Heraldry.. William Wallace.. Robert the Bruce.. Ivo.. Lairds of Kirkmichael.. Ireland..

Early Kirkpatrick origins


The first full history of the Kirkpatrick family was compiled by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe,a well respected historian of the late 18th century.He translated ancient land charters,manuscripts and monastic records,this taking him numerous years of hard work and devotion.This work was revaluated in 1953 by Major General Charles Kirkpatrick CB CBE (aide de camp George v).He had access to family documents which were not available to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe,therfore he was able to make a further contribution to the story.In the 1990's this work was expanded further still by Steaphan G Kirkpatrick TFS on behalf of the Kirkpatrick MacAndrew Trust for Scotland.Using modern day technology he has been able to further research the rich tapestry of our ancestral heritage contributing his "thread". To this end he has written a book called "Threads of history",based on his own family research, and tracing the formation of the tribes of Scotland and the rise to power of our ancestors through the ages.The following text are exerpts from his book which will be published (and updated constantly updated) on this web-site.He has taken up the work of his eminent ancestors and combined with his own research has compiled this book as his legacy to the next generation.Read on as the story unfolds and reveals the story of our ancestors.


The Kirkpatrick family lived in Dumfriesshire Southwest Scotland. They descended from one of the many tribes of Scots,settled there at that time. who had come from DALRIADA (ancient name for Northern Ireland )in around 280 AD. The Scots came from DALRIADA in several waves from about that time till 5OOAD. The Scots were warrior people who worshiped pagan gods, in the fullness of time however they abandoned their pagan gods adopting the new religion of Christianity. They had been very much influenced by the teachings of St Patrick. who had founded a ministry in south west Scotland around the fifth century from the Clyde to the Solway firth. He built several churches which became known as "kil" or "cell" (,a cell or kil is a small chapel where the early christian missionaries held mass and lived). These churches eventually evolved small religious communities around them, then becoming known as Cella Patricii , ( church or ministry of St Patrick ) .It's more likely to mean "teachings "of Patrick .Church lands , as these communities became known ,were self supporting as in they were totally independent. In Dumfreishire there was a settlement named "CELLA PATRICII", the name of which later became KIL-PATRICK. This is where our ancestors had settled all those years before. By the 700 's in this country, there was two major branches of the church, the Roman church, and the celtic church. In essence they were both simillar,the main difference was in the administration. The Roman church was a heirarchy of Bishops, and a descending order of "officials who were placed in charge of running the church lands. They imposed taxation on the people in form of "tithes" which meant one tenth of all produce on church lands was to be donated to the "church" this could breed corruption in power hungry officials. The Celtic church, however, believed in administering the gospel and the teachings of St Patrick to the people , not for profit .THE Roman church decreed in the 800's that the seat of the churches power be moved to York , The Celtic church rebelled and denounced the move, their response was to break away as a faction , creating reforms , one such reform was the renaming of the word church from "kill" to "kirk" ,thus the name KIRK- PATRICK. So there we have the name KIRKPATRICK.

