Open a form to report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted
Page 1 of 4

Help and advice for Abernethy

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.

Abernethy

Description of the parish in 1846

filtered_html

"ABERNETHY, a burgh and parish, partly in the county of Fife, but chiefly in the county of Perth, 3 miles from Newburgh, containing the village of Aberdargie and the town of Abernethy" edited from Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1846.

The part of the parish in Fife accounted for about 10% of the population.

Since 1891, Abernethy parish has been completely in Perthshire. Other parish information will be found on the GENUKI Perthshire pages.

Towns and Villages

Abernethy

Archives and Libraries

The ScotlandsPlaces website lets users search across national databases by geographical location. It includes, amongst other material,

  • catalogue entries for maps and plans held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh; some maps and plans can be viewed
  • photos and details of historical buildings and archaeological sites recorded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • 17th and 18th century tax rolls
  • Ordnance Survey [place] Name Books
  • an opportunity to transcribe thousands of historic documents

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 Abernethy parish:

1. Abernethy Old Cemetery / Churchyard (St Bride's), School Wynd, Abernethy (grid ref. NO 189163; GPS: 56.332899 -3.311721):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in Perthshire South Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 1 Lower Strathearn by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. The older edition is Pre-1855 Monumental Inscriptions in South Perthshire.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.
  • The current lair registers (dating from 1860) are administered by Perth and Kinross Council. The registers for these burial grounds are held at Perth Crematorium. Anyone wishing to have an ancestral search carried out should telephone Burial Enquiries on 01738 446865 or e-mail esburials[at]pkc.gov[dot]uk.

2. Abernethy New Cemetery, Newburgh Road, Abernethy (grid ref. NO 202171; GPS: 56.339994 -3.291197):

  • The current lair registers (dating from 1959) are administered by Perth and Kinross Council. The registers for these burial grounds are held at Perth Crematorium. Anyone wishing to have an ancestral search carried out should telephone Burial Enquiries on 01738 446865 or e-mail esburials[at]pkc.gov[dot]uk.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.

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 - 1911 censuses: 326

Of the original 1841 returns, only those covering the Perthshire part of the parish survive. Those for the Fife part of the parish are missing.

The 1841 and 1851 returns can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

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
Abernethy 1042682 1042259 103891 104071 203500 208729
(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, there was a Free Church and an Antiburgher congregation.

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

  • Population in October / November 1792 - 1415
  • Members of the Established Church - 628
  • Antiburgher Seceders - 744
  • Burgher Seceders - 4
  • Relief Seceders - 1
  • Episcopalians - 4
  • Independents - 4
  • The Antiburghers have a meeting house here. Their minister is a very prudent sensible man, quiet, and conscientious in the discharge of his duty. The spirit of secession has for some time past been on the decline. The members of the establishment and the Antiburghers live in the most friendly habits.

The New Statistical Account (written in 1842) has this to say:

  • In this, as in other parishes in similar circumstances, many of the Dissenters, as well as some connected with the Established Church, have not registered the births of their children. The same remark applies to any records which have been kept of any marriages, deaths, etc.
  • Since the [first Statistical Account of 1792] a very considerable majority of the people are now connected with the Establishment [Church of Scotland] ..... the ministers of the different congregations in this parish have continued to live in harmony and friendship.

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

Details of church history:

  • Abernethy Kirk Session:
The History of Abernethy as an ecclesiastical site dates back as far as early Pictish times when it was the seat of a Celtic Abbey, which in 1273 was converted into an Augustinian Priory. Abernethy church, which was dedicated to St Bride and formerly belonged to the Abbey of Arbroath, was granted a collegiate endowment by George, Earl of Angus in 1460. In 1951, following the union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church in 1929, the Parish Church of Abernethy was united with the former United Free Church congregation of Abernethy South. After the local union the former South Church was leased to a local business and the old parish church remained in use as the place of worship. In 1955 Abernethy was linked with Dron however this arrangement was terminated in 1970 in favour of a union with Dron under the name of Abernethy and Dron. The united session later formed a link with Arngask in 1979. The kirk session sits within the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Perth.
  • Abernethy Free Church
Abernethy Free Church in the Presbytery of Perth, was formed at the Disruption in 1843. The church was built in 1843 and the manse in 1851. Following the union of the Free Church and the United Free Church in 1900, the congregation became Abernethy North United Free Church. In 1905 Abernethy North was united with Abernethy South United Free Church as Abernethy United Free Church. In 1929 the United Free Church joined with the Church of Scotland and the church became Abernethy South Church of Scotland. In 1951 the charge was united with Abernethy North Church of Scotland to form Abernethy Church of Scotland. The North buildings were retained. From 1955 to 1970 Abernethy was linked with Dron Church. In 1970 the two congregations were united under the name of Abernethy and Dron Church of Scotland. In 1979 the church was linked with Arngask Church.
  • Abernethy General Associate (Antiburgher) Congregation
Abernethy General Associate (Antiburgher) congregation was formed in 1736. In 1820 the United Secession Church was formed by the union of the Associate (Burgher) and General Associate (Antiburgher) Synods. In 1847 the United Secession Church merged with the Relief Church to form the United Presbyterian Church. Following the union in 1900 of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church, the congregation became Abernethy South United Free Church. In 1905 Abernethy South was united with Abernethy North United Free Church as Abernethy United Free Church. In 1929 the United Free Church joined with the Church of Scotland and the church became Abernethy South Church of Scotland. In 1951 the charge was united with Abernethy North Church of Scotland to form Abernethy Church of Scotland. The North buildings were retained. From 1955 to 1970 Abernethy was linked with Dron Church. In 1970 the two congregations were united under the name of Aberthey and Dron Church of Scotland. In 1979 the church was linked with Arngask Church.

