Where is Dunfermline? Does it have anything to do with Dundee, Forfar, Scotland?

+3 votes

I'm trying to enter my 3x great grandfather from Dundee, Forfar, Scotland and I came across a man of the same name-- rather common-- in Dunfermline. Should I bother deepening the search?  I'm not common with names in Scotland or England.  As much as we are warned on this side of the pond to put the full name of the state out there, could the rest of you do the same?

WikiTree profile: Thomas Macdonald
in Genealogy Help by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Pilot (165k points)

5 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
Dunfermline is in the historic county of Fife (aka Fifeshire) and the modern Unitary Authority of Fife.

Wikitree location: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Dundee is in the historic county of Angus (aka Forfarshire, an earlier name for the same area) and the modern Unitary Authority of "Dundee City"

Wikitree location: Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland.

It is extremely likely that Thomas MacDonald is a very common name and there may be tens of Thomas MacDonalds with the same birth year who were just born in the various parishes of Dundee (St. Andrew, St. Peter etc.)

As far as sizes go it is probably most helpful to think of two Scottish counties as being the same interrelationship as two US counties within the same state, especially a state with a small area such as Massachusetts.

The historic county of Fife was actually quite a large territory in relative terms to the others. And although the counties of Fife and Forfarshire are adjacent to one another (the River Tay being the boundary), Dunfermline is actually on the south side of the county near the River Forth (Wikipedia says the city centre is approx. 3 miles inland).
by Andrew Hunter G2G3 (4.0k points)
selected by Judy Bramlage
+3 votes
What I generally do is enter dundee to dunfermline into Google and it tells me the two locations are 48 miles apart.  That's more than a person could walk in a day, so unless this was recently, the two locations wouldn't have much cross pollenation.
by Stu Ward G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
My thanks for the answer...

My comment still stands that more depth is needed in added sites in other countries. Like we have, in general, city, county, state, United States. Could the rest of the world do the same
I agree.  Most countries have a state/province/county type structure.  It's not always that the names are so unique that this Google trick works. Sometimes the same town name is repeated in the next county.
Just like Americans forget to do things, others do as well. Prior to today, the last update to this profile was 2 years ago.
I take it....
My Donalds actually come from that area there is actually alot of " of cross pollination".  Over a greater distance than 48 miles.
+6 votes
Dumferline is a lovely little town on the train line from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. There is a beautiful abbey there standing beside the ruins of an older abbey dating back to the 1400's  where allegedly Robert the Bruce's heart is buried after being brought back from the Crusades by the Douglas', his loyal knights. The cemetery has many stones from the 1600 and 1700's with many of the Douglas family buried there. The town is also the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie and there are tours of his home. I was luck enough to have a private tour of the abbey grounds when visiting there with my mother in 1990. Being descendants of the Douglas's, it was one of those "meant to be" times when the train had to stop there for repairs.
by Marjorie Luce G2G2 (2.6k points)
+1 vote
It's customary just to say Dundee, Scotland, without a county.  Also Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh.  WikiTree's categories follow that convention.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (575k points)
But not for small towns surely
Just the 4 biggest cities.
+2 votes
I look at modes of transportation available and the time to cross that distance.  Generally people did move around in history.  

48 miles is not that far away.  

By horse or cart it would take 1 to 2 days depending on gait  


Rural areas had on-going commerce with coastal areas as early as the 1600s that I can document from my own Scottish family.  

Trains came into play in the 1800s.  Modern trains https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/dundee-to-dunfermline-town are 1 to 2 hours.  So even if that time were doubled or tripled it is still very doable. This shows Dundee and Dumferline were already established train lines in 1849. https://books.google.com/books?id=bZ9bAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA224&lpg=PA224&dq=Dundee+to+Dumferline+by+boat&source=bl&ots=DQF-eZP2QK&sig=3g7Rm43Di7cXOfIkIIsgJr21pk8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi7mKLF15DdAhUEeKwKHTBNB0k4ChDoATADegQIBxAB#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Dundee/Dunfermline  you could go by boat

http://ports.com/sea-route/#/?a=3093&b=15366&c=Port%20of%20Dundee,%20United%20Kingdom&d=North%20Queensferry%20Harbour,%20United%20Kingdom   from Dundee harbor the North Queensferry is .about 7 hours at 10 knots.  Then a short ride up to Dumferline.  There might be closer ports.

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