In the 11th century, King Malcolm had passed a law whereby he'd give parcel's of land to a selected few (his favourites) and these men would in turn be responsible for "maximising" the revenue of the said lands by whatever means they saw fit, usually by taxation and demanding rent and a percentage of all produce ( practiced by the earlier roman church ) of the land they now owned. This was feudalism a Norman practice. Also Malcolm III declared that these feudal Barons named themselves after their lands. This is when personal surnames evolved.Before then people were known by their "christian" names and their geneology ie; EWAN son of (whoever…..).Under the new set up he would be known by his geography ie ; EWAN of KIRKPATRICK .First time the name was written down was 1194 AD. This document was a land "confirmation" granted to IVO N of KIRKPATRICK of land in Annan Dumfrieshire. He already had unofficial possession of these lands , which means he was given "legal" recognition by the king for to feudalise (tax) that land, if he'd been "granted" the land it would suggest he'd been given new lands. His family must therefore have been in that area for a considerable time ,and powerful enough, to control such a strategic piece of land. This IVO N, (pronounced EWAN ), had a 2 sons, EWAN (ivon) and ROGER . From these two brothers 2 branches of the family evolved. ROGER took over his fathers lands of AUCHENCAS, EWAN was later to be "confirmed" in 1232 AD ,in the lands of CLOSEBURN, ( which guards the western approaches into Scotland) by Alexander II ,meaning he was already established there. King Alexander II at this time had began expelling the Norse settlers from this country who were becoming too powerful .He installed trusted men in strategic positions to "police" the borders and all key inroads to Scotland. The Kirkpatricks must have been some of these trusted men. EWAN'S brother ROGER was" granted" lands in ANNANDALE, another key position, by Robert Bruce earl of Annandale, grandfather of king Robert the Bruce .This Roger was succeeded by his son Humphry who in turn was granted lands in Dumbarton ,from whom the clan Colquhoun descend. The two branches of the family had strengthened their position in the south west by inter marriage of cousins a common practice in those days, but their fortunes differed greatly in the forthcoming Scottish wars of independence .Therefore the story of the Kirkpatrick's becomes very confusing, simply because they kept using the same christian names. From these marriages minor branches of the family emerged. The lands and titles were handed down from father to ELDEST son, the younger sons were usually taken care of by being given farms or castles on the family lands ,which they could in turn "maximise" and generate an income for themselves.These younger sons are often overlooked by history, generally the main title holders are the ones mostly written about, unless of course they do something memorable ,as was the case of Alexander Kirkpatrick who captured the rebel Earl of Douglas after the Scottish victory at the battle of Kirtle bridge in Dumfrieshire in 1482 AD, earning him the estate of Kirkmichael (Dumfrieshire) from the greatfull Scottish king. This began yet another branch the "Kirkpatrick's of Kirkmichael" Several minor branches of the Kirkpatricks existed , families of younger sons etc, some faired better than others , but each branch of the family have their own story to tell, each in turn, whilst drawing from common ancestry, contributing greatly to the story of a great ,and powerfull family.


Long ago this land was populated by numerous tribes, each living on land held in common by the tribe. No-one actually owned the land it was held in trust by elected cheifs Each tribe were fiercely proud of their heritage and geneology, Symbols of the tribe were frequently emblazoned on banners, sheilds, even bodies. Common symbols were animals or birds local to the area where the tribe lived. In 1066 the Normans had invaded lower England, they brought with them a new system of land government "FEUDALISM". This meant the land was owned by a king, who would divide it up between his elected favourites who would then manage the lands to make revenue ,generally to raise funds for the king, ( more often than not for themselves ) having hereditary titles handed down from father to eldest son creating dynasties and more concentrated power bases .The king saw himself as protector of the land, to this end he granted lands so he would have an assured armed following .In turn the new "landlord" would have to have a following and would have to afford to arm and feed them. They would be expected to pay an annual duty ( or FUE ) to the king, and to raise this they were given the power of taxation over their lands .This of course was very unfair on the people who lived on the land who were now taxed on anything the Baron's saw fit. Also they were forced to pay rent for the land they lived on .On top of all this they were expected to fight in the landlords private army whenever he decreed ,this was part of their tenancy agreement .This system led to power struggles as the Barons became greedy for more personal power, and gain. In Scotland at this time King DAVID I seen the chaos in the south as the Norman's came northwards. Feudalism had already been established here since 1053 AD. While the Normans were carving up England amongst themselves, bringing their most powerful nobles from Normandy to rule David realised Scotland would be next. To stem the flow of these powerful Barons he granted lands in the borders to his own selected Barons.The, Normans seemed to have been very good administrators, and had been coming over to this country for several years to teach the new Feudal system of profit making. At this point in history the Bruce family came over from Normandy. Bruce was created Earl of Annandale in .south west Scotland. Under the law of Feudalism he then became overlord of that area, a very strategic area. . The south west is a very high productive region, making him very wealthy, this was the incentive he'd been given to bring his administration powers, to maximise profits of which the king would receive the lion's share , also he'd bring his armed following ,which was extensive. For this reason king David wanted to attract powerful over lords. Under feudal law these people would have to fight for him, greatly extending his own armies, giving them lands on the borders gave him a buffer zone to repel the imminent Norman invasion while he concentrated on defending Scotland.

