Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Inverkeithing parish is bounded by Dalgety and Dunfermline and sits on the shore of the Firth of Forth. The parish consists of 2 main parts: one extending north for 4 miles and one mile broad; and one stretching along the shore for nearly 4 miles. Various kinds of stone abound, including limestone which is extensively wrought. Besides the Royal Burgh of Inverkeithing, the only other village is Hillend. The Royal Burgh consists of one principal street with numerous lanes branching off it. A considerable number of the houses have an old antiquated appearance, others have been much improved and modernised in the past forty years. The parish church and a UP Church are both situated on the main street. The town contains a corn exchange, a music hall, a town house and jail. Industry includes a foundry, an iron shipbuilding establishment, fire brick and gas retort works, a distillery, a tan work, a rope and sail manufactory and a shipbuilding yard with a patent slip which affords great facilities for repairing vessels." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

Hillend (part)
North Queensferry (after 1891) - previously in Dunfermline

Places in Inverkeithing 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 Friary houses a good local museum collection.

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 Inverkeithing in Mercer's History of Dunfermline, published 1828, is at Google Books.


There are 4 cemeteries in Inverkeithing parish:

1. Inverkeithing St Peters Churchyard, High Street, Inverkeithing (grid ref. NT 130829, GPS: 56.031419 -3.39697 Google map):

2. Inverkeithing Cemetery, Hope Street, Inverkeithing (grid ref. NT 125822, GPS: 56.02548 -3.404375 Google map):

3. Rosyth Old Churchyard, via Brucehaven Road, and track from harbour, Limekilns (grid ref. NT 085828, GPS: 56.029798 -3.469519 Google map):

4. North Queensferry Churchyard, Chapel Place, North Queensferry (grid ref. NT 131808; GPS: 56.009107 -3.393861 Google map):

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions for Inverkeithing Churchyard, Inverkeithing Cemetery, Rosyth Old Churchyard and North Queensferry 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.

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Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 432. Some parts in 424 from 1861 until 1891 (see Civil Registration).

The 1841 and 1851 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

The 1851 census has been indexed and published 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
Inverkeithing 1042702 1042267 103829 103991 203523 208757
(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, other churches included a Burgher (later United Presbyterian) Church in Inverkeithing; a Church of Scotland, a Wesleyan Methiodist Church and a Congregational Church in Rosyth; and a Free Church in North Queensferry.

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 the United Presbyterian Church.

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

Details of church history:

The churches of Rosyth and Inverkeithing were united in 1611 by the Commissioners for the modification of stipends and the erection of churches. The union of the two kirks was later decreed in 1618 by the Commissioner for the Plantation of Kirks. The church of Rosyth, said to be dedicated to St John, ceased to be used as a place of worship shortly after 1630 and now stands as a ruin. Inverkeithing Church, which was dedicated to St Peter was used as the place of worship from 1630. The Kirk Session of Inverkeithing St Peters sits within the presbytery of Dunfermline.

The parish church of Rosyth was opened and consecrated on Saturday 11th July 1931 and the parish itself was later erected quoad sacra by the General Assembly in 1935. Some years prior to the erection of the parish, worship had been carried out in Rosyth from 1916 by the Home Mission Committees of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, with each church in turn supplying ministry for six months and service held in temporary accommodation. In 1919 the Church of Scotland took over work in Rosyth and from August 1920 Rosyth was recognised as a mission station, under Inverkeithing St Peter's. The kirk session, which remains active today, presently sits within the Presbytery of Dunfermline.

The congregtion of Inverkeithing Associate (Burgher) Church was established in 1752, following the presentation of a petition to the Burgher Presbytery of Perth and Dunfermline, signed by around 127 town coucillors, heads of familes, and others resident within Inverkeithing, requesting provision of sermon. The request was granted and in the following year a church with seating for 600 was erected. David Forrest, the first minister of the congregation was ordained in January 1755. In 1847 Inverkeithing Burgher Church became part of the United Presbyterian Church. Following the union of the Free Church of Scotland and the United Presbyterian Church in 1900, Inverkeithing U.P. became Inverkeithing United Free Church and upon the 1929 union between the United Free Church of Scotlland and the Church of Scotland, the charge was renamed Inverkeithing St John's Church of Scotland. In 1958 a link was established between Inverkeithing St John's Church of Scotland and North Queensferry Church of Scotland and the linked congregation remains active today, under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Dunfemline.

