Fife FHS Discussion Board

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marjorie smith - Sunday, 28 September 2014 16:48

hi, I am trying to find out if Edwin tivendale wood was born I the fife area and if he had 4 children - joan m tivendale wood, Kenneth tivendale wood, Arthur tivendale wood and Kathleen tivendale wood whose BD we can not find


marjorie smith

Frances Ward - Saturday, 27 September 2014 19:45

Hello. I'm trying to find out where my great grandmother worked during the 1880s. All I know is that it was somewhere in Fife! She worked in a large family home as a house servant. This part of her history is very important for reasons I can't disclose. 

Would records of employment or census records help? if so how do i access these? I've never done anything like this before. I can't be more exact as I really have no other details - my mother's family didn't speak of my great grandmother much at all.


I'd be very grateful for any help. Thank you.

Frances Bla - Monday, 29 September 2014 12:09

What was your Great Grandmother's name. If you would rather email me direct with your information please do so.


Lynn Armstrong - Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:51


Hope someone can help!

Can anyone give me any information regarding the Dysart Combination Poorhouse. I have found a relative who was living there in 1901. I would like to find out the history of the poorhouse and where could I view the census records from 1891 onwards.

Marie - Monday, 29 September 2014 21:20

Both FindmyPast and ScotlandsPeople websites have pay-to-view census records, so if you already have a name and location you should have little difficulty in finding them in 1891.

Fife Archive Centre may also have some information –

They already hold “Index to Dysart Combination Poorhouse - List of people sent to the Poorhouse by the Parish Councils of Dysart 1878-83 and Markinch 1868-83” Compiled by A A Thomson from the Parochial Board minute books.

Also earlier than your specific query, but good for general historical background, have a look at Peter Higginbotham’s excellent website, which includes an 1881 census  –


Good luck!


John Douglas - Tuesday, 23 September 2014 17:30

Hi, can anyone help? I've gone back in a proven line to 1779 where John Douglas and Ann Crighton produced a son, John Douglas on 28th Jan. We Douglas's seen to have settled in Dairsie as my Great Grandfather James Struthers D and Grandfather James Robert D (one of 15) were born there. Prior to 1779, except for Ann Crighton b.1741 in Leith North, I cannot trace the next Douglas. Any pointers etc will be much appreciated.

hilary sadler - Tuesday, 23 September 2014 09:38

My grandfather William Beveridge Melville was a Dysart Melville and I would appreciate any contact or information which would help me trace my family history

Frances Black - Thursday, 23 October 2014 13:04

Hi Hilary

I have been contacted by someone who has the following in her tree. If it is also in your family she would like to get in touch with you. Her name is Margaret Strachan and I have her email address which I could pass on.                                            The person in question in her family is "William Beveridge Melville born 1863 to RObert Melville (a tailor) and Janet, MS Cairns.


Secretary Fife FHS

Sandra Gatt - Monday, 22 September 2014 07:12

Hello I wonder if you can help me. I have been trying to locate a place where my ancestor lived in the 1860s. It was called Kilconquhar Mill. I know there is a village called Kilconquhar and just outside there is a farmhouse called Kilconquhar mill. do you think this could be the same place. I found on your website the 1861 parochial records and there is a Reid & co animal Grease & manufacturers listed at Kilconquhar mills and my ancestor called Stephenson Reid does list himself as a Grease and manure (chemical) manufacturer in many records whilst putting Kilconquhar Mill as his residents. Any information would be fantastic if you can help. Thank you Sandra Gatt

Aileen MORTIMER - Friday, 19 September 2014 16:11

My grandfather, Andrew Dunsire, was killed in World War 1 and, although his name appears in the National War Memorial of Scotland at Edinburgh Castle and on the Menin gate at Ypres, it is not on a local war memorial. When he enlisted in 1915 he lived in Kirkland and that address is given in the entries in Edinburgh and Ypres.  I would have thought, therefore, that his name should have been on the Buckhaven and Methil memorial.  

Can anyone throw some light on this or do I assume there has been an oversight?  If so, is it possible at this centenary time to have the omission redressed?  Any help would be appreciated.

Aileen Mortimer

Alison - Sunday, 21 September 2014 15:21

Hi Aileen

Might be worth contacting Fife for advice.



Liat Harrower - Sunday, 14 September 2014 06:48

Robert WATSON (1790-1849)

I live in Australia and have hit a bit of a brick wall in searching for further info about my Fife ancestors.