The Kirkpatricks were already a powerful family at this time , having embraced the new Feudal system and achieved the favours of the king ,being given the lands they owned .Their lands were part of the Earldom of Annandale, therefore they were now under Annandale control. In this era Barons, In order to show their power began to invent personal designs to emblazon on their Banners and shields, almost like corporate logos this was a way of recognising who was who when they wore armour since they wore helmets in battle . The colours of the Earl of Annandale was a blue diagonal cross on a white shield. The Kirkpatricks, living in the lands he inherited, under the laws of Feudalism, fought under his banner. To this end they wore the insignia of Annandale, showing whom they fought for. However Annandale had to finance all those who fought for him (bearing in mind he in turn fought under the kings orders). He sponsored one of the Kirkpatricks to go to the crusades in Palestine.the first of many such adventures. With Kirkpatrick becoming more and more powerful in their own right they adopted colours of their own.They took the blue cross of Annandale ,but it being the personal emblem of the earl of Annandale,they inserted their own emblem over the top of it. The Kirkpatrick emblem was 3 sacks of grain, reflective of the high yield of the lands they controlled. This emblem showed who they were , and also ,who they supported, more importantly who's support they had , alliances were very important in such troubled times. The Kirkpatrick's grew in power later becoming lords of vast estates in the more productive lands of southwest Scotland. They kept favour with the Stuart king's of Scotland adding to their power and status.They have been closely involved in the formation of our great nation from it's infancy, and if Scotlands history were viewed as an endless strong rope woven of independent threads , then the Kirkpatrick's are certainly one of these threads, unbroken from the beginning to end.

Coat of arms

Traditionally a coat of arms consists of a shield , upon which the bearers baronial colours are emblazoned, then on top of this a crest, the badge of his personal identity , these were usually some simple " logo " which was easily recognisable as to the bearers identity.

Sometimes, depending on how powerful the person was, supporters were placed on either side of the shield. Supporters were usually only used if the bearer could produce an armed following, reserved for the more powerful families The" arms" of the Kirkpatricks contain, as shield, the blue cross on white field ,( of Annandale ) this showed the bearers geographical location, on top of the blue cross are three cushions,this design would be painted on shields and surcoats so they'd be recognised even when wearing helmets during battle. Their crest was a swans head and neck , this was the Closeburn crest , the swan later being replaced by a hand holding a blood soaked dagger commemorating the killing of red Comyn in 1305.The Torthorwald crest was a wolf's head. The Kirkpatricks were powerful enough to use supporters, adopting two lions either side of their shield. The Closeburn family changed the lions for dogs in 1557 following the Torthorwald family dying out in 1556. Torthorwald was exchanged for the lands of Ross previous to this , there were still Kirkpatricks living in that area, near "Rochalheid ," who ,even though the barony was gone from the family, were given rights to bear the arms. It's been suggested that the Closeburn family "usurped "the title" senior branch "but there is little evidence of this.

