Largo

Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Largo is bounded by the parishes of Kilconquhar, Newburn, Ceres and Scoonie. It contains the villages of Upper Largo (or Kirkton), Lower Largo, Lundin Mill and New Gilston. It is about 4.5 miles north - south and 3 miles in breadth. To the west of Largo Law, a deeply wooded ravine, Keil’s Den, intersects the parish from north - south. It is laid out with footpaths and is very picturesque, so is a favourite resort for all those who visit in the summer for sea bathing. The village of Lower Largo stands on the bay. Most of the houses have a decaying look, being mostly built from red sandstone taken from the sea. In old times a large trade was carried on here with Holland, and more recently Norway, but that is long at an end. Upper Largo is a well-built village with a number of good houses and shops. There is an institution in the village called Wood’s Hospital, for the maintenance of indigent persons of the name of Wood. Both Upper and Lower Largo are favourite resorts for sea bathing. The village of Lundin Mill is chiefly inhabited by weavers. The village of New Gilston is chiefly inhabited by miners. A noted native of the parish was Alexander Selkirk, the prototype of Robinson Crusoe. Besides the parish church, there is a Free Church at Kirkton, and a UP Church and a Baptist Church at Lower Largo." edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

Kirkton of Largo (Upper Largo)
Lower Largo
Lundin Links
Lundin Mill
New Gilston

Places in Largo 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 2 cemeteries in Largo parish:

1. Largo Old Churchyard, Church Place, Upper Largo (grid ref. NO 424035, GPS: 56.220564 -2.930428):

2. Largo Cemetery, North Feus, Upper Largo (grid ref. NO 422038, GPS: 56.223235 -2.933718):

The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in "Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 1 South east parishes" by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061948

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: 443

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
Largo 1042703 1042269 103831 103994 203528 208763
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 there was a Relief Church at Lower Largo (later United Presbyterian, St David's United Free, then Church of Scotland) and  a Free Church (later Upper Largo United Free) at Upper Largo.

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

The New Statistical Account (written in 1837) gives this information:

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

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: 443

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

Largo OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
443/1 1636-1656 1636-1656  
443/2 1670-1754 1670-1756  
443/3 1754-1819 1757-1819  
443/4     1767-1854
443/5 1820-1854 1820-1854  
Register of Neglected Entries 1834-1846    
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.  and M.  intermixed till Dec. 1688.
B.  blank Dec. 1644 - Jan. 1647 and July 1656 - Sept. 1670. No entries Aug. 1689 - Jan. 1691. After 1766, irregular and interpolated entries are of frequent occurrence. Mothers' names not recorded till Jan. 1723.
M.  blank Dec. 1645 - Jan. 1647, Aug. 1656 - Dec. 1670, and Dec. 1688 - March 1693. No entry Dec. 1756 - Dec. 1757.
D.  (Burials.) It being impossible to separate the portion 1820 - 1854 from the earlier part of the Record, in consequence of the manner in which it has been kept, the whole has been retained by the Registrar-General.

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:

1040187 Item 5 Session book (includes Baptisms, Marriage proclamations) 1636-1643.
1040180 Session book (includes Baptisms, Marriage proclamations), 1643-1656; Baptisms, 1670-1820; Marriages, 1670-1820.
1040188 Items 1 - 2 Burials (most are arranged alphabetically), 1767- 1858; Baptisms, Marriages, 1820-1854; Neglected entries (5 baptisms), 1834-1846.
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 (443/1). Details of church records here.

Heritors' Records (HR372) are at the National Archives 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 Largo 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
Largo 443 1855 1967
Leven 443 1968 1971
Leven 415 1972 2002
Fife 415 2003  

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

Description & Travel

Largo church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5613'13"N
NO 423036 56.221451
-2.932062
KY8 6EH Lon. 255'49"W

Surrounding parishes: Newburn, Kilconquhar, Scoonie, Ceres.

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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 Largo 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

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:
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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 article on the origin of the name 'Emsdorf' here.

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.

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.

Population

Year Population
1755 1396
1801 1867
1851 2800
1901 2046
1951 2500

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 Largo 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.

Schools

School Board records and / or 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
Largo Kirkton 150 110
Lundin Mill 178 92
Durham Female Charity 164 92
Largoward New Gilston 90 74

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.

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