According to census info, ROBERT WATSON was born c1790 in Abbotshall, married MARGARET GRUB in Jan 1819. They had 3 children I can find - Isabella (1819-1889), William (from census info born around 1830, unknown death date or whether married), and James (1831-1890).  The 1841 census has the family's address as "Links", with Robert listed as a Hand Loom Weaver. Margaret (wife) and children Isabella, William and James are listed. It appears Robert died in 1849, with the OPR listing reading "ROBERT WATSON, in the centre of his property, 4 feet deep, age 60 years".  (I would like to find out if I can the actual address of this property, but haven't had any luck so far).

The 1851 census has Margaret (listed as Head and occupation Yarn Winder) living in High Street, Linktown with son William (labourer) and 2 lodgers (Mary Greig, 19 and George Fraser, 31).  Isabella may have married a GEORGE WRIGHT in 1844, and if so I have her death certificate listing her as his widow and dying on 12 Apr 1889 at the Markinch poorhouse of bronchitis.  (I would like to confirm this is her, and whether they had any children).  JAMES WATSON doesn't appear to be living with them, but I think I have him in Scoonie, listed as a servant living with CATHERINE ANDERSON.  He emigrated to Australia for the Gold Rush in 1852.

Any info I can get about the unconfirmed parts of the above would be greatly appreciated.  In particular I'd like to know who ROBERT WATSON'S parents were, What happened to WILLIAM WATSON, and whether I have the right Isabella (ie; marrying GEORGE WRIGHT).

With many thanks in advance,


Douglas STEEDMAN - Saturday, 20 September 2014 10:10

Hi Liat.

I'm Doug Steedman member FFHS. Use Family Search. Org and Scotland's People, That's where you will find the answers.

Douglas STEEDMAN - Saturday, 20 September 2014 10:15

Hi Liat,

Sorry for the brevity but for some reason I cannot get a bigger message posted


John Irwin - Sunday, 28 September 2014 11:11

hi Liat, 


When the OPR states that ROBERT WATSON, in the centre of his property, 4 feet deep, age 60 years".

I believe it is referring to his actual grave and not his home. Victorians bought plots of land in the graveyard and you see it on many headstones of the time, referring them to as 'the property of .....' actually on the stone. 


So your Robert is buried 4 feet deep in his grave. This was useful for further burials on the same plot of land, for his wife, children etc. If you can locate a graveyard plan - then with the plot number you would be able to locate it.

Sharp Family - Friday, 12 September 2014 10:52

Andrew Sharp (abt1819-1906) - I am trying to identify any siblings and birth details of Andrew and his parents. Andrew lived in West Wemyss, Fife all his life & signed weaver apprenticeship forms in 1832 age 12 years. There is an 1841 census record of Andrew Sharp coal miner age 20 in West Wemyss with no parents. He married in 1842 to Cecilis Scott. I have not traced his birth cert  but his death cert 1906 states his parents were Andrew Sharp (soldier) & Catherine Gray (she signed his weaver forms in 1832). I have no hard details of the parents births details.

Can anyone shed light on these individuals? I have extensive details on the Sharp family of Wemyss & Clackmannan for anyone studying the Sharp family


Robert Sharp

Judi ALEXANDER - Thursday, 11 September 2014 01:18

Here are my FFHS Members Interests - if anyone has any information on the following families I would appreciate your contact.  I posted a message on this Discussion Board about Thomas Lindsay on 22 August 2014.  Thanks, Judi











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Judi ALEXANDER - Thursday, 11 September 2014 01:24

My message regarding Thomas LINDSAY was actually posted on 19 March 2014 :)

Harry D. Watson - Thursday, 11 September 2014 17:52

Hello Judi. Most of the names on your list are familiar to me. Have we corresponded before? I have corresponded with so many people about East Fife genealogy that I am starting to forget some of them.

The Peats of Pittenweem were farmers, and I have quite a lot on them. There were Spences in Pittenweem who were fishermen, likewise Parkers. I am descended myself from the Pittenweem Horsburghs, whose line can be traced back to Elie. I have a lot of information about Jacks in Cellardyke, my home town, about which I have written a book.

If you wish you can email me direct at and I will try to answer your queries as best I can.


Lynn Armstrong - Wednesday, 10 September 2014 17:56

I am trying to find more information on a William Gunn born in Gourdon, in Kircairdine area, I have found him living in at 10 Orchard Lane, Dysart Burgh on the 1901 census, but unfortunately I cannot find him after that. I understand that he was a Coliery Labourer but have no idea which Colliery. I was hoping that someone may have some information to assist with my family search.

Christine Thomson - Tuesday, 09 September 2014 12:23

I am looking for information on Ann Philp born abt 1804 in Kirkcaldy. Her husband was David Page. He was a post runner/letter carrier around 1840's. Is there any information available about the occupation of post runner/ letter carrier around that time period

Vic Hart - Monday, 08 September 2014 16:13

Morgan Family 

My relatives lived along the Firth of Fourth, principally around Wemmys and Dysart from 1600's up to around 1870.They worked as Weavers, Ships Carpenters, Blacksmiths and Labourers. Although the name is quite common in the UK, during the period above, the name was relatively rare in Fife. I have found my ancestors without too many problems, as a result of that.

