Description of the parish in 1852

Map showing the location of the parish

"The parish of Kingsbarns lies in the eastern part of the county, with its eastern side to the German Ocean. Originally it formed part of Crail, but was separated from that parish in 1631. The village lies on the public road round the coast, 6.5 miles south-east from St Andrews, and 3.5 miles north from Crail. It is a thriving little place, and carries on a considerable manufacture of linens for the Dundee market. The largest and best flag-stones in the country are obtained near the village, and marble of a fine quality is met with occasionally. A little to the east of the harbour are the fragments of a castle or palace, once the residence of David I, the remains of which consist chiefly of a wall, now partially enclosing a garden. Pitmilly, a very ancient seat, stands in the northern part of the parish. Fairs are held on the first Tuesday in June, and the third Wednesday in October (old style)." from Slater's Directory published 1852.

Towns and Villages


Places in Kingsbarns 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.


Kingsbarns parish has a churchyard and a private mausoleum:

1. Kingsbarns Churchyard / Cemetery, The Square, Kingsbarns (grid ref. NO 593122, GPS: 56.299188 -2.659488 Google map):

2. The Cambo mausoleum on Cambo Estate (grid ref. NO 600110, GPS: 56.290058 -2.647019 Google map):


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 441.

The 1841 return 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
Kingsbarns 1042702 1042269 103830 103992 203525 208759
(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 the 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: 441

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

Kingsbarns OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
441/1 1642-1739 1650-1760 1663-1760
441/2 1740-1819 1760-1819 1760-1819
441/3 1820-1854 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.  Duplicate of portion Sept. 1701 - Feb. 1717. After Jan. 1805, B. M. and D. are entered in separate cols. of the same Register. Exc. Aug. 1663 - Nov. 1679, and July 1713 - Feb. 1717 in one Duplicate, Mothers' names not recorded till No. 1760.
M.  Several leaves at commencement much wasted, and entries partially illegible. Blank March 1658 - Oct. 1663. No entries Nov. 1679 - Oct. 1681. Blank Nov. 1760 - Dec. 1788.
D.  (Deaths and Burials.) Blank Nov. 1678 - Jan. 1688, Nov. 1693 - April 1713. Two leaves (1740 - 1748) partially destroyed.

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:

1040196 Items 2 - 3 Baptisms, 1642-1819, 1817-1854; Marriages, 1650- 1788, 1760-1819, 1817-1854; Mortcloth dues (burial records), 1663-1714; Burials, 1688-1693, 1714-1854; Baptisms, Marriages, 1820-1854.
(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. Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR184) 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 Kingsbarns page of the LDS Family Search Research Wiki has more information about church history and records.

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
Kingsbarns 441 1855 1967
St Andrews 453 1968 1971
St Andrews 413 1972 2002
Fife 413 2003  

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

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Description & Travel

Kingsbarns church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5617'57"N
NO 593122 56.300473
KY16 8SS Lon. 239'34"W

Surrounding parishes: Crail, St Andrews.


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 Kingsbarns 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, East Newhall and West Newhall were transferred from the parish of Crail to the parish of Kingsbarns; Grassmiston and Lochton were transferred from Kingsbarns parish to Crail parish.

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:
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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.

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. Details of records here.


Year Population
1755 871
1801 832
1851 893
1901 652  * boundary changed
1951 511

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 Kingsbarns 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 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
Kingsbarns Kingsbarns 216 116


"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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