Fife FHS Discussion Board

Post a message by clicking on the 'Leave Message' button, or reply to a message by clicking on the icon on the top right of the message box.

Colleen Brown - Tuesday, 24 June 2014 04:31

H    I have hit a brick wall with my COULTER family of Dunfermline.   I would love to find the mother of my GGgrandmother..........

CATHERINE COULTER was born c1835/36 (presumably dunfermline?)

Father....DAVID COULTER......Mother....CATHERINE

I have researched census records etc.  1841 census Catherine was living with grand parents while David was at war.(so presume mother has died) .......he later married  Ann Anderson in 1852

On his death record  it states 1st wife as Catherine McGoad (can't find record)  BUT on Catherine's (b.1835/36) marriage cert here in Australia it looks like it gives her mother as

CATHERINE McBEAN or McCLEAN but very hard to read (doesn't look like McGOAD


DAVID COULTER was b.19.2.1809 DUNFIRMLINE...his parents were THOMAS COULTER and CATHERINE LUTTIT/LOUTIT   GRRR so many Catherines

hope you are not as confused as me  and can help me break down this wall

thanks Colleen


Shirley Bulley - Friday, 20 June 2014 04:20

I am a family researcher living in South Australia.   I have already made enquiries about membership of the Fife FHS, but in the meantime I would be interested in hearing from any people connected with or descended from Andrew and Helen Neilson (nee Henderson) who were married 0n 15th June 1799.   I am researching the name on behalf of my brother-in-law, who is descended from William Neilson, born 1st April 1811 in Fife, and who married Janet (Jessie) McFarlane.   Any help would be much appreciated.

David Hughes - Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:14


I will be visiting the East Neuk of Fife with my daughter, Mary Hughes, mid July, travelling from AustraliA 

If you recognize any of the details below, please reply. With a view to meeting wider family.

My grandfather, Joseph Butters Hughes was born in Pittenweem in 1874 and my grandmother, Isabella Murray Watson was born in Cellardyke in 1875. They married in Cellardyke in 1899.

My grandfather was a fisherman from his teens and then became a wholesale fishmonger around the time of his marriage when he moved to Edinburgh where my father (also named Joseph Butters Hughes and the 5th of 7 siblings) was born in 1908. My grandfather also had fishmongering businesses in Leven and Aberdeen. The family migrated to Australia in 1929. 

Great grandparents were:

James Heugh b.1847 Pittenweem: d.1881 (married 1869) Mary Butters b.1848 Pittenweem: d.1925 Pittenweem (Mary and children are listed as Hughes) 

David Watson b.1850 Cellardyke (m.1871) Euphemia Murray b.1854 Kilrenny

Great Great grandparents were: 

James Heugh b.1817 Pittenweem (m. 1839) Elizabeth Thompson b1814 St Monance 

Joseph Butters b 1815 Pittenweem (m. 1840) Jessie Bowman b.1819 Pittenweem 

David Watson b.1813 Kilrenny (m.1841) Margaret Charles b.1815 Burntisland

Robert Murray b.1819 Kilrenny (m.1847) Isabella Watson b.1819 Kilrenny 

All the above males are listed as fishermen. 

Thank you, David Hughes  

Alison - Sunday, 08 June 2014 08:46

Hi David,

i have done some research on Hughes in Pittenweem. There is a connection and I know of living decendants. Can you please email me so that I may be able to help you. Alison,Fife Family History Society

Harry D. Watson - Monday, 09 June 2014 18:33

Hello David. Have you seen my book "Kilrenny and Cellardyke: 800 Years of History", published in 1986 by John Donald (now part of Birlinn)? In it I mention the disaster of 1890 when the fishing-boat "Garland" with its Cellardyke crew, including your David Watson, was lost with all hands. David Watson had previously sailed on the China tea-clippers, some of which were owned by his fellow native of Cellardyke Captain Alexander Rodger of Glasgow.

I have a photocopy of a photograph of David Watson and Euphemia Murray.