Independence wars

The kings of Scotland had reigned in an unbroken chain since the first high king of the combined Scots and picts in the 700's.Keneth MacAlpin. The kingship being passed from generation to generation by a system known as Tannistry.Tannistry means that kingship would be taken by the worthiest of descendants within 3 generations of the present king, i.e.; son, brother, grandson, grandfather or even cousins. This kept the bloodline pure whilst avoiding dynasties, much relevant in the Norman feudal system which allowed elder sons toinherit the throne This limited the choice of next kings to one. Tannistry allowed a wider choice of candidates. However, by the late 1200's had adopted the later in Scotland. The last of these direct descendant kings Alexander III fell of his horse and died in 1286 AD, leaving no heirs. Scotland was in chaos, and hurried to resolve the void on the throne. Several candidates were found to qualify in the Tannistry system, among them Robert the Bruce, John Comyn, (known as the red Comyn ), and John Balliol. Each had legitimate claim ,but none could agree as to who should be king. Eventually it was decided to ask the experienced Edward of England to choose for them. Edward of course chose the one he thought he could control, which was John Balliol who he worked like a puppet .Edward placed his own people in the best positions in Scotland, gradually taking over complete control of the whole country.He threw Balliol out and took to ruling himself ,the job being easy for the lack of Scottish accord more so ,he'd already moved his own barons in. Scotland became a province of England. Most of the revenue from this country went south making the English richer and the Scots poorer. Eventually the Scottish people had enough of being exploited. They became very discontent and anti English. From this melting pot rose leaders ,like Andrew Moray ,and more famously William Wallace.Moray in the north ,Wallace further south near Ayrshire .Wallace had rose to leadership after he had killed the English sheriff of Lanark , whether by design or chance he found himself in front of an army of enthusiastic , disgruntled Scots he lead from the front and fought hard in the struggle against English overlords eventually defeating them at the battle of Stirling bridge. He was made guardian of Scotland. During his struggles Wallace was accompanied by loyal friends one of whom was Duncan Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald Duncan and Wallace were cousins through marriage. We know Duncan was with Wallace throughout the struggle because Blind Harry a contemporary poet, also Wallace biographer, wrote of him regularly in the 1300's.It is written that after the defeat at Falkirk Wallace continued to fight a guerilla campaign centering his operations in Eskdale forest .It was from here he harried the English .He and his men wore camouflage in the woods of green clothing, this seens to have been taken by later writers like Geofrey of Monmouth and attributed to Robin hood, Even Wallaces wife Marrion Braidfuit seemsto have been put to Robin hood (maid Marrion). Whether these are coincidence or design we'll never know.In 1305 Wallace was betrayed by Mentieth and executed for treason in London by the English. This was a travesty of justice since Wallace never swore fealty to the English so therfore how could he commit treason

Robert the Bruce

Robert Bruce while Wallace was fighting his campaigns was planning his next move in the throne struggle as was the other contender Red Comyn.No-one could do anything with Wallace still around the people loved him they saw in him the rights of common men being acknowledged.However with him now gone the race was back on. Bruce and Comyn could not agree on who would rule. Bruce being the strongest claimant with most following, he had the power to unite all the nobles it was decided he would rule ,while Comyn would receive more lands.Apact was drawn and they would confront the English to assert his kingship. Comyn apparently alerted the English and sold Bruce out.This resulted in his army being routed by the English in an ambush, while he was waiting for Comyn's army to turn up.Bruce had to go into hiding ,his family being slaughtered as were a lot of Scots ,a price was on his head. Bruce had an ally I Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, Roger was Duncan Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald's elder brother (their father was Stephen Kirkpatrick of Closeburn ). Roger took Bruce to places of refuge in his ex tensive lands. meanwhile Comyn began planning his coronation. He could not unite the nobles without Bruce ,no-one trusted him ,so ameeting was arranged between he and Bruce.A neutral place was chosen ,Greyfriars kirk (Dumfrieshire). Roger Kirkpatrick and a few others formed Bruce's entourage.Most were in black mood because of Comyn's treatury.During the meeting Bruce, in a rage, stabbed the Comyn.He fled the church.On meeting him outside Roger asked "who's blood sire?" Bruces reply was "Idoubt I have slain the Comyn!".On this Kirkpatrick entered the church and finnished the not quite dead Comyn off.When he re-emerged from the church he is reputed to have said (while holding aloft his blood soaked dagger) "MAC SICCAR " Which means MAKE SURE.The Dagger of Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn (said to be the actual dagger used in the murder of Red Comyn) This is where the Kirkpatrick family crest and motto appear from.Bruce was now undisputed king of Scot's.He succeded in once and for all crushing English domination in Scotland at Bannockburn 1314.During his early attempts to exert his title to the English he met with failure, all those who joined him in the gamble had their lands confiscated ,Stephen Kirkpatrick was one of them. After Bannockburn all who were with Bruce were rewarded with the lands confiscated from those who wern't, who were bannished to England.It was common at this time for Scottish nobles to own land in England as well as in Scotland,granted to them by Edward I in an attempt to buy their loyalty ,and make them too greedy to oppose him. While Bruce was evicting distrusted nobles from Scotland ,Edward was doing the same to Scots who stood wiyh Bruce who had lands in England. E'dward had previously made all nobles sign a contract of loyalty to him called " THE ragman roll" he sensed rebellion and this was his safety net ,enticing the most powerfull to England Stephen Kirkpatrick signed the Ragman roll as did many others .They had little choice either sign or lose everything.This is why he lost his lands for joining Bruce in rebellion. He was knighted by Bruce after Bannockburn as was his son Roger, Duncan wasn't knighted but was given extentions to his lands as were all the Kirkpatrick's ( exept those of the Annandale branch who had supported England. Kirkpatrick of Auchencas died during the seige of lochmaben castle which he held for the English.) (see below)

