The origins of the Fifes, latterly Fyfe, is not clear. Some of the Fyfes are of the clan McDuff but it’s more likely that Fife is taken from the county name. The family has been recorded as colliers and coal grieves. As coal grieves they would be responsible to the owners for the oversight and management of the men working the coal. On leaving this work they established themselves as farmers and solicitors.
Andrew Fife from Backmuir of New Gilston between Largo and Ceres. Described as a collier he married Janet Lumsdain (BIRTH 23 DEC 1737, DEATH 11 APR 1827) on 15th Nov 1762 and was probably related to the blacksmiths of New Gilston. He died March 1810.
Andrew Fife and Janet Lumsdain’s Children:
John FIFE: BIRTH 26 NOV 1763; DEATH 28 AUG 1818
Andrew FIFE: b. 19 Aug 1765 – 1849 worked as a coal grieve at Kilmuck
Margaret FIFE b. 18 Aug 1767
Ann FIFE: b. 28 May 1769
Adam FIFE: b. Largo, Fife 03 Jun 1770 –1850. Described as a collier when he married Elspeth Wallace. Later a tenant at Patieshill, New Gilston. Died at Luckilehill.
Jean FIFE: b. 08 Mar 1773
Janet FIFE: b. 31 Dec 1775
Agnes FIFE: b. 25 Aug 1778
Adam Fyfe and Elspeth Wallace’s Children:
Robert FYFE: born at Backmuir, parish of Largo, 30 JUL 1799 • Largo, Fife. DEATH 25 MAR 1875. Farmer at 1) Southfield , Leuchars, 2) East Mathers, St Cyrus, 3) Arlary, Kinross. Married 04 Nov 1823 to Elizabeth Ronaldson (b. 18 Apr 1800 • Falkland, Fife, Scotland) of Ballo Farm, Falkland, Fife, parish of Leuchars. Robert and Elizabeth both buried in Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh.
Andrew FYFE: b. 16 Apr 1803 • Largo, Fife. SSC in Edinburgh, trustee in William Lennie’s estate. Married Mary Logan (b. 1797) on 23 Mar 1824 • St Andrews, Edinburgh
Cathrine Fyfe: b. 16 Feb 1806 • Largo, Fife
One noteworthy event is recorded in the Johnshaven Journal of 1854: In January “a vessel named the “Finance of Hartlepool” was cast ashore nearly opposite the farm steading of East Mathers. The master and crew of the wrecked vessel, received the kindest attention from Mr Fyfe, farmer; in fact his house was their home for a considerable time. Some few weeks ago, Mr Fyfe received from the owners, as an expression of their gratitude, a valuable telescope and also a staircase lamp. The telescope bears the following inscription: “To Mr Robert Fyfe, as a merit of great esteem, for his kindness to J Johnstone and crew of the Finance.”
Robert and Elizabeth Ronaldson’s Children:
Elspeth FYFE: b. 19 Aug 1824–1915 • Leuchars, Fife
Robert FYFE: b. 10 Apr 1826–1916 • Leuchars, Fife. Farmer at Pitconchie, Dunfermline. Married and had children.
Elizabeth Brown FYFE: b. 23 May 1828–1904 • Southfield Parish of Leuchars
Margaret Louisa FYFE: b. 01 Mar 1830–1923 • Leuchars, Fife
Adam FYFE: b. 24 Jun 1832–1910 • Southfield, Leuchars. SSC (Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland ) in Edinburgh and a baillie and seems to have worked with his uncle Andrew in Edinburgh.
William FYFE: b. 09 Jan 1834–1906)
Catherine FYFE: b. 14 May 1836–1935 • Leuchars, Fife
Andrew Logan FYFE: b. 30 Nov 1838–1903 • Leuchars, Fife
Helen FYFE: b. 07 Jun 1841–1889 • St Geor, Kincardineshire
Isabella FYFE: b. 11 Mar 1844 • St Geor, Kincardineshire
Elizabeth Brown Fyfe – born 23rd May 1828, Southfield, parish of Leuchars. Married 9th Nov. 1848, East Mathers, parish of St Cyrus to John Fairweather of Chapelfield, St Cyrus. Died at Stepps in 1904.