scottish geneology

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Holiday accommodation geneology Scotland


Genealogy - Scottish clans and families associated with Orchil

Here is some information on the various Scottish clans and families who have owned Orchil which will be faxcinating if you are researching your Scottish family history and clan's assciated with this part of Scotland.

If you are trying to trace your Scottish ancestors then come and stay in Scotland and explore all the wonderful resources that are here.

Clan Graham - branch of the family of the Dukes of Montrose. Owned the Orchil estate until 1860s.

Legend has it that the first Graham was one Gramus who forced a breach in the Roman Antonine wall known as Graeme's Dyke in 420 A.D. However, historians generally believe that the Grahams were of Norman descent. The first record of the name was William de Graham who received the lands of Aberdeen and Dalkeith from David 1 in 1127. From him descend all the Grahams of Montrose. They became numerous in Liddesdale and the Borders and later obtained lands in Strathearn and Lower Perthshire, the area with which the clan is now associated. The main line of Graham chiefs were long and loyal supporters of the Scottish cause. Sir John Graham of Dundaff, a friend and follower of Wallace was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. His son Sir David received the lands of Montrose for faithful service to King Robert the Bruce. Orchil's main clan was clan Graham.

The 3rd Lord Graham was created earl in 1504 and fell at Flodden in 1513. The third Lord Graham took part in 1488 at the battle of Sauchieburn, in which James III. fell. In that battle the KingÕs rearward division was commanded by Graham, Earl of Menteith, with Lords Erskine and Graham as his lieutenants, and, at a later day, in 1504, on account of his gallantry, Lord Graham was made Earl of Montrose. Still later, at the battle of Flodden in 1513, he led part of the Scottish vanguard along with the Earl of Crawford, and fell along with his royal master on the disastrous field. By his third wife, a daughter of Lord Halyburton, the Earl was the ancestor of the Grahams of Inchbraikie, while his eldest son, the second Earl, was ancestor, through the youngest of his four sons, of the Grahams of Orchil and Killearn.

James, the 5th earl was created Marquis of Montrose. Two of Scotlands greatest generals have been provided by the Grahams of Montrose. James Graham, 1st Marquis led the war in Scotland on behalf of Charles I and John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee), led the highly successful campaign for James VII during which time he managed to organise the Highlanders into a strong single force and gain great victories, notably the Battles of Inverlochy and Killicrankie. He was so unreplaceable that the campaign collapsed without him. It was the Marquis of Graham, later, Duke of Montrose who moved the motion in parliament to repeal the Act of Proscription of the Highland Dress passed in 1782.

James Gillespie Graham (1776 - 1855) Architect. Born in Dunblane. Graham is known for his country houses and churches in the Scottish Gothic style. His particular forte was interiors, such as that of Taymouth Castle and the State Dining Room at Hopetoun House. His churches include St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh. He also planned parts of the later development of the 'Lands of Drumsheugh' to become part of Edinburgh's New Town. James Gillespie married Margaret Graham of Orchill.

Keith, Dickson and Dixon Clans The Dickson families of Inneresk, recorded in the Lyon's register of 1672, derive from a Richard Keith, who was descendant from Keith-Marischal. Richard was known as "Dick", and his descendants assumed the Dickson surname (some ended up as Dixon). Inneresk arms were carried earlier by Sir Robert Dickson of Sornbegg. The arms of John, a son of William Graham (2nd Earl of Montrose) and Lady Janet Keith (daughter of William, Earl Marischal) are interesting. William added Keith to his arms, quartered with Graham, and kept the rose (Montrose) figures. His brother, John Graham of Orchill, elected not to add Keith to his, even though the right to do so was equally present. Some of the Graham family emigrated to America, on the ship that brought Sir William Keith. William was later made governor of Pennsylvania. The Grahams ended up with some of the Keith plantations in that colony in the USA.

Grieg - owned the house in the late 19th century.

Smith - Sir Samuel Smith MP owned Orchil from 1895 - 1907. He and his family spent the summers at the house and he says in his memoirs that he had the happiest times here.

McDougall - Rev John McDougall bought the estate in 1867 and built the new (present) Orchil House - designed by Andrew Heiton, the Perth City architect.
Crawford - the Crawford family owned Orchil from 1907-1927. The youngest son of the 4th Earl of Richmond (who was descended from the Duke of Brittany) was granted lands in the Barony of Craufurd (from "crow ford") in Lanarkshire in the 12th century and the family took the surname from the placename. In 1127 Sir Gregan Crawford was involved in the legendary incident when King David was saved from a stag (and founded the Abbey of Holyrood as a result).

In 1296 Sir Reginald Crawford was appointed sheriff of Ayr. His sister married Wallace of Elderslie and thus became the mother of William Wallace the great Scottish patriot. Needless to say, the Crawfords rallied to his cause.

The main branches of the family were Crawford of Auchinames (in Renfrewshire) and Craufurd of Craufurdland (in upper Clydesdale). Sir William Craufurd of Craufurdland was a brave soldier who was knighted by King James I and fought for King Charles VII of France. Other lines of Crawfords began in the reign of James III when descendants of Archibald Craufurd created the families of Auchenairn, Beanscroft and Powmill. In the 16th century, Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill was a member of the household of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots. During those turbulent times he captured Dumbarton Castle in 1571 with 150 men by scaling the supposedly impregnable rock and later received the surrender of Edinburgh Castle.

Dawson - Colonel Dawson lived here with his family from 1929 until 1945.

Drummond Moray - a branch of this famous Perthshire family lived at Orchil after World War 11.

According to tradition, a Fleming named Freskin was given land by King David I in the area known as "Moray" in the 12th century and his descendants took the name of the area. Over time it became Murray. One branch became the Earl of Sutherland and another branch, by marriage, Lords of Bothwell in Lanarkshire. By further advantageous marriages (a standard event in those days) the Murray family inherited lands in Abercairney and Tullibardine in west Perthshire and in time the Murrays became the Dukes of Atholl with estates covering 300,000 acres. A descendant became the Earl of Mansfield who built the magnificent Scone Palace. The 6th Duke of Atholl founded the Atholl Highlanders who so delighted Queen Victoria that she granted the Duke the right to bear arms, the only private army in the UK.



There are many Perthshire family attractions which cater for all age groups.