Description of the parish in 1852

"The parish of Kinglassie extends 4 miles length, by 2 in breadth at its narrowest part and 4 at its broadest. It is watered by the Lochty and the Ore, tributary streams of the Leven. On the first of these stands the irregular village of Kinglassie, which is 2 miles from Leslie, and 3.5 north-east from Lochgelly. There are quarries of freestone, and the coal obtained in this parish is considered the best in the county. The inhabitants of the village are principally supported by weaving. The places of worship are an established and a free church. A fair is entitled to be held on the third Wednesday in May." from Slater's Directory, published 1852.


The parish includes Kinglassie and part of the new town of Glenrothes.


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.



There are 2 cemeteries in Kinglassie parish:

1. Kinglassie Churchyard, Church Lane, Kinglassie (grid ref. NT 228985, GPS: 56.170623 -3.248992):

  • The pre-1855 monumental inscriptions are listed in "Fifeshire Monumental Inscriptions (pre-1855) vol. 1 South east parishes" by John Fowler Mitchell & Sheila Mitchell, published by the Scottish Genealogy Society. ISBN 0901061948
  • Another listing has been published by the Fife Family History Society in their Publication 16, Monumental Inscriptions.
  • The current lair registers for Kinglassie Churchyard (dating from 1832) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services Central, Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HQ. Tel. 01592 260277. Fax 01592 203438.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.

2. Kinglassie Cemetery, West End, Kinglassie (grid ref. NT 225983, GPS: 56.173097 -3.245076):

  • The current lair registers for Kinglassie Cemetery (dating from 1861) are administered by Fife Council, Bereavement Services Central, Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HQ. Tel. 01592 260277. Fax 01592 203438.
  • A CD with photographs of the stones and transcriptions is available from Scottish Monumental Inscriptions or from The Parish Chest.


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

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 440

The 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:

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

Further information on the main Fife page.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh but not online, is MR110/1 - Completed occupier’s schedule for Chewton Cottage in the registration district of Kinglassie (RD 440, ED book 3) for the 1901 census.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Kinglassie, Church of Scotland

Church History

In addition to the parish church there was a Free Church.

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

  • Half the heads of families adhere to some or other of the Sectaries [dissenting congregations]
  • Few of them are inclined to have their names recorded in the parish register [of baptisms].

The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) gives this information:

  • Fully four-fifths of the people professedly belong to the Established Church. Of these about 350 are communicants.
  • The dissenting or seceding portion of the population are generally connected either with the United Secession church or with the religious denomination adhering to the Associate Synod of Original Seceders.
  • A very limited number are of the Relief and Baptist persuasions.

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:

  • Kinglassie Kirk Session:
Prior to the reformation the church of Kinglassie belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline and it was dedicated to St Glastian. The parish church dates back in part to the 15th cent however it was largely rebuilt in 1773. In 1979 Aucherderran was linked to Kinglassie. The kirk session sits within the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy and formerly the Synod of Fife.

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: 440

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

Kinglassie OPRBirths / baptismsProclamations / marriagesDeaths / burials / mortcloths
440/3 1629-17631630-1790
(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 till June 1647. Blank Dec. 1630 - July 1632.
B.  blank June 1731 - June 1734. Irregular entries 1796 - 1810 recorded in family groups on several leaves after 1796. Many blank spaces occur on the pages of this Record. Mothers' names seldom recorded till 1780.
M.  (Contracts) 1715 - 1731 recorded on alternate pp. with the B. Blank May 1731 - Nov. 1748, from which date ti July 1784, there are occasional entries of sums paid by persons when contracted for Marriage mixed with the entries of Mortcloth Dues for same period. A Record of M. commences Aug. 1780. After May 1782 (exc. Jan. 1787 - Feb. 1790, and 1797) it is one of Contracts only, till Jan. 1834. Defective 1788 - 1796 incl. Blank Jan. 1798 - Aug. 1820. There is, however, also a Record of Proclamations and Marriages from Feb. 1822. Separate Record of Contracts of M., etc., 1629 - 1647.
D.  Exc. a few entries among Contracts of M. from 1630, there is no Record prior to July 1671; then Mortcloth Dues till 1694. Blank July 1694 - Nov. 1709. Burials from last date till Jan. 1714. Blank again till Feb. 1721, after which Mortcloth Dues, intermixed with other matters.