Kirkpatrick of that Ilk

The progenitor of the Kirkpatricks was IVON ( pronounced Ewan ). He had been instrumental in expelling the norse people, in 1200's under king William the lion ,and later his son Alexander II . As a result he was granted lands in Annandale in the area called Kirkpatrick Dumfrieshire, he became known as Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick or in genealogical terms " Kirkpatrick of that ilk". This means his name was already Kirkpatrick when he received the lands in Kirkpatrick. It was this IVO whose son , of the same name, began the Closeburn branch, his other son took over his fathers estates in Auchencas, he was Roger Kirkpatrick of Auchencas. This branch of the family had lands in Moffat ( Annandale ) and were head stewards for Robert Bruce ( Robert the Bruce's great grandfather ) the earl of Annandale in 1190 . The Auchencas family are said to be the senior branch of the Kirkpatricks, they had a different coat of arms from the Closeburns, as in three shields meeting at their bases ,on top of this a wolfs head. With the dying out of this family the Torthorwald Kirkpatricks adopted the wolfs head as their emblem, presumably to keep it in the family. Roger signed the ragman roll in 1296, swearing allegiance to Edward I of England. We know he fought against Wallace at Falkirk, we know this because he was paid £10 compensation for his horse being killed during the battle by Edward. Other correspondence exists between Roger and Edward from this period. He was appointed juditiary of Dumfrieshire, a very powerful position. He held Lochmaben castle , and also his own castle of Auchencas, for the English ,. In 1313 Robert the Bruce began his campaign to destroy all castles on the border to prevent English garrisons using them against the Scots. Roger was under siege that year, in Lochmaben. Roger was killed during the siege .The Closeburn Kirkpatricks and Torthorwald Kirkpatricks were heavily involved in the Scottish wars of independence, fighting against the English, and here we can see two branches of the same family fighting on different sides. Its possible Kirkpatricks were involved in the siege on both sides. It was common practice in those times to stay outwardly loyal to the king , while sending family members to any rebellion, this way no matter who won family land would be safe. This safeguards the family against losing everything on a gamble. It's unfair to judge these people as traitors, since they were protecting the future of their descendents by doing what they thought best. This family aren't heard of after the lochmaben siege, it's presumed Roger Kirkpatrick of Auchencas was the last in his line. Duncan Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald adopted the emblem of the wolfs head in 1314 when he was confirmed as Baron of Torthorwald , maybe to keep it in the family ,but he was a staunch patriot ,and it's possible he claimed it in disdain at Auchencas siding with England (but this is unconfirmed.