North Queensferry Free Church began with the provision of regular services from 1874. A church was opened in 1878 and the charge sanctioned in 1881. It passed successively to the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, but was reduced in status in 1939 and worked thereafter by probationers until 1951. The Church of Scotland charge has been linked with Inverkeithing St John's since 1958. It is in the presbytery of Dunfermline (formerly Dunfermline and Kinross) and was in the synod of Fife until the abolition of synods in 1993.



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: 432

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

Inverkeithing OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
432/1 1675-1774 1676-1710 1702-1710
432/2 1772-1819 1748-1819 1783-1784
432/3   1698-1749 1698-1843
432/4 1820-1854 1820-1854  
432/5 (not on microfilm or fiche index) 1710-1744 1711-1718 1711-1717
(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.  and M.  intermixed till Dec. 1697. No entries March 1684 - March 1685. The Records of B. and M. 1698 - 1710, and of D. 1702 - 1710, bear to be for 'the United parishes of Inverkeithing and Rosyth'.
B.  blank Jan. 1711 - April 1725, Dec. 1734 - May 1737, and (exc. one entry) Nov. 1738 - July 1744.
M.  Separate Record from April 1698. Blank Dec. 1710 - Dec. 1748, exc. entries of Proclamations 1710 - 1718, and of Contract or Proclamation fees 1734 - 1749.
D.  Burials till 1708. Blank April 1708 - 1710. Deaths till Dec. 1710, then blank till Nov. 1783, after which date Burials. Occasional entries of payments, for ringing the bell at funerals, bet. 1698 - 1815 in vol. 3.
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, a Register was found within the Court of Session records (CS96/3152) which contains, for 'the united parishes of Inverkeithing and Rosyth', Baptisms 1710 - 1744, Marriages 1711 - 1718 and Deaths 1711 - 1717. This is now included in the OPR Records as 432/5.]

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:

1040384 Items 3 - 4 Baptisms, 1676-1711, 1725-1774, 1772-1805; Marriages, 1676-1710; Burials, 1702-1710.
1040112 Items 1 - 3 Baptisms, 1805-1854; Marriages 1748-1819, 1734- 1749. 1736-1743, 1770-1855; Burials, 1783-1784, 1740-1760, 1803-1843; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations and Mortcloth dues [burial records]), 1698-1721.
(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.

Heritors' Records (HR279) 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 Glasgow City Archives:

The Inverkeithing 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
Inverkeithing burgh 432/1 1855 1855
Inverkeithing landward 432/2 1855 1855
Inverkeithing 432 1856 1971
Inverkeithing 436 1972 2002
Fife 436 2003  

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

Court Records

At the Local History Department, Dunfermline Carnegie Library:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

At Inverkeithing Museum (at the Friary):

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Description and Travel

Inverkeithing town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 561'51"N
NT 130828 56.030167
KY11 1LG Lon. 323'51"W

Surrounding parishes: Dunfermline, Dalgety.


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 Inverkeithing 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

Prior to 1891, Inverkeithing parish had a detached portion entirely surrounded by Dunfermline parish. The village of North Queensferry, on the other hand, was part of Dunfermline parish.

On 15th May 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Inverkeithing to the parish of Dunfermline: Brucehaven, Milesmark, Whitemyre Foundry, Blackburn, Logie, Urquhart, North Urquhart, Lady's Park and some properties in Dunfermline Burgh.

On the same date, the following subjects were transferred from Dunfermline parish to Inverkeithing parish: Carlingnose, Ferryhills, North Cliff, Fernbank House, Ferrybarns, Rockville, St Margaret's, and the whole village of North Queensferry.

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:

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Inverkeithing Burgh Register of Deeds (1716-1884).


Historic maps: 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.

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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.


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.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

The relief of paupers after 1845 was carried out by theParochial 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 1694
1801 2228
1851 2499
1901 3465  * boundary changed
1951 5139

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 Inverkeithing 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). 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 school logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Inverkeithing 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
Inverkeithing Inverkeithing 473 102
North Queensferry 140 102


"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


At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

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.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Inverkeithing Burgh Register of Deeds (1713-1801).

At the Local History Department, Dunfermline Carnegie Library:

At Inverkeithing Museum (at the Friary):

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