Description of the parish in 1857

"Moonzie is bounded on the north by Kilmany and Creich; on the south by Monimail; on the east by Cupar and Kilmany; and on the west by Creich. Length from north to south is 2 miles by 1.5 in breadth. Area 1375 acres; the whole is arable with the exception of 1.5 acres under wood and 30 acres of moss-land. The surface is finely diversified by various round-shaped hills of no great eminence, presenting in other places, particularly where it marches with Kilmany, level flats of considerable extent. Besides smaller streams, it is watered by Moonzie Burn, that rises from Lordscairnie Myre, runs east through several parishes, and falls into the Eden, near the Inner Bridge. Till within the last 60 years there was a lake or myre in the farm of Lordscairnie but by an expensive drainage it has been converted into arable ground. This parish is the most remarkable in the county for its deficiency of trees, and, till lately, the total absence of hedges. The soil is generally a strong black loam, or a light dry loam, resting on rotten whinstone. The rent of the land may be averaged at £2-10s per acre. If this parish be not picturesque, it is one of the best agricultural ones in the county; the Fifeshire black horned cattle is preferred; much attention is bestowed on rearing good horses; there are 4 thrashing mills. Coal has to be brought from Balbirnie or Dysart; or English coal from Newburgh or Balmerino. Whinstone is found, but neither freestone nor limestone. Parish church and parish school. There has been no public house in the parish for many years. There is neither village nor hamlet in the parish; though several small collections of houses form the residences of the agricultural labourers belonging to the different farms. The parish church situated on rising ground in the south west of the parish is 3 miles distant from Cupar, which is the nearest market town and post town." 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



Moonzie Churchyard (grid ref. NO 338176; GPS: 56.346202 -3.071331):

  • 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.
  • 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 1946) 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: 449

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:

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

Further information on the main Fife page.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Moonzie, 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 1843) gives this information:

  • 41 families attend the Established Church; 2 families are Dissenters.
  • There are 8 Dissenters who go to different churches in Cupar.

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists only the parish church.

Information and pictures of the churches at the Scottish Churches website. Details of church history:

  • Moonzie Kirk Session
The church of Moonzie or Auchtermoonsie was dedicated by Bishop David de Bernham to the Holy Trinity on 5 April 1245. It belonged to the ministry of the Red Friars at Scotlandwell. From 1564-1625 the parishes of Cupar-Fife and Auchtermoonsie were united. Ministry is recorded until 1929, after which the charge was served by a lay missionary under the supervision of Creich until 1939 when a modified ministry was granted. Moonzie was linked with Creich from April 1947 but the congregation was dissolved on 5 December 1971 rather than be linked with Creich, Flisk and Kilmany. The Kirk Session sat within the Presbytery of Cupar.

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: 449

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

Moonzie 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.  No entry Sept. 1782 - June 1784. Duplicate of Record 1799 - 1820.
M.  No entries for 1770, 1774, 1782, or 1785. Blank Oct. 1794 - Nov. 1799. No entries for 1801, 1813, or 1818. The fact of Marriage is frequently omitted after 1770.

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:

1040338 Items 4 - 5Baptisms, 1713-1854; Marriages, 1741-1855; Burials, 1821-1854.
(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.

All 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 (HR775) 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:

  • CH2/1574
    Moonzie Kirk Session
    Kirk Session Minutes, 1693-1972; Financial Records, 1755-1972, including Lists of collections and distributions, etc., 1755-1972, Account Books etc., 1930-1972, Other financial records, 1744-1972; Communion Rolls, 1886-1972; Register of Testificates, 1742-1769; Baptismal Registers, 1713-1971, including Certified copy of register of births and baptisms, 1713-1854, [not contemporary], followed by register of baptisms, 1858-1971; Records of baptisms (loose), 1957-1970; Marriage Proclamation Registers, 1930-1970, including Proclamations of banns, (loose), 1930-1970; Marriage Registers, 1741-1971; Certified copy of register of proclamations and marriages, 1741-1855, [not contemporary], followed by Register of Marriages, 1856-1971; Organisation Records - school & Sunday school,1757-1945, including Moonzie Parish Trust, 1896-1910; Report of the Committee of the Examination of Schools on Moonzie School, with a modern transcript, 1825; Miscellaneous, including horning, inhibition & decreet against David Hedderwick, 1744; sasine in favour of William Geddie and Henry Geddie, 1745; Property registers, 1956-1971; Papers relating to the churchyard, 1937-1946; Moonzie kirk session: General correspondence, 1804-1972.

At the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh:

  • HR/775
    Moonzie parish heritors' records
    Minutes, 1847-1927; Accounts, 1876-1929; Receipt, 1928.

The Moonzie 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

Moonzie churchOrdnance Survey Grid ReferenceGPSPost codeLat. 56°20'48"N
NO 33817656.346100
KY15 4NLLon. 3°4'7"W

Surrounding parishes: Creich, Cupar, Kilmany, Monimail.

You can see pictures of Moonzie which are provided by:



Westwood's ParochialDirectory 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

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Moonzie 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 NO347180 (Lat/Lon: 56.350096, -3.058128), Moonzie which are provided by:



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 recently re-published it in their Publications Series, 28.


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.




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 Moonzie 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/6/46
    Moonzie Parochial Board / Parish Council
    Minute books, 1902-1930.


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

At the Fife Council Archive Centre, Kirkcaldy:

  • Moonzie Public School
    Admission registers, 1871 onwards; Log books, 1873 -1972; 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.