Description of the parish in 1857

Map showing the location of the parish

"This parish is bounded on the north by Forgan and Balmerino, on the south by Cupar and Logie, on the east by Forgan and on the west by Creich and Moonzie. The Eden river separates it from Leuchars. It is 6 miles from east to west and 2 miles north to south. Its area is 4700 acres; 3550 Scotch acres are under cultivation and 250 are under wood. The west part of the parish consists of softly swelling hills and pleasant valleys. The parish is divided at different places by small ridges, the highest not exceeding 400 feet above sea level. The soil varies but generally is very fertile. Rent of land averages £2-5-0 per acre. Within the last 75 years more than 200 acres of morass have been drained. A good deal of cattle of the Fife breed are raised and sold fat; a great number of sheep are annually fed on turnips for the butcher. There are 17 thrashing mills, besides 3 corn mills and 1 saw mill. There is no coal in the parish, it being brought from Ceres or Cameron. Apart from the sawmill and about a dozen of weavers, there is no industry in the parish. The parish school is at Rathillet, with 2 female schools, one at Hazleton and one at Kilmany.There are 2 public houses. There is no village but 2 hamlets - Kilmany, half way between Cupar and Newport, where the parish church is situated; and Rathillet which is a mile to the west. The late celebrated Dr Chalmers was minister of Kilmany from 1803 to 1815." - edited from A Descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan, M Barbieri, published in 1857.

Towns and Villages


Places in Kilmany 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 are 2 cemeteries in Kilmany parish:

1. Kilmany Churchyard, in the village of Kilmany (grid ref. NO 388218, GPS: 56.384197 -2.992549 Google map): 2. Kilmany Cemetery, on the A92 (grid ref. NO 378218, GPS: 56.384298 -3.008374 Google map):


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 437

The 1841 and 1851 returns 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
Kilmany 1042702 1042268 103829 103992 203524 208758
(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 at Kilmany, there was an Associate Congregation (Burgher, later United Presbyterian, United Free and Church of Scotland) at Rathillet.

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

The New Statistical Account (written in 1838) gives this information:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and the United Presbyterian Church at Rathillet.

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

Details of church history:

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: 437

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

Kilmany OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
437/1 1706-1819 1706-1819 1735-1819
437/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 1831-1854
(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.  and M.  intermixed till June 1777. Blank July 1710 - Nov. 1711, Oct. 1718 - Nov. 1721, and 1727 - Jan. 1730. Leaves prior to 1727 imperfect.
B.  separately recorded after 1777. Mothers' names not inserted till Jan. 1730.
M.  blank June 1777 - March 1817. There is, however, a separate Record of Contract Dues 1749 - 1819, which is blank Jan. 1778 - Nov. 1780. The fact of Marriage is frequently omitted from the entries of Contract after 1754, in the regular Record.
D.  (Mortcloth Dues.) Blank Feb. 1819 - 1837, after which date Deaths.

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:

1040165 Item 3 Baptisms, 1706-1821; Marriages, 1706-1777; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations and Mortcloth dues [burial records]), 1735-1798.
1040166 Items 1 - 2 Session book (includes Marriage proclamations, Mortcloth dues), 1799-1819; Baptisms, 1817-1854; Marriages, 1817-1857; Burials, 1831-1854.
(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 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 (437/1).

Heritors' Records (HR524) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies of the earlier volumes 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 Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library:

The Kilmany 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
Kilmany 437 1855 1967
Cupar 420 1968 1971
Cupar 417 1972 2002
Fife 417 2003  

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

Description & Travel

Kilmany church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5623'3"N
NO 388218 56.384501
KY15 4PT Lon. 259'32"W

Surrounding parishes: Forgan, Balmerino, Creich, Cupar, Moonzie, Dairsie, Logie.

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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 Kilmany 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:

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.

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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.

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 781
1801 787
1851 662
1901 502
1951 422

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 Kilmany 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. Kilmany 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
Kilmany Kilmany 64 47
Kilmany Female School 38 38
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"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.

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