Butters, Bowman and Hughes (pronounced Heugh) have been common names in Pittenweem up to modern times. 

Harry D. Watson

Thomson Aikman - Tuesday, 10 June 2014 04:35

Hi David

Harry's book mentions David Watson's having fallen from the mizzen of the tea clipper Taeping.

If you don't already have the information, the Taeping was the winner of the dramatic China tea race of 1866 (and was owned wholly or substantially by Alexander Rodger). Based on searches done on my behalf, there was no one from the East Neuk on the Taeping during that race. However, a David Watson, aged 19, of Fifeshire was on board the Taeping for the 1870 race. The Board of Trade records relating to the Taeping (official number 47842) are in the National Archives in London, reference BT100/23, arranged by year of return to England. The 1870 records would include crew lists and the official log (not the full one with sailing details, etc., but it may well include mention of David's dramatic descent).

Again, if you haven't already dug into the tea races, a pretty full report of the 1866 race is in The China Clippers by Basil Lubbock, which can be downloaded from the internet, as can some good paintings of the Taeping.



David Hughes - Sunday, 15 June 2014 12:56


Thankyou Harry and Thomson


I wasn't aware of David Watson's sailing with the Taeping. I have downloaded Lubbock's book and read the fascinating account of the race with Ariel.


Harry, my cousin Peter Hughes here in Melbourne has a copy of your 800 years of History but I won't be able to view it before we travel. I would appreciate if you could email a copy of the photograph to me at . We will be lodging in Pittenweem over July 12th-19th as a base for the East Neuk and to visit Edinburgh where my father was born. Also I have a g.g.grandfather who was pastor at Charlotte Chapel in the 1850s. - Monday, 02 June 2014 01:50

Can anyone help me with the shipping from Leith in 1846. I am looking for a ship called FAMA . Passage for a James Bell was paid for by Hamilton/Riddle Property owners when they contracted him as a sheppard

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou

Sue Barton - Sunday, 01 June 2014 07:55

Hello, I was wondering if anyone can help me, my ggg grandfather Alexander Fouls (Fowles) was born about 1803 ,Cupar Fife,  He joined the Scots Fusiliers  Foot Guards in Nov 1822 at the age of 19. He served in Portugal and was in England where he married and had his family. Returning to Cannongate poor house where he died in 1864.  His occupation was shoemaker. We believed his parents to be William and Christian (Aikman) Fouls. However during our research we discovered that they had another child (birth and christening dates are different) called Alexander Fouls born 1808. We cannot find a death for the first Alexander. Does anyone have any sugestions how we prove that they either had to sons with the same name or the first one died and our Alexander belongs to another family. Are there apprentice records available.. My cousin is writing a book on the Fouls/fowler branch of our tree and we would like to go back as far as possible. We are in Victoria Australia.

Susan Schipper - Friday, 30 May 2014 21:02

I'm looking for info on Duncan Davidson born 1801 in Kingston (census says Kingston, Ireland) but wondered about Kingston, Scotland.  Would like to find where he is buried.  Think it might be Dunfermline or Dysart about 1870.  5 of his children: Danial, Duncan, Jean, John and Ann died in Gallatown in the 1840's and I would like to see where they might  be buried.

I am visiting Dysart/Dunfermline June 17 and 18 so hope I hear back before then



Fran - Tuesday, 27 May 2014 21:19

looking for any info on my grans side - She was a mcleod born in lumphinanns,her fathers mother was grace drysdale downie. 
My grans mum was lizzie hepburn whose sister was kate hepburn who married a james menzies philps i believe. My aunt keeps telling me she had a very large family of all girls. If anyone recognises any names please get in touch 
Thanks in advance


fran - Saturday, 07 June 2014 18:20

Forgot to leave an email just incase

Tom Cunningham - Tuesday, 27 May 2014 13:22

Is anyone interested in John Ritchie who was at (business address most likely) 15, Roslyn Street, Kirkcaldy, in 1904?

