Nothing now remains of the ancient forest of Falkland in which our Kings enjoyed the pleasures of the chase, except for a small portion of natural wood at Drumdreel in the parish of Strathmiglo. The forest was destroyed by Cromwell who cut down the timber to take to Dundee for the construction of a fort there. The town of Falkland consists of one main street with some cross lanes. It was at one time regularly afflicted with malaria from the neighbouring marshes, but drainage has resulted in a remarkably healthy town. The chief object of attraction is the Royal Palace, favourite home of James VI. In addition to the parish church, there are both an Independent Chapel and a Free Church in Falkland, and a UP Church in Freuchie." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

Falkland
Freuchie
Newton of Falkland

Places in Falkland 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,

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.

Cemeteries

There are 3 cemeteries in Falkland parish:

1. Kilgour Ancient Burying Ground, Kilgour Farm, Falkland (grid ref. NO 222079; GPS 56.257749, -3.256478):

2. Falkland Old Churchyard, High Street, Falkland (grid ref. NO 252074; GPS 56.253199, -3.208831):

3. Falkland Cemetery & extensions, Newton Road, Falkland (grid ref. NO 259074; GPS 56.253308, -3.197536):

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

Census

Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 428

The 1841 return 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
Falkland 1042701 1042267 103829 103991 203523 208756
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

In addition to the parish church in Falkland, there were also a Burgher Congregation (later United Presbyterian) at Freuchie; a Free Church in Falkland (Falkland East); a United Free Church (Scott Memorial) at Freuchie; and a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Freuchie.

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

The New Statistical Account (written in 1845) gives this information:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, the Free Church, and the United Presbyterian Church at Freuchie.

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 General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and they can all be consulted there at the ScotlandsPeople Centre. 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: 428

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

Falkland OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
428/1 1669-1674 1661-1706 1670-1706
428/2 1702-1819 1702-1819 1737-1819
428/3 1820-1854 1820-1854 1820-1855
Register of Neglected Entries 1826-1852    
Data supplied by General Register Office for 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 July 1674 - Feb. 1702; Jan. 1746 - June 1748. Defective March 1755 - July 1758. Blank (exc. four entries) May 1759 - March 1767. From 1772 - July 1780, the entries are made alphabetically, according to the baptismal names of the children, in the form of an index. Six pp. of irregular entries 1789 - 1817 recorded in 1817.
M.  Chiefly Proclamations, intermixed with other matters, prior to 1669, and from 1687 - 1705. No entries Nov. 1688 - Oct. 1691, nor (exc. entries of Pledges) May 1703 - Jan. 1705, after which the Record is pure. Blank May 1746 - May 1748, Dec. 1755 - April 1772, and April 1780 - April 1786. The fact of Marriage is rarely recorded after 1687.
D.  Blank Sept. 1706 - March 1737, April 1780 - Oct. 1784, and June 1795 - Jan. 1817.

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:
1041475 Baptisms, 1669-1674; Marriages, 1661-1706; Burials, 1670-1706.
1040111 Items 2-4 Baptisms, 1669-1674, 1702-1855; Marriages, 1669- 1682, 1702-1755, 1772-1849; Mortcloth dues (burials records), 1666-1683, 1737-1758; Burials, 1777-1795, 1817-1819; Session book (includes Marriage Proclamations, Mortcloth dues), 1661- 1667, 1682-1706.
1040337 Item 1 Marriages, 1849-1855; Burials, 1820-1853; Neglected entries (baptisms), 1826-1852
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.

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 Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (428/1). Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR416) are at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Other Churches:

Some records are held at the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library.

The LDS have filmed some records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.

Details of church records here.

The Falkland 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
Falkland burgh 428/1 1855 1855
Falkland landward 428/2 1855 1855
Falkland 428 1856 1967
Auchtermuchty 406 1968 1971
Auchtermuchty 418 1972 2002
Fife 418 2003  

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

Court Records

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Falkland Burgh Register of Deeds (1783-1798).

Description & Travel

Falkland town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5615'12"N
NO 253076 56.255011
-3.207274
KY15 7BZ Lon. 316'4"W

Surrounding parishes: Strathmiglo, Auchtermuchty (not adjoining, but very close), Kettle, Markinch, Leslie, Portmoak (Kinross-shire).

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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 Falkland 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 & Property

The Burgh Register of Sasines and Valuation Rolls are held at the National Archives of Scotland. Some Valuation Rolls are also held by the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library. Details of records here.

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.

Maps

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 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.

Obituaries

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, 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 9.

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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.

Population

Year Population
1755 1795
1801 2211
1851 3102
1901 2231
1951 2379

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 Falkland 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, Cupar Sheriff Court and Falkland Burgh Register of Deeds.

Schools

School Board records and 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
Falkland Falkland 272 201
Freuchie 299 154

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.

Town Records

Falkland was a Royal Burgh, founded in 1458.

The archives of the former Burgh of Falkland are held at the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Falkland Burgh Register of Deeds (1783-1798).

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