Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Torryburn parish is bounded by the Firth of Forth, Perthshire, Saline, Carnock and Dunfermline. It measures about 5 miles by 3. There are small piers at Crombie and Torryburn, but their importance is not so great as when they formed the port for Dunfermline. The village of Torryburn stands on the coast. A number of the inhabitants are weavers, producing damasks for Dunfermline and cotton goods for Glasgow. The parish church is at Torryburn, and there is a Free Church at Torry. " edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages


Places in Torryburn 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,


There is a chapter about Torryburn in Mercer's History of Dunfermline, published 1828, is at Google Books.

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 3 cemeteries in Torryburn parish:

1. Torryburn Old Churchyard, Main Street, Torryburn (grid ref. NT 026861, GPS: 56.057802 -3.565647 Google map):

2. Crombie Churchyard, Crombie Point (grid ref. NT 028856, GPS: 56.05278 -3.56178 Google map):

3. Torryburn Cemetery, Cairneyhill Road, Torryburn (grid ref. NT 034862, GPS: 56.059236 -3.552673 Google map):

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


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1891 censuses: 458
District reference number for 1901 census: 458a

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.

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
Torryburn 1042704 1042272 103832 103995 203531 208768
(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 also a Free Church at Newmills.

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) does not mention any dissenters from the Established Church.

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

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and the Free Church.

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

Details of church history:

Torryburn Kirk Session united in 1945 with Newmills; Torryburn and Newmills linked with Cairneyhill from 1968.
The congregation of Torryburn Free Church, which sat within the Presbytery of Dunfermline, was established in 1843 at the time of the Disruption when the minister of Torryburn Parish Church and the majority of his congregation adhered to the Free Church. Worship took place for a short time in a shed until the church was erected later in the same year. The church and manse were both renovated in 1869. In 1900, upon the union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterians, Torryburn Free Church was renamed Torryburn United Free Church and following the 1929 union of the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, Torryburn U.F. was renamed Newmills Church of Scotland. In 1933 the congregation of Newmills was reduced in status, and was worked by a lay missionary until 1945 when a union was established with the Parish Church congregation of Torryburn, to create the session of Torryburn and Newmills.

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: 458

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

Torryburn OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
458/1 1663-1682 1629-1665  
458/2 1680-1819 1702-1819  
458/3     1768-1819
458/4 1820-1854 1820-1854 1820-1854
458/5 1629-1641 1696-1773
(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.  First leaf of volume 2contains entries (1688 - 1695) of children of Seceders, most of them baptized in other parishes. Corner of three leaves (1755 - 1756) torn off. Exc. that a few interpolated entries occur after 1783, this Record appears to have been regularly kept.
M.  blank (exc. four entries 1675 - 1681) Nov. 1665 - Jan. 1702, and Oct. 1710 - Dec. 1711. After 1723 the Record is one of persons who gave up their names to be proclaimed. The fact or the date of Marriage, however, is not unfrequently added to the entries after 1800.
D.  (Mortcloth Dues.) Blank Nov. 1817 - Dec. 1820.
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, records were found within other Church of Scotland records (CH2/355/1) which contain Baptisms 1629 - 1641 and Deaths 1696 - 1773. These are now included in the OPR Records as 458/5.]

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:

1040182 Items 3-5 Baptisms 1663-1819; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations) 1629-1665; Marriages 1702-1819; Mortcloth dues (burial records) 1768-1816
1040387 Items 1-3 Burials 1773-1854; Baptisms, Marriages 1819-1854; Baptisms 1629-1641; Burials 1696-1773
304666 Item 11 Kirk sessions records, baptisms, 1629-1641, deaths, 1696-1773
(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. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (458/1 and 458/3).

Heritors' Records (HR314) 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:

The LDS have filmed some records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.

The Torryburn 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
Torryburn 458 1855 1892
Torryburn 458a 1893 1967
Culross 418 1968 1971
Culross 435 1972 1993
West Fife 435 1994 2002
Fife 435 2003  

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

Court Records

Fife Family History Society have published a list of Torryburn Jurors 1851 on the Records  pages of their website.

Description & Travel

Torryburn village centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 563'28"N
NT 024862 56.058659
KY12 8LT Lon. 334'4"W

Surrounding parishes: Carnock, Culross, Dunfermline.


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 Torryburn 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, a detached part of Torryburn parish was transferred to the parish of Saline. It comprised Bonnington, Cultmill, Cults, Wester Cults, North Cults, South Cults, Hallcroft and Hallburns, Hillend, Hillside, Meadowland, Pow and Wellwood.
On the same date, a detached portion of Saline parish was transferred to Torryburn parish. It comprised Inzievar, Inzievar Stables, Blair (part), Braidless, Duckill, Langlees, Mavisbank, Rimalton, Sunnyside, Oakley railway station and land near it, Fernwoodlee, Over Inzievar, Blairhall, Brown Muir and Rennieswells.

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:

Names, Geographical

There is an index to the Ordnance Survey Object Name Books for this parish here.

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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 recently re-published it in their Publications Series, 30.


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.

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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.

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


Year Population
1755 1635
1801 1403
1851 1341
1901 1130  * boundary changed
1951 1611

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 Torryburn may be found in either the Stirling Commissariot (CC21), the St Andrews Commissariot (CC20) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records. From 1824 to 1960, commissary business was 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, Stirling 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. Torryburn 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
Torryburn Torryburn 170 143


"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.

See also the Early Taxation Records page.

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