He rented a field to Buffalo Bill Cody when the Wild West came to Kirkcaldy on 17th August 1904. E-mail me and I'll pass on the details.  

Tom Cunningham - Tuesday, 27 May 2014 13:51

PS -

e-mail address is

Lisa Gregory - Monday, 26 May 2014 21:45

I am looking for any informationi on Colin Archibald Carswell . Born

1946 . I have current information that he may of died last year . I would still like any information of him or any of his family ..thankyou

Carol Bickel - Sunday, 25 May 2014 12:17

Hoping to make a contact with anyone researching William and Mary (Laing) Rutherford. They were married in Mordinton but lived in Largo, Fife.  Their children were Elspit b. 1817, John b. 1820, Andrew b.1822, William b 1823, Nancy, James b. 1830, Helen b. 1833 and George.  I am a descendant of Andrew who married in 1854 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1854. Thank you Carol Bickel 

DON CATHRO - Sunday, 18 May 2014 18:59

I am posting on behalf of Cathros in New Zealand who are trying to find out more of their family links with Fife . Alexander Cathro married Isabella Nicoll at Kilrenny in 1851 and emigrated to NZ in 1855. I believe Alexander was a  son of a George Cathro and Margaret Brown of Easter Anstruther. Any info that I can pass on or person who can assist would be greatly appreciated.   Don

Harry D. Watson - Tuesday, 10 June 2014 18:49

Hello Don. I believe your Alexander Cathro is the 10-year-old boy of that name who in the 1841 census of Kilrenny parish is living in the last house to be enumerated. He is living with John Brown, cabinetmaker, and his wife Catherine. I think this is the future Bailie John Brown, cabinetmaker, who lived at Cunzie House on the Crail road in Anstruther (but it may have been in Kilrenny parish) and his wife was Catherine Deas. Their claim to fame is that the young Robert Louis Stevenson lodged with them when his father's engineering firm were doing some work on Anstruther harbour. 

Alexander Cathro was also a cabinetmaker and he and his wife Isabella Nicol (daughter of James Nicol and Agnes Wilson) called their 1st son John Brown Cathro and their 2nd son James Cathro. 

As to Alexander Cathro's parents, the 1841 census claims that he was not born in Fife. His surname was quite common in the county of Angus (formerly Forfarshire).



Margaret CASELEY - Thursday, 15 May 2014 19:26

On Ancestry an address in the 1871 Census for George S Carlow is Mason of Luea House Parish, Markinch. Any ideas what that might be?

Grangemouth where he was born was spelt Granze Muth, so anything goes.

David Houston - Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:48

Hi Jo,

I can help you as I descend from Helen Hume via her 2nd marriage to James Houston


Please email and I will share what I know about the family



Sharon Lorenzelli - Thursday, 08 May 2014 10:50

I'm trying to find my great, great,great grandfather and his family. The information I have is his name is James Knox, born abt 1821, Fifeshire, Scotland. His father is listed on his marriage certificate as William Knox occupation Cooper. James was a Mariner - noted also as Boatswain's Mate. A family name that comes up often is Agnes - this could be a clue to his mother's name. He married in 1855 when I found him as marrying Hannah Suffield from Stepney and they lived in Limestone and later he worked in the dockyards. I would love to be able to trace my Scottish ancestry and would value any input. There is a James Knox born Burntisland but his father was a Baker and I have been told that if you had a trade you stayed in that line of work - so therefore I have ruled out this lead. Thankyou for the opportunity to post this message.

