Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Kinghorn parish extends along the coast of the Firth of Forth for 4 miles. It is bounded by Burntisland, Aberdour, Abbotshall and Auchtertool. It contains the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn, the village of Invertiel (now a suburb of Kirkcaldy), the harbour of Pettycur and the island of Inchkeith. To the north-west of the town is Kinghorn Loch, which extends to about 20 acres. It is well stocked with pike. A combination Poor’s House for the parishes of Burntisland, Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy and Abbotshall, stands on the shore a little to the east of Kinghorn burgh. There are 2 spinning mills and a bleachfield at Tyrie at which great numbers of the inhabitants are employed. There is also a brewery, a large corn & flour mill and an extensive glue manufactory in the town. There is an apology for a harbour which is of little use except for fishing boats; however the harbour at Pettycur affords good accommodation for vessels and was the regular ferry station from Fife to Newhaven and Leith before the opening of the E P& D Railway and the transference of the ferry station to Burntisland. In addition to the parish church, there is a Free Church and a UP Church in Kinghorn, and a chapel of ease at Invertiel" edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

part of the present-day town of Kirkcaldy (Invertiel)

Places in Kinghorn 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

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.


There are 2 cemeteries in Kinghorn parish:

1. Kinghorn Churchyard, Nethergate, Kinghorn (grid ref. NT 272869, GPS: 56.069859 -3.171783 Google map):

2. Kinghorn Cemetery, Viewforth Place, Kinghorn (grid ref. NT 265864, GPS: 56.06537 -3.181551 Google map):

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions 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

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

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 439. Some parts in 442 from 1861 (see Civil Registration).

The 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
Kinghorn - 1042268 103829 103992 203524 208759
(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 include a Free Church, a relief / burgher congregation (later United Presbyterian) - Rosslands, and a Free Church at Invertiel.

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

The New Statistical Account (written in 1843) gives this information:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, a second Established Church at Invertiel, the United Presbyterian Church, the Free Church in Kinghorn and the Free Church at Invertiel.

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: 439

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

Kinghorn OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
439/1 1576-1689    
439/2 1689-1724 1683-1724 1685-1716
439/3 1725-1782 1725-1782  
439/4 1782-1819 1782-1819  
439/5 1820-1854 1820-1854  
(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 Aug. 1581 - June 1601, April 1623 - Feb. 1640. Mothers' names recorded after June 1601.
M.  Two leaves imperfect at 1783 - 1784.
D.  Only one entry dated prior to June 1698.

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:

1040167 Baptisms, 1577-1581, 1601-1623, 1640-1724; Marriages, 1683-1724; Burials, 1685, 1698-1716.
1040168 Baptisms, Marriages, 1725-1854.
(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. Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR238) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Other Churches :

Records of other churches are held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Details of church records here.

The Kinghorn 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
Kinghorn 439 1855 1967
Kirkcaldy 442 1968 1971
Kirkcaldy 421 1972 2002
Fife 421 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Parts of Kinghorn parish are in Kirkcaldy registration district.

Court Records

Court records are held by the National Records of Scotland and Kirkcaldy Museum. Details of records here.

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds (1682-1854).

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Description & Travel

Kinghorn town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 564'9"N
NT 269868 56.068423
KY3 9TU Lon. 310'34"W

Surrounding parishes: Burntisland, Aberdour, Auchtertool, Abbotshall.


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.

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There is a list of places in Kinghorn 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

On 15th May 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Aberdour to the parish of Kinghorn: Kilrie Gate and part of Kilrie Farm.

In 1901, part of the parish of Kinghorn (Invertiel) was included in the combined parish of Kirkcaldy & Dysart.

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


Notices from the Local Records of Dysart,a compilation from various sources covering both parish and burgh matters from 1534 to 1697, published in 1853, is available online at the Internet Archive. It includes references to matters in this parish.

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.

The National Library of Scotland has made available the Roll of Honour for Kinghorn Burgh and Parish 1914-1919 on the Internet Archive.

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 theParochial Board and later by the Parish Council. Their records are at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

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


Year Population
1755 2389
1801 2308
1851 3030
1901 3400  * boundary changed
1951 2899

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 Kinghorn 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 Kirkcaldy (SC23) Sheriff Court.

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 Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds.


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
Kinghorn Burleigh Street 132 48
Kinghorn 409 234
Kinghorn Infant School 245 156


"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.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

The archives of the former Burgh of Kinghorn are held by Fife Council Archives and the National Records of Scotland. Details of records here.

On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is an index to Kinghorn Burgh Register of Deeds (1682-1839).

Voting Registers

There are Voters' Rolls at for Kinghorn burgh for 1832 and 1892.

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