I would like to hear from any other Morgan descendants.

Cindy Fife - Sunday, 07 September 2014 19:06

Hello, my name is Cindy Fife, married to Chris A. Fife, descendent of John K.Fife, born May 28, 1780, 8 days before landing in America. My son has spent the last 10 days exploring Scotland and the Fife Coastal Path. His trip inspired me to look for additional information on the Fife heritage and I found your website. Anyone have any additional information on this line of Fife's prior to John? Also, I hear my boys would have been entitled to an education at St.Andrews University due to the I heritage, is that true and if so, are there options for remote attendance?

Alison Brand - Saturday, 06 September 2014 10:06

Hello thought it was time I popped in and introduced myself. I am a new member to Fife Family History Society. My name is Alison and Iam married to Chris Brand we live in Fife and my husbands family on both sides are well and truly entrenched in Fife I've done some research over the last few years on my husbands family history and hope by joining the society that I can start to flesh this out a bit and maybe even overcome a few brick walls. Look forward to getting to know you all. Off now to nosey round the site 


Frances Black - Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:20

Hi Alison and welcome. 

As you live in Fife, hopefully we will see you at some of our talks, the first one is on Tuesday 9th Sept. Details on our website. Fife Family History Fair is being held in Glenrothes on 20th September.Good luck with your research.

Frances - Fife FHS Secretary

Colin THOMSON - Sunday, 07 September 2014 21:57

Hi Alison,

Is there a Brand/Melville marriage in your husband's tree?


Alison Brand - Monday, 08 September 2014 17:35

Thank you for the welcome Frances sadly husband has a business meeting on Tuesaday but I hope to make it to the Family history Fair.

Hi Colin, sorry I've not come across a Brand Melville marriage as yet as I've not fleshed out all the siblings families. the direct descendant marriages I've got so far are to Syme, Angus, Gourlay and Allison my husbands Brands seem to come from Ceres originally but this branch is one of my brick walls. 


Tina Thornhill - Wednesday, 03 September 2014 19:07

I've managed to establish that my great-great-great-great grandmother Isabel Scotland, nee Cupar (variant spellings Isabell, Coupar, Couper) was buried at Miltown (now Milton) of Balgonie on 4 April 1816.  I haven't found a birth record for her yet but she was married in Carriden, West Lothian, in 1758 and all the children I know of were born there, so presumably she had a Fife connection (especially with the name being Cupar) and perhaps went to family in Fife after her husband James Scotland died (in the Forest of Clackmannan, if I've got the right person), when she would have been around 80 if she was about the same age as him.

If this rings any bells with anyone I'd be delighted to hear from you.  It's mainly the Scotland side I'm interested in at the moment, but there are plenty of those in Fife as well though I haven't found any connections yet.

Many thanks.

Susan F - Friday, 29 August 2014 10:42

Tracing Forrester family of Kinghorn, Fife. is anyone else working on this? I have more info & more questions.

Robert Aitchison Forrester (1893-1954) my grandfather

Robert W Forrester(1865-1946)

William Forrester(1837-?)

Robert Forrester

Michael DISTON - Saturday, 27 September 2014 19:10

I have an Elizabeth Forrester born Wemyss in 1803 and her father and mother. But not much more.

Michael Smith - Monday, 25 August 2014 11:38

I wonder if someone can advise me as to how I might check my great-grandfather’s birth in Kirkcaldy, and what family he might have had there? His name - John Boulton Gordon, born around 1860.  


I have been unable to find him in on-line birth or census records.  Nothing comes up that corresponds to his name, the name and occupation of his father (Samuel Gordon, "jobbing smith"), and his birth year of 1857-1861, so I’d welcome any advice that might be helpful. 

Deborah - Sunday, 24 August 2014 22:37

Hi All,

I am searching for the McVie Family living in Kirkcaldy and environs in the early 1800's.  They were master shoemakers, boat carpenters and also a number of general workers.  Some migrated to Australia in late 1800s and started our new family here.  

Also Campbell's from Burnt Island - also amazingly master shoe makers, who migrated to Australia but did not actually meet in marriage until many years later in Australia (yet they were so close geographically in their origins)


My email is

Frances black - Sunday, 07 September 2014 10:02
  1. There is an Andrew McVie died on 7 Dec 1852 son of A McVie (boot/shoemaker) in Kirkcaldy. This is in The Fife Death Index produced by the Society

Frances Black

Fife FHS secretary


S Law - Saturday, 23 August 2014 16:01


I have some general questions and wonder if you can help -

1. Is it possible to trace the 'coal mines' or coal companies ancestors worked in/for in Fife, Hill of Beath and Kirkcaldy, in the late 1800's and early 1900's?