Jane Marshall - Wednesday, 07 May 2014 19:22

I have recently visited Falkland, Fife in the hope of gathering information about my ancestors.  The WHITES, they lived at Rotten Row, Balmblae and were weavers.  I have found some information from Scotland People and found a grave stone for William White and some of this family.  William White was my grandfathers brother.  Many people of Falkland were very helpful in my search.  Has  anyone got any more info or are you a White who had ancestors in Falkland. 

robert mackinnon - Tuesday, 06 May 2014 01:58

please help me find a part of my past. Kirkcaldy, names david james mackinnon married bridget casey of Kirkcaldy abt.1872 had a son angus lloyd mackinnon born march 9 1892 they all came to canada and angus lloyd mackinnon married mary elizabeth turner her family is from bradford yorkshire England. but its my scottish roots im most interested in. would like any leads to either families thank you people of Kirkcaldy. in your debt robert mac kinnon.

robert mackinnon - Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:28

have since learned both david mckinnon 1857 & bridget casey/mckinnon 1858 ireland are buried in the mckinnon family lot in bennochy cemetery. they had many children that grew ip in and around Kirkcaldy and Paisley David was the 1st labour councillor in Kirkcaldy im told. it would be nice to hear some of the details of their lives & passing. thanks again Robert. ps my grandfather is angus lloyd mckinnon 1892 dundee, forfarshire.

Hayley Forsyth - Friday, 02 May 2014 15:34

Im looking for any information on my distant relatives ebelived to be from the fife area.

James forsyth born approx 1740 who married Agnes braid born 1736, they had john forsyth born august 8th 1771 possibly in Inverkiething, who married  helen faicheny born 1779. they had James fitzclarence masterton forsyth born inverkiething around 1815 and died in 1863 in Torryburn, fife. He married Janet Brimer of Torryburn 1821.

they had James 1825 born in Torryburn (my great great grandfather) who married isabella Grieves. James has Peter Forsyth b 1886 born in Kelso.

I dont know these areas of scotland and wonder if they are close to each other and if we have any living relatives still in Scotland? Peter had a sister Nellie b 1890 and possibly isabella, james and janet forsyth too.

It looks like their mother died and Peter and nellie are on a census as living with james their father and another lady. Peter came to England, Hartlepool and married and hence we are in Hartlepool now.

Is their any groups in these areas where i could visist or is the local libary the best place for records? who knows if they were married in parish churchs or registry officers?


thanks for any advice. Hayley Forsyth

Alison - Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:12

Alison - Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:19

Hi, try the link I posted above, you will have to copy paste it. Inverkeithing is near to Torryburn in Fife. You don't mention if you are new to genealogy? Have you been on or We have a resource at the Family History Room at Methil Library which is along the coast from Inverkeithing. There are also libraries in Fife that have access to records, books, almanacs etc. If you email me at I will try and help. We do not undertake research but could perhaps guide you in the right direction. Alison (Committee Member FFHS)

Christine Smith - Tuesday, 29 April 2014 18:41

Hello Jim

I don't know if this is any interest to you, but the book 'Victorian Scotland' published by RCAHMS contains a few photograghs of people connected with the St Fort estate. (Formal group portrait of servants, guests at the estate) Though living in Fife I had never heard of St Fort or where it was till reading the book.

I know it doesn't answer your questions, but thought I'd pass on the information anyway.

Christine Smith.

Jim Walker - Wednesday, 07 May 2014 16:58

Mrs. Smith:


Thank you very much for taking the time to write. I will research the book you suggest, thank you. This family, it's origins in Scotland and where everyone went is a complete mystery.


Every bit helps, and you are very kind to help.


Thank you for your time and efforts.




jim Walker

Jim Walker - Monday, 28 April 2014 22:36


I hope everyone is healthy and happy!!!

Might anyone have ANY information on the Walkers of ST Fort, Fife please?

There were 4 generations of Walker Barons on the St Fort estate, rumors of a burial crypt on the estate, a Holy Well, etc.

Any help or referrals or maps, burial places, etc would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your kindness.


Reverend Jim Walker and family 

Elaine Brown - Sunday, 27 April 2014 10:53

I am looking for information on Messrs Charles Jackson & Sons, Falkland, Fife, who I believe were linen and floor cloth manufacturers.  My husbands grandfather (Albert Elliott, born 1898) was placed in a children's home in Kent but in 1913, Albert and another boy(Herbert Smith) were discharged to Messrs Jacksons. I am trying to find any records which might relate to the employment of Albert and to find out how/why he left Scotland to enlist in the Army in Wales.