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:

1040177Baptisms, 1627-1819, 1804-1818; Marriages, 1627- 1734, 1748-1813; Mortcloth dues (burial records), 1671-1694; Burials, 1709-1714, 1754; Session book (includes some Marriage proclamations and Mortcloth dues), 1629-1647, 1703, 1721-1774.
1040196 Item 1Baptisms, Marriages, 1820-1854; Burials, 1820-1855.
(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 National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (440/3). The Presbytrie Book of Kirkcaldie, the record of the proceedings of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, from 15 April 1630 - 14 September 1653, is available through the web archive.

Heritors' Records (HR256) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • CH2/406
    Kinglassie Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1648-1953; Collections and disbursements, 1710-1720; Cash books, 1763-1873; Account books, 1758-1792 and 1831-1883; Burial ground book, 1831; Burials, 1855-1869; Communion roll, 1848-1908; School Attendance books, 1847-1859; Proclamation register, 1891-1954.

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

  • Kinglassie Kirk Session
    Minutes, 1627-1646; accounts, 1720-1724.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/256
    Kinglassie parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1773-1927.

Other Churches:

The location of records of Kinglassie Free Church is not known.

The Kinglassie 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.


Description & Travel

Kinglassie town centreOrdnance Survey Grid ReferenceGPSPost codeLat. 56°10'25"N
NT 22998656.173787
KY5 0XALon. 3°14'33"W

Surrounding parishes: Leslie, Markinch, Dysart, Auchterderran, Portmoak (Kinross-shire).

You can see pictures of Kinglassie which are provided by:



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.



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.
  • 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

Before May 1891, the boundary between Fife and Kinross had been the River Leven. However, a new river channel was cut between 1826 and 1836. On 15th May 1891, the new river channel became the county boundary. The following subjects, north of the new channel, were transferred from the parish of Kinglassie and the county of Fife to the parish of Portmoak and the county of Kinross: part of Auchmuir farm (which became part of Bowhouse farm). In return, parts of Bowhouse and Kinneston farms in Portmoak, south of the new cut, were transferred to Kinglassie (and became parts of Craigend and Auchmuir farms).

On the same date, Easter Balbeadie, Craigend and part of Wester Balbeadie were transferred from Ballingry parish to Kinglassie parish. Also, a detached part of the parish of Portmoak (consisting of The Ryelaw) was transferred from Portmoak and the county of Kinross to Kinglassie and the county of Fife.

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

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



Notices from the Local Records of Dysart, a compilation from various sources covering both parish and burgh matters from 1534 to 1697, published in 1853, is available online at the Internet Archive. It includes references to matters in this parish.


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:

  • On-line maps:
  • Paper maps:
    • Ordnance Survey Landranger (scale 1:50000 -  about 1 inch to 1 mile) sheets 58 - Perth & Alloa, 59 - St Andrews
    • Ordnance Survey Explorer (larger scale 1:25000 -  about 2 and a half inches to 1 mile) sheet 367 - Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes south

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT242984 (Lat/Lon: 56.172101, -3.222875), Kinglassie which are provided by:



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.

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 re-published it in their Publications Series, 28.



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.


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.



19011478 * 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 Kinglassie may be found in either 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 Kirkcaldy (SC23) Sheriff Court.

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/6/37
    Kinglassie Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1879-1930.


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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Kinglassie School Board
    Minutes, 1873-1919.
  • Cluny Combination
  • Auchterderran and part Kinglassie parish)
    Minutes, 1886-1901.

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.