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Where did they live? Sources for house, street, village, town and county information

OnFife Local and Family History Centres have lots of information about their historic built environment which you can look at for reference, but please look at our recommended Guide to starting your House History

  • Deeds.       If you have your own house deeds, this is often the best place to start.


  • Maps.         Each of the four Local and Family History Centres have maps, most of which are ordnance survey maps covering the late 19th and early 20th Century. These are particularly useful for identifying when houses have been built and when streets first appear.   Earlier county maps and estate maps are available in some locations but can also be accessed for free on the excellent National Library of Scotland      maps web site 



  • Census records for Scotland, these show where people lived and how many people lived in each household including their relationship to one another. The census was taken every ten years from 1841 onwards and you can access the Scottish census up to 1901 on ancestryinstitution – free in our libraries. Cupar, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy also have these on microfilm and the 1911 Scottish census is available for a fee on the Scotland’s People website.


  • Valuation rolls are also valuable for housing information as they show who owned the property, who the tenant was and how much rent was paid. As well as being available in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Cupar, the Scotland’s people website has digitised the valuation records for every five years across Scotland.


  • Photographs – each centre has its own set of photographs. They are mainly of street scenes and have often proved very useful for those wishing to see what their area looked like in the past.


  • Dean of Guilds plans are also very informative documents being architects drawings that were submitted to the Dean of Guilds for approval. Dunfermline has its local copies for perusal and the rest of the county is with Fife Archive

To make an enquiry please contact Localstudies.dunfermline@onfife.com  or localstudies.kirkcaldy@onfife.com or localstudies.cupar@onfife.com or methil.library@fife.gov.uk