2. Are there any records to search for 'deserters' from WW1 (ancestor lived in Fife Kirkcaldy)

3. What are the names of 'local newspapers' in Fife, Kirkcaldy in late 1800's and early 1900's? and can these be searched

with thanks

George Clark - Thursday, 04 September 2014 13:38

I have done some research into relatives that were miners. 2 useful websites are:


On the following site, on Page 1 there is a Heading "Veterans Employees"


The List is split into 2 sections, Surnames A - L, and L - Z


It gives the Names, Addresses of employees who served 50 years with the Fife Coal Company.



Both sites have a lot of other sections that cover a lot of Scotland's mining history.


Good hunting.


George Clark

George Clark - Thursday, 04 September 2014 13:45

The List is split into 2 sections, Surnames A - L, and L - Z


It gives the Names, Addresses of employees who served 50 years with the Fife Coal Company.



Both sites have a lot of other sections that cover a lot of Scotland's mining history.


Good hunting.


George Clark

Hugh Hoffman - Sunday, 21 September 2014 16:12

Try this website  -  very good, lots of details on pits, disasters, coal companies, etc.

Hugh Hoffman - Sunday, 21 September 2014 16:18

Re deserters, the book Blindfold and Alone, by Cathryn Corns and John Hughes-Wilson is about military executions in WW1.  It includes a long list of servicemen executed for desertion etc.   ISBN  0-304-36449-5

charlespfeil - Wednesday, 20 August 2014 19:00

Looking for information on John Brown 1840-1905 who worked in the J Brown Ship yards on the Clyde

He married Margaret Boswell 1830 -1908 IN 1854 IN THE ANDERSTON DISTRICT IN Glasgow, they HAD 7 CHILDREN

Social Media Coordinator - Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:44

Hi, Can you tell me what connection they have to Fife please?



Eileen May - Wednesday, 20 August 2014 05:24

MAY ancestors go back to the May/Primrose family in Culross in 1600's, also Limekilns,  Dunfermline. McLean, Paterson and Fenton in Dunblane, Battergask. Great-grandfather buried in  Culross Abbey.I have entered several online

1)Are there records of the old West End Cemetery?

2)Is the Upper Cemetery on the main road called Upper Culross?  i found a few Mays there too.

Social Media Coordinator - Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:46

Try They have a very comprehensive list of Fife Monumental Inscriptions.

Ken Elder - Monday, 18 August 2014 15:32


As indicated I am Ken Elder, I was hoping to meet some of you at the "Who do you think you are live" show in Glasgow, unfortunately I could only attend on the Sunday which is now cancelled.

I am researching my family name, I know they were in Newcastle on Tyne in the 1730's and I know through DNA analysis that there were matching Elders in the Fife area at the same time. In addition a Samuel Elder born in Antrim 1695, who also has matching DNA, went to Maine in the USA in 1732.

I would be interested in any information regarding the family either direct or sources of information


Harry D. Watson - Monday, 18 August 2014 19:05

Some Elders from Kirkcaldy made their mark in Australia, one of them being famous for introducing the camel as a beast of burden.

There were also unrelated Elders in the East Neuk of Fife, especially Pittenweem.


Carol Swanson - Sunday, 17 August 2014 17:20


I will be in Dunfermline on September 14, 2014 for a week.  I have started to research my family history in Dunfermline.  My great grandmother was Annie Donald, DOB 4 December 1851 to John Donald, Jr and Janet or Jessie Miller and my great grandfather William Hunter, DOB 11 July 1853 or 1854. Annie and William were married 23 December 1873.

I'd like to exchange messages.  And, meet with a member of the Fife Historical Society when I'm in Dunfermline.

Kind regards,


Diana Campbell - Sunday, 17 August 2014 15:11


Was wondering if there is a compiled history of Craigflower Estate in Torryburn that I can access or read about in future journal articles? I have an obscure reference to my ancestor John Campbell b: 1655 married to Bessie Paton in about 1675 living at Craigflower Estate.  Would the estate have its own miners residing there? Most of my Campbell's were coal & iron miners. The info is limited on the internet.

Also, I recently found on my paternal side of the family, a James and Cecilia Sidey in 1861-1871 in Dunfermline.  A shoe shop on Chalmers St. Would there be a trade listing during that time frame? Or any historic photos of the possible shop? They eventually went back to England.  It was the first time my "Gresham" side of the family shows up in Fife!




Alison - Monday, 18 August 2014 07:09

Hi, if you search the online catalogue for Craigflower there are several archived documents held including ledgers from the colliery.

Hope this is of some use.