"KINROSS-SHIRE, inland Co. of Scotland; is bounded W. and N. by Perthshire, and E. and S. by Fifeshire; greatest length, N. and S., 10 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 12 miles; 46,485 ac.; pop. 6697. After Clackmannan, Kinross is the smallest Co. in Scotland. The surface presents the appearance of a level plain almost surrounded by hills - the Ochil Hills in the NW., the Lomond Hills in the E., Benarty Hill in the S., and the Cleish Hills in the SW.; in the centre of this plain is Loch Leven. The higher regions are principally devoted to cattle and sheep farming; the low-lying lands are well sheltered and tolerably fertile. Limestone and sandstone are abundant, and coal is found in the S. The mfrs. are woollens (including plaids, shawls, &c.) and linens. Loch Leven is famous for its trout fishing. The Co. contains 4 pars. and 3 parts, the police burgh of Kinross, the vil. of Milnathort, and part of the vil. of Kelty. The cos. of Kinross and Clackmannan jointly return 1 member to Parliament."
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]
"The origin of the shire of Kinross is lost in antiquity. Sir Robert Sibbald, writing at the close of the seventeenth century, says that it was made a distinct shire from Fife about the year 1426 and contained then only the parishes of Kinross, Orwell and Portmoak. In 1426, Kinross was separately represented in parliament, but the shire was distinct far earlier, being mentioned in the charters of David II."
[Clackmannan and Kinross by J.P.Day B.A. B Sc., 1915 ]
See also the entry for Kinross-shire in the 1868 gazetteer.
- Archives and Libraries
- Census Returns
- Church Records
- Civil Registration
- Court Records
- Description and Travel
- Land and Property
The homepages of the Perth and Kinross District Council and details of their Library Services (centered at the A.K.Bell Library) are available on the web. Contact A.K. Bell Library, York Place, Perth PH2 8EP Tel: 01738 444949 Fax: 01738 477010.
"We have the basic sources for Kinross-shire family history research in the A K Bell Library in Perth - these are listed on our Familia page. Two things which may not be listed are a) the Index to the 1851 census of Kinross-shire, published recently in two paperback volumes, and b) a good, though incomplete, run of the Kinross-shire Advertiser."
"The Kinross (Marshall) Museum" site was published early in December 1998 as part of a scheme to find a home for the contents of the museum, once part of the Town Hall and Carnegie Libary complex.
- "Glimpses of Kinross-shire in the past"
by Thomas T. Tod, published at Kinross in 1935 (182 pages).
- "About Kinross-shire and its folk"
by Robert S. Young, published at Perth in 1948.
- "Historical Guide to the County of Kinross"
published by Kinross-shire Antiqarian Society (1980)
"Monumental inscriptions in Kinross-shire" by
John Fowler Mitchell and Sheila Mitchell published 1967 by the
Scottish Genealogy Society.
A reprinted edition of this volume may be purchased from the society.
Original burial and lair records are held in Kinross, at the old "County Buildings" and are available on request. These are curently being transcribed into a computer database, and you can make inquiries to:
Fiona Docherty, Administration Officer, H&PS, Kinross Area
Office, Perth & Kinross Council,
County Buildings, 21 - 25 High Street, Kinross KY13 8AP.
Telephone 01577 867602, Fax 01577 865352
or email FDocherty@pkc.gov.uk
More details of the cemeteries, including the dates of the records held by Perth and Kinross Regional Authority can be found at the GENUKI Perthshire pages.
There has been a census every ten years since 1801, excluding 1941. The latest returns currently available are for 1911. Scottish census returns are held at National Records of Scotland and copies on microfilm may be consulted in LDS Family History Centres around the world. A list of the relevant LDS films for the Parishes of Kinross is available.
1841 CENSUS For all of Kinross-shire on FreeCen.
1851 CENSUS - KINROSS - Name Index This index is now complete. It is available for searching at the TAY VALLEY FHS Research Centre and has been published (see TVFHS Bookshop Page). It covers the whole parishes of Cleish, Fossoway & Tulliebole, Kinross, Orwell and Portmoak, and parts of Arngask and Forgandenny. For each person, the full name, age, birthplace and census schedule reference are provided.
For information on records for a particular parish, please see that parish's page.