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: 326

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

Abernethy OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
326/1 1690-1733 1690-1727 1690-1727
326/2 1749-1819 1783-1794 1783-1794
326/3 1820-1854    
CH2/743/5   1845-1854  
(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. M. and D. prior to1702 generally recorded in parallel columns of the Register. After 1702 Births recorded separately. Blank (exc. two entries) Jan. 1734 - Jan. 1749. Mothers' names not recorded.
M. and D. Proclamations and Mortcloth Dues till 1727. Blank 1727 - 1783, after which date Marriages and Burials are recorded. M. terminate March 1794, exc. one entry for 1823; and D. terminate Sept. 1794.
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, records were found within other Church of Scotland records (CH2/743/5) which contain Marriages 1845 - 1917.]

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:

993511 Baptisms, 1690-1733, marriages, 1690-1727, burials, 1690-1727; baptisms, 1749-1819, marriages, 1783-1794, burials, 1783-1794; baptisms, 1820-1854.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

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 (326/1).

Heritors' Records (HR552) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/743
    Abernethy Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1690-1702, 1732-1736 and 1748-1891; Baptismal register, 1855-1906; Marriage register, 1845-1952; Communion roll, 1873-1943; Accounts, 1801-1886, 1881-1889 and 1935-1951; Record of expenditure on car, 1963-1966; Payment of stipend, 1864-1874; Teind roll, 1935; Sermon material; Miscellaneous documents.
    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    LDS Library Film Numbers:
    1068238 Item 2 Parish Church of Abernethy Blotter registers, 1732-1736, includes Kirk Session Minutes, 1732-1736. Original documents: MR44/1 National Records of Scotland; now at NRS CH2/743/31
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Included in the Old Parochial Registers on microfilm and at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh but not online:

  • 326/1
    Abernethy Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1690-1727.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/552
    Abernethy parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1784-1934; Accounts, 1851-1872, 1904-1934.

Other Churches:

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

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH3/686
    Abernethy Free Church
    Minutes, 1845-1951; Deacon's Court minutes, 1843-1854 and 1889-1905; Manse committee minutes, 1850-1852; Manager's minutes, 1924-1951; Accounts, 1843-1851; Manse fund accounts, 1850-1858; Cash book, 1926-1948; Communion roll, 1846-1857, 1860-1872 and 1885-1950; Baptismal register, 1899-1905.
  • CH3/687
    Abernethy Associate (Antiburgher) congregation, United Presbyterian and United Free South
    Minutes, 1744-1905; Baptisms, 1744-1949; Accounts, 1823-1859; Congregational and other minutes, 1826-1924; Seat rent cash book, 1900-1921; Register of small accounts, 1762-1766; Receipts, 1780-1910; Communion roll, 1886-1906; Signatures to Covenant, 1744-1811.

The Abernethy 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
Abernethy 326 1855 1968
Perth 387 1969 1971
Perth 390 1972 2003
Perth & Kinross 390 2004  

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

Court Records

At the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth:

  • AN
    Abernethy Burgh records
    Barony council, burgh court and town council minutes, 1706-1901; Abernethy Barony Council documents, 1674-1882; Police court records, 1889-1901.

Description & Travel

Abernethy town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°19'56"N
NO 189163 56.332103
-3.313220
PH2 9JH Lon. 3°18'48"W

Surrounding parishes: in Fife: Arngask, Strathmiglo, Auchtermuchty, Newburgh, in Perthshire: Dron, Dunbarney, Rhynd.

Directories

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. All listings cover only the part of the parish which is in Fife.

Gazetteers

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.

