Description of the parish in 1857

"Flisk parish is bounded on the north by the Tay, on the south by Creich and Abdie, on the east by Balmerino and on the west by Dunbog. It is 4 miles in length from east to west and 1 mile in breadth. Area 3.5 square miles; under cultivation 2210 acres; under pasture 140 acres; under wood 266 acres. Occupying the northern slope of the Ochils, a considrable portion of its surface is hilly and irregular, except about mile from the river, where it is level ground along the whole extent of the parish: the hills are Lyndemus, nearly 750 feet above sea level, Logie Law and Glenduckie Hill. With the exception of the Tay, the parish is watered by small burns and supplied by innumerable springs of the finest water. The soil for the most part is a clayey loam, varying from 1 to 3 feet in depth, lying on rock, clay and till; the whole is nevertheless fertile, and the land is found cultivated from the shore of the Tay to the summit opf the hills. Rent of arable is at an average £1-10s. per acre. Much has been done by draining land naturally wet; till lately stone draining was chiefly used, but now tile-draining is introduced; some of the grounds are not sufficiently enclosed; a mixture of 1 part of bone-dust to 2 parts of coal ashes is much used for turnips on the hill lands; wheat, barley, and oats, with potatoes, turnips, peas and beans are grown in the proportion of the order given here; the Fifeshire breed of cattle crossed with the Forfarshire is the kind kept; there are few sheep kept, owing to the hardness of the soil not being favourable to grass; there are eight thrashing mills; there is a great deficiency of cottages in this parish, which is the cause of the continued decrease of Population. There are 3 heritors. Coals have to be brought from Newburgh or Balmerino or the Balbirnie pit; though some use English coal, brought in vessels to the beach. There are 3 quarries of sandstone and clinkstone; none of them of importance, and only used for local purposes. The parish being entirely a rural one, there are no manufactures carried on within it. The patron is the Earl of Zetland. There is no Dissenting place of worship. Parish school only. There are no fairs nor public houses in the parish. The nearest market towns are Newburgh 6 miles, Cupar 8 miles and Dundee 10 miles. There is a post office at Newburgh, but the post town is Cupar. There is no village, but a small hamlet, the farm of Glenduckie, consisting of a dozen cottages." from A Descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan, M Barbieri, published in 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



Flisk Cemetery (grid ref. NO 313225, GPS: 56.389872 -3.112707):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions 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
  • Another listing has been published by the Fife Family History Society in their Publication 15, Monumental Inscriptions.
  • Some stones are recorded in Graveyard Monuments in East, North and Central Fife, John di Folco, published in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1969-70, vol. 102, pages 205-236, which deals largely with stones dated pre-1707. It can be downloaded from ARCHway.
  • 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 1893) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services East, County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar, KY15 4TA. Tel. 01334 659336. Fax 01334 412896.


Parish / district reference number for 1841 - 1901 censuses: 430. Parts in 423 from 1861 (see Civil Registration).

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.

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:

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Flisk 1042702 1042267 103829 103991 203523 208757
(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 of Scotland in Creich.

The Old Statistical Account (1793) mentions no church other than the parish church.

The New Statistical Account (written in 1838) has this to say:

  • Number of families connected with the Established Church - 51 (247 individuals)
  • Number of families attending Dissenting and Seceding places of worship - 4 (9 individuals)
  • Average number of communicants in the Established Church - 120

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church and the Free Church of Flisk & Creich.

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

Details of church history:

  • Flisk Parish Church:

The old parish church of Flisk, which was rebuilt in 1790, was dedicated to St Adrian and ministry of the session is recorded from 1564 in the person of Robert Paterson. In 1956 Flisk established a link with Kilmany however this arrangement was terminated in 1971 in favour of union between Flisk, Kilmany and also Creich, under the name of Creich, Flisk and Kilmany. A link was later established between the united parish and Monimail in 1983. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Cupar until the restructuring of the presbyteries in 1976, when it became part of the Presbytery of St Andrews.

  • Creich and Flisk Free and United Free Kirk Session:

The minister of Flisk parish church, Dr J W Taylor, came out at the Disruption in 1843. The Free Church adherents in Flisk and Creich and in the adjacent parts of Balmerino and Kilmany were formed into a congregation under Dr Taylor, and a church and manse was built in 1843-44. The mainly rural population of the area declined with the disappearance of handloom weaving. In 1900 the congregation became part of the United Free Church on the union of the Free Church of Scotland and the United Presbyterian Church, but the serving minister was appointed on a yearly basis only after 1917, and on the union of the United Free Church and the Chuch of Scotland in 1929 the congregation was united with Creich parish church under the designation Creich.


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: 430

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

Flisk OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
430/1 1697-1819 1697-1819 1775-1815
430/2 1820-1854 1820-1854 1820-1854
(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.  and M.  intermixed throughout. Both Records defective 1803 - 1810. Up to 1708, Proclamations and Marriages separately entered.
D.  (Deaths and Burials.) Blank (exc. one entry) Sept. 1791 - Jan. 1796. Defective after Aug. 1797. Blank Nov. 1815 - June 1820.

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:

1040337 Items 5-6 Baptisms, Marriages 1697-1854; Burials 1775-1815, 1820-1854.
(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.

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 (HR278) 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:

  • CH2/1545
    Flisk Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1697-1971; Baptismal roll, 1855-1971; Communion roll, 1876-1918 and 1937-1958; Accounts, 1937-1962; Fabric fund accounts, 1938-1971.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/278
    Flisk parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1913-1914; Accounts, 1874-1928; Vouchers, 1851-1873; Papers relating to buildings, 1865-1923; Papers relating to transference to Church of Scotland, 1925-1929; Correspondence, 1875-1920; Church sittings 1888; Plans of church and manse, 1886-1888.

Other Churches:

At the Special Collections Dept. of St Andrews University Library:

  • CH3/1582
    Creich and Flisk Free and United Free Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1885-1925; Deacon's court minutes, 1849-1929; Communion roll, 1901-1930; Register of members and adherents, 1885-1893; Baptismal register, 1843-1886; Marriage register, 1843-1872 (also contains notes by J W Taylor and baptismal register, Grangemouth, 1839-1843); Formulae for elders and deacons, 1866-1922.
    A transcript of the Free Church baptisms 1843-1854, has been published by the Fife Family History Society Baptismal Registers No. 1 and is also available on CD. These baptisms together with the marriages 1843-1854 are also available on the Records pages of their website.

The Flisk 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
Flisk 430 1855 1967
Newburgh 450 1968 1971
Newburgh 416 1972 2002
Fife 416 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts. Parts of Flisk parish were included in Dunbog registration district.


Description & Travel

Flisk church Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 56°23'23"N
NO 313225 56.389757
KY14 6HN Lon. 3°6'37"W

Surrounding parishes: Creich, Dunbog, Balmerino.

You can see pictures of Flisk 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

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Flisk 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 NO303209 (Lat/Lon: 56.3755, -3.13044), Flisk 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.



Year Population
1755 318
1801 300
1851 213
1901 232
1951 201

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 Flisk 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/6/28
    Flisk Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1845-1930.


School logbooks are held at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Flisk records:

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Flisk Public School
    Log books, 1873-1981.

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
Flisk Flisk 73 41


"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.