Description of the parish in 1857

"Dunbog parish is bounded on the north by the Tay, on the south by Monimail, on the east by Flisk and Creich, and on the west by Abdie. It is 3 miles long by 1 mile broad. Area 1900 acres; under tillage 1700 acres; under pasture 250 acres; under wood 40 acres. The parish forms a rich valley lying between two ridges of hills, running from west to east, being parts of the Ochils. Most of the soil is a rich black mould, though shallow, and resting upon whinstone; in some parts the subsoil is sand or gravel; in others a hard till, or cold clay. Rent of land from £1 to £4-10s. While the valley produces abundant crops of every description of grain, from draining on a suitable subsoil, and other means, the south hill, which rises to a height of nearly 500 feet above sea level, is, generally speaking, barren and uncultivated; though the north hill is cultivated to the top, the want of fences is here severely felt; the breed of cattle is mixed, and the shorthorns preferred; the sheep are Cheviots and the black-faced breed. Being entirely an agricultural parish, there is neither coal, lime or freestone; though whinstone is abundant; coals have to be brought from the pits of Balbirnie or Coul, 8 or 9 miles distant. There are 3 heritors - Lord Dundas (now Earl of Zetland), Balfour of Fernie and Murray of Ayton. Patron: the Crown. Parish church only, no others. Parish school only, no others. No public house. The large village, with its weekly market, has disappeared, owing to the modern system of farming. The nearest market and post town is Newburgh, about 4 miles distant from the church." from A Descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan, M Barberi, published 1857.


Archives & 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


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.



Dunbog Cemetery, off A913 to Newburgh (grid ref. NO 288185, GPS: 56.349157 -3.158189):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions for Dunbog Churchyard are listed in Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 3 The north east parishes by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061999
  • The churchyard stones have also been indexed by the Tay Valley Family History Society in "Abdie and Dunbog Kirkyards".
  • Another listing has been published by the Fife Family History Society in their Publication 16, Monumental Inscriptions.
  • 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 1855) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services East, County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar, KY15 4TA. Tel. 01334 659336. Fax 01334 412896.


The original 1841 census returns were lost in transit to Edinburgh.

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 423. See also Civil Registration.

The 1851 return can be searched on the FreeCEN website.

The 1851 census has been indexed and published 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:

(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Dunbog, Church of Scotland

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:

  • There is not a Dissenting family in the parish. The farm servants, with very few exceptions, all belong to the Established Church. They change every year, yet there is never above 1 or 2 individuals among them that are members of any other denomination.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists only the parish church.

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

Details of church history:

  • Dunbog Kirk Session:

The church of Dunbog, which was rebuilt in 1803, formerly belonged to the Abbey of Arbroath and the session records ministry from 1574, in the person of William Thomson, reader. In 1965 Dunbog was united with the congregation of Abdie, under the name of Abdie and Dunbog, and the united charge later established a link with Newburgh in 1983. The kirk session formerly sat within the Presbytery of Cupar and presently falls within the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of St Andrew's.


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: 423

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

Dunbog OPRBirths / baptismsProclamations / marriagesDeaths / burials / mortcloths
(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.  blank Dec. 1698 - Jan. 1705. Three entries (1823, 1828 and 1830) after Dec. 1817. Mothers' names not recorded till 1818.
M.  Intermixed with B. till Dec. 1817. No entry Nov. 1719 - June 1721.

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:

1040126 Items 2 - 3Baptisms, 1695-1698, 1705-1855; Marriages, 1705-1855; Burials, 1823-1853.
(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.

Some of the OPR entries can be searched on the FreeREG site.

Lists of Male Heads of Families, circa 1834, gathered as a result of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland's 1834 Veto Act have been transcribed for some parishes by Old Scottish Genealogy and Family History.

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.

Heritors' Records (HR254) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library, with digital copies of the earlier volumes at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/102
    Dunbog Kirk Session
    Minutes and cash, 1666-1730, 1746-1779, 1789, 1795 and 1835-1938; Baptisms and marriages, 1666-1855; Accounts, 1794-1823; Communion roll, 1928-1938; Baptisms, 1855-1897; Proclamations, 1856-1965; Burials, 1855-1901.
    The LDS have filmed the following records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.
    304660 Item 6Dunbog Parish ChurchKirk session records, baptisms and marriages, 1666-1855.Original source: CH2/102 St Andrews University Library
    (Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/254
    Dunbog parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1799-1927; Cash book, 1921-1929.

Other Churches:

The Dunbog 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 districtnumberstart dateend date

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Dunbog registration district included parts of Abdie and Flisk parishes until 1891. From 1892, it included parts of Flisk parish only.


Description & Travel

Dunbog schoolOrdnance Survey Grid ReferenceGPSPost codeLat. 56°21'10"N
NO 28818556.353457
KY14 6JFLon. 3°9'10"W

Surrounding parishes: Abdie, Monimail, Creich, Flisk.

You can see pictures of Dunbog which are provided by:



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.



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

On 15th May 1891, the following subjects were transferred from the parish of Abdie to the parish of Dunbog: Aytonhill, Ayton, Carpullie (part), Denmuir and Denmuir Hill.

A Vision of Britain provides historical descriptions, population & housing statistics, historic boundaries and maps.

You can see the administrative areas in which Dunbog has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


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.



Historic maps:

Present-day maps:

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NO287179 (Lat/Lon: 56.348065, -3.15451), Dunbog which are provided by:


Military History

War memorials can be seen at the Scottish War Memorials Project.



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.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

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.



1901286 * boundary changed

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 Dunbog 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.


Public Records

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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • FCC/6/24
    Dunbog Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1845-1929.


School Board records and / or school logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Dunbog records:

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Dunbog School
    Log books, 1924-1984.
  • Dunbog School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1919.

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 BoardSchoolAccommodation for scholarsAverage attendance


"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.