  • David Webster's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1819, online at Google Books.
  • Fullarton's Topographical, Statistical and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland, published 1842, online at Google Books.
  • Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, published 1846, online at British History Online.
  • Barbieri's Descriptive and Historical Gazetteer of the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, published 1857, is at Google Books.
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4) and John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887), are on A Vision of Britain (click on "Historical places and writing").
  • Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland(1892-6) on Electric Scotland

Historical Geography

Until 15th May 1891, the parish of Abernethy was situated partly in the county of Fife and partly in the county of Perth. On that date, various changes to the parish and county boundaries were made. From that date the whole parish of Abernethy was included in the county of Perth.

The following subjects remained in the parish of Abernethy but were transferred from the county of Fife to the county of Perth: Balvaird Farm, Mucklebein Farm, Catochil, Dumbarrow Farm, Dumbarrow House, Glentarkie Farm, Pittuncarty Farm, and part of the lands of Colzie Hill.

The following subjects remained in the county of Fife but were transferred from the parish of Abernethy to the parish of Newburgh: Easter Colzie Farm, part of the land of Colzie Hill, and Lumquhat.

The following subjects remained in the county of Fife but were transferred from the parish of Abernethy to the parish of Strathmiglo: Nochnarrie, Pitlour, and part of the Farm of Wester Pitlour.

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. Valuation Rolls:

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • VR101
    Valuation Rolls: Fife
    1855-1891, covers the part of the parish in Fife
  • VR113
    Valuation Rolls: Perthshire
    1855-1891, covers the part of the parish in Perthshire; 1892-1975, covers the whole parish
  • IRS78/6-12
    Valuation Office (Scotland): Field Book, 1910-1920: Abernethy Parish
    Entries 1-565 + Supplementaries.
  • IRS124
    Valuation Office (Scotland) maps to accompany the above field books, scale 1/2500, Ordnance Survey sheets for Perthshire.

Maps

Historic maps:

Present-day maps:

  • On-line maps:
  • Paper maps:
    • Ordnance Survey Landranger (scale 1:50000 - about 1 inch to 1 mile) sheet 58 - Perth & Alloa
    • Ordnance Survey Explorer (larger scale 1:25000 - about 2 and a half inches to 1 mile) sheet 369 - Perth and Kinross, and sheet 370 - Glenrothes North, Falkland & Lomond Hills

Military History

War graves can be seen at the Scottish Wargraves Project and war memorials can be seen at the Scottish War Memorials Project.

The parishes of Abernethy, Arngask, Culross and Tulliallan parishes will be included in the Perthshire Milita collection, 1680-1891, located at the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth.

Names, Geographical

There is an index to the Ordnance Survey Object NameBooks for the part of this parish in Fife here.

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 Perth and Kinross Council Archive. See Public Records below.

Population

Year Fife Population Perthshire Population Total Population
1755     1490
1801 133 1355 1488
1851 164 1862 2026
1901 * boundary changed 1276
1951   1375

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 Abernethy may be found in the Dunblane Commissariot (CC6) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records. From 1824, commissary business was conducted by Perth Sheriff Court(SC49) or the Sheriff Court of Fife at Cupar (SC20). At a later date (possibly after 1891) all commissary business was transferred to Perth Sheriff Court. Indexes and finding aids are given on the main Fife page.

Local sources worth searching for deeds include Fife Sheriff Court Deeds, Perth Sheriff Court, and Perth Registers of Deeds. An index to the Perth Register of Deeds, 1566-1811, is online at Ancestry.co.uk.

Public Records

Parochial Boards and their successors, Parish Councils, administered many local functions including poor relief.

At the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth:

  • CC1/7
    Abernethy Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, etc, 1860-1930.

Schools

School records are at the Perth and Kinross Council Archive.

At the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth:

  • CC1/5/9-146
    Abernethy School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1930.
  • Perthshire School Registers of Admission and Withdrawal, 1869-1901, are online at Ancestry.co.uk.

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, male servants tax, female servants tax, and farm horse tax are all on ScotlandsPlaces.

See also the Early Taxation Records page.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

At the Perth and Kinross Council Archive, Perth:

  • AN
    Abernethy Burgh records
    Barony council, burgh court and town council minutes, 1706-1901; Police commissioners' minutes, 1896-1901; Abernethy Town Council minutes, 1901-1975; Letter books, 1879-1893, 1964-1975; Abstracts of accounts, 1837-1901, 1917-1974; Charter of confirmation of Abernethy burgh by William, 11th Earl of Angus, 1628; Abernethy Barony Council documents, 1674-1882; Police court records, 1889-1901; Ledgers, 1939-1963; Housing registers, 1936-1937, 1960-1967; Files relating to the administration of the burgh, 1967-1975; Papers and plans relating mainly to water supply and sewage, 1903-1976.