Any information would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


Tim Sargeant - Thursday, 12 June 2014 21:40

To Elaine brown;

Do you know which childrens home in Kent your relative was sent to?

We have connection to Fegans Homes for Boys at Goudhurst. They had their annual re-union here on Monday. Please respond to my email;

I may not re-visit this site for a while.


To anyone else;

Any info on Isobel Walker from Pittenweem who married William Laing of Craigover (farm) Newton, Midlothian circa 1750s. Buried Newton Kirkyard.

Thank You.

Jeanne O'Neill - Sunday, 27 April 2014 06:57

Johanna Finlayson / James Morton Kirkcaldy Fife Scotland

Johanna ( Johan Joan )Finlayson( Finlay Finlison) born ? Dysart 1798 -1802 married James Morton and resided in Kirkcaldy.They married on the 27th October 1821 in Kinghorn Fife Scotland.

I believe they had James 28/4/1822,John 1/2/1824,Andrew 20/11/1825, Anne 27/2/1829, Isabelle 24/4/1832,William 1/4/1834,Robert P 1836 , David 1839,Henry 1841 although there may be some errors here.

I would love to hear from anyone connected or with information particularly on Johanna. They lived in High st Kirkcaldy 1841 Census and at 129 Links st Kirkcaldy in 1891 census.

I look forward to hearing from anyone with information. I have information on the Mortons in Australia I am happy to share


Jeanne Australia

Marshall Family, Kirkcaldy / Fife - Saturday, 26 April 2014 16:36

I am trying to trace the Marshall family who lived round the Kirkcaldy, Dysart and Kingskettle area. John Marshall married to Helen Hume, then his son William Hume Marshall married to Davina Barclay Brodie, married July 1896, and then my grandfather James Hume Marshall born Milnathort in 1896. James Marshall and his wife Amelia Finnie moved from Kirkcaldy where they lived at 27 Harriet Street to Station House, Kingskettle where he worked for the railway.

Any help appreciated.



David Houston - Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:45

Hi Jo I can help you as I descend from Helen Hume also via her second marriage to James Houston


Please email and I can share what I know with you



Colin McKay - Wednesday, 23 April 2014 17:59

Hello, I am trying to locate a marriage certificate. I have not been able locate it via Scotland's National site but wondering if there is perhaps an alternative,more localized way. John McDonald married Elizabeth Wood in Kinghorne, Fife on May 11 1868. I know this because this date is consistently written on their children's birth registers. I thank you for your time. 


Mari Becker - Monday, 09 June 2014 09:33

Colin, there's a marriage of those two individuals registered in 1860 in Aberdeen.  Is it possible they got married later than declared on birth certs (to give legitimacy maybe?).  Do you know their parents names?



Lesley Norton - Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:09

JAMES ROBERTSON  My Great Grandfather was born in Kirkcaldy.  According to the family bible his birth date was 22 March 1839.  The next record I have of him was his marriage to Margaret Marshall in Monaghan Northern Ireland on 28 March 1878.  He was shown as a widower and his father as James Robertson a Mechanic.  My Great Grandfather died in Ireland in 1887.  His occupation descriptions varied and  included Iron Fitter and Mill Owner.  I haven't been able to trace a birth record.  I am visiting Kirkcaldy next week and will visit the Library.  However, in the meantime, I wondered if anyone had any suggestions to aid me in my search.

Alison - Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:33 This link may be of some interest. Civil registration of BMD's did not start till 1855.

George - Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:24


My grandmother's sister, Jane Nisbet Houston nee Stewart, was the wife of the minister Archibald McNeill Houston (AMH), from 1889 to his death in 1933. I am trying to obtain copies of the photographic plates which appeared in the book "Aucterderran Fife - A Parish History" written by AMH. Also if anybody has a special interest in the history of Aucterderran over the period of AMH's ministry, then I would be pleased to hear from them.