The Kirk Session of a parish consists of the minister of the parish and the elders of the congregation. It looks after the general wellbeing of the congregation and, particularly in centuries past, parochial discipline. Most Kirk Session records are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and can be fascinating reading.
You may also find it worthwhile searching in the GENUKI church database.
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. These and other records are held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The "McKirdy Index" Death Records - an "Analytical Index to the Statutory Registers of Death for Scotland" (1855-1875) are now available. For Kinross-shire these take the form of a 2 microfiche set.
A list of Kinross-shire Motor Vehicle registrations, showing details of the vehicles and their owners is presented at the The Friends of Dundee City Archives web-site. It lists those vehicles originally registered in Kinross-shire from 1904 - 1952, along with names and addresses of the owners.
Records of testaments, inventories etc. are held at the National Records of Scotland .
A Scottish Record Society publication "The Commissariot Record of St.Andrews, Register of Testaments 1549-1800" published in 1902 contains an index of testaments in the National Records of Scotland for all of the county except the Parish of Fossoway.
General information about all of Kinross-shire with photographs taken all round the county can be viewed at Trivial History Kinross.
The Parochial Directory of 1861 extracted from the "Parochial Directory for Fife and Kinross" is a directory of tradespeople, farmers, gentry, societies and local government of the time.
Just over 100 years later, the Kinross-shire Directory extracted from "MacDonald's Scottish Directory" of 1967 lists many names associated with the tradesmen and professions of that period.
See the GENWEBKinross Pages.
Sasine records are concerned with changes in the ownership of land. The original records are kept at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and indexes for the earlier years have been published:
- "Index to secretary's register of sasines for sheriffdoms of
Fife and Kinross preserved in HM General Register House:
published in 1963 at Edinburgh by HMSO.
- "Index to particular register of sasines for sheriffdoms of
Fife and Kinross preserved in HM General Register House:
published in 1965 at Edinburgh by HMSO.
(Monumental Inscriptions - see Cemeteries)
A number of books about the people of Kinross-shire have been published:
- "Distinguished men of the county, or Biographical annals of
by Thomas T. Tod, published at Kinross in 1934.
- "The Annals of Kinross-Shire AD490 - 1884
Published by Fossoway & District Community Council.
This was (mostly) available at the museum web-site. It can be recovered by googling "Way Back Machine" and inserting the dead URLs starting http://www.kinrossmuseum.co.uk/annals1.htm running up to http://www.kinrossmuseum.co.uk/annals4.htm in the box.
- "About Kinross-shire and its folk"
by Robert S. Young, published at Perth in 1948
- "Antiquities of Kinross-shire"
by Rev. Charles Ross LL.D, of Cleish Kirk (1886).
- "Between the Ochils and the Forth"
by David Beveridge of Torryburn (1888).
by Robert Burns-Begg, F.S.A. (Scot) (1944).
- "A History of Fife and Kinross"
by A.J.G. MacKay, Sherriff of the Two Counties (1896).
- "The Bishopshire and its People"
by David Beath of Balleave, Kinross (1902).
- "The Jolly Beggars"
T.M. Todd, F.S.A.(Scotland) of West Brackley (1938).
- "The Kirk of Cleish"
Rev. P.T.Hall M.A. of Cleish Kirk
- "Balgedie, 1674-1852"
Robert S. Young, F.S.A.(Scotland) Sheriff Substitute of Kinross (1952).
A number of these books may be out of print. Some may be available in the Public Library in Kinross, the Sandeman Library in Perth or the National Library in Edinburgh.
www.kinross.cc is a non-profit making site that has been set up as a joint venture by the Kinross Community Council and the Kinross-shire Partnership to provide a comprehensive guide to the area for visitors.
The Kinross & District Pipe Band has been in existance since 1946. Their web-site traces their history.
For a social and economic record of the parishes of Kinross-shire, together with masses of statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's "Statistical Account of Scotland" which was compiled in the 1790s. The account for "South and East Perthshire and Kinross-shire" was reprinted in facsimile form in 1976 by EP Publishing Limited of Wakefield, England.
Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.
The "Statistical Account of Scotland", for both the 1790s and 1845 is now available on-line at the Edinburgh University Data Library (EDINA) web site They give an excellent insight into life at the time.