Kirkpatrick of Closeburn

Closeburn castle, ancient seat of the Kirkpatrick family since 1232 By the end of the 9th century Vikings from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark had began to settle in Scotland. They settled mostly in coastal regions arriving by sea. Eventually more and more arrived, creating over crowding, at this time they began expanding inland. Although best known for fighting they were also very good farmers and were no doubt attracted by the fertile land of the south west . They landed on the shores of the Solway firth, later moving inland towards Closeburn. The barony of Closeburn is in Nithsdale, which overlooks the only road north making it a very strategic place. The norsemen were becoming a very powerfull threat ,so much so that the king of Scotland moved his court from Dumbarton on the west coast to Scone in central Scotland ,to avoid their constant raids. Therefore it was nessesary to install trusted powerfull men in key positions to defend the country from the invaders. The reason they came here wasn't primarily for plunder, there was no land left in the Fjords to farm so they sent explorers to seek new lands. Before this time the tribe of Scots "the ALSANI " had been settled in that area from the 300's AD. They had come here from Dalriada in northern Ireland. Fierce warlike people, they had arrived while the Romans were here and settled in the south west on the Scottish side of Hadrians wall. Several other tribes also lived there, the larger the tribe the more resourses needed. This began competition for resourses and from this evolved powerfull chiefs or, Warlords. These warlords later would become the barons of the medieval period. Closeburn Castle One such warlord was IVON, of KIRKPATRICK (ancestor of the Kirkpatrick's of south west Scotland). The lands of Closeburn were entrusted to him to defend .The church ,or temple lands of Coseburn was owned by the crown. King William the lion gave it to his daughter as a dowry, IVON's son (of the same name) ran the place .On the death of the kings daughter in 12 32 AD IVON ( junior) was" confirmed "in feudal ownership ,perhaps as an incentive ,to keep him loyal. Although he'd been long established there unofficially, It now was officially Kirkpatrick land. The Closeburn Kirkpatrick's lived and thrived there for about 700 years after this untill 1778 .They have a very colourfull history ,and proved to be very succesfull.They rose to greater power after the Scottish wars of Independence, from that point on they were always in favour with the Scottish kings, becoming more and more powerfull by aquiring new lands by Royal charter, or more commonly by marriages to other great families. Inter- marriage between the swelling "cadet " branches of the family ,ie ; younger sons of the chiefs ,who were given their own lands , greatly strengthened their position. They mostly filled high positions in Scottish affairs. They were made sheriff's of Dumfrieshire, and were always represented in the Royal house, right up untill the 1950's, when Major General Charles Kirkpatrick was aide de camp to king George V. The Kirpatricks were staunch supporters of the Stuart kings, however by the 1600's there were a lot of people re-aligning their political and religeous loyalties. The reason for this was because the Stuart's were catholic. Catholics were supporters of the Roman church ( governed from Rome by the pope) The Vatican was very powerfull more so than any king in Europe. They preached that god ruled, then the pope then finally the king's.They also were supporters of the "divine right of kings to absolute rule over their subjects. This, while suiting the purposes of the royals meant normal folk got a raw deal. Many powerfull men petitioned the king to break away from Rome unhappy at the power the vatican held over their sovereignty in Scotland. The king would have none of it. Home rule became an issue.By now the reformation was well under way. Protesters to the papal authority ( Protestants ) had already deposed one king. The crown swayed from catholic to Protestant, civil unrest was rife, barbarities committed on both sides. At this time the present king James VII began to consolidate his supporters by giving them Baronacies ,huge estates with hereditary titles, meaning security for chosen families for life .James Kirkpatrick became first Baronet of Closeburn in 16 85.Within 3 years ,1688, king james ,Who had returned to catholicism, was deposed , (his supporters were known as Jacobites ) William of Orange was crowned instead, this led to rebellion once again

During times of rebellion it was common for chiefs of powerfull families to oppose it while sending a son to support it , or vice versa.This way no matter who won their lands would be safe by either denouncing the son or giving the land to him, sort of hedging your bets. This was happening as far back as the wars of Independence,when one branch of the family joined Wallace and Bruce ,while another joined the English. The culmination of this rebellion was the battle of Killiekrankie in 1689 ,a Jacobite victory. Although victorious ,the rebellion failed through lack of support and jacobite hopes were dashed. Meanwhile in Closeburn the chief stayed out of the rebellion, sending some sons instead, this was a time to survive. The first Baronet married 3 times and had several children, there seems to have been a rift in the family, them splitting up and going their own ways.No-one is sure why, all that is certain is 3 sons of this Baronet landed on the Giants causeway in c/oAntrim northern Ire land in anopen boat in 1690, where they settled and begat the Irish connection of Kirkpatrick's. In 1690 the jacobite struggle was still going on in Ireland , ending in the battle of the Boyne 1690. Perhaps these sons had been sent out in the rebellion by their father while he kept favour afterwards being forced to fly to Ireland. If so they landed secretly on the coast whether as rebels or refugees it's unsure. Why not at a port? Avoiding detection ??.the ports were blockaded by the government navy. The closeburn family home burned down in 1748 ,destroying most ( but not all) of the family portraits and documents. Finally the estate was sold in 1778 for £500,000, a collosal sum in those days. The Kirkpatrick's have since scattered to the furthest parts of the globe. So here ends the story of the Kirkpatrick's of closeburn.

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above are some pictures of Closeburn Hall then and now.The new mansion was built 1685, ( a few hundred yards from Closeburn castle which was in quite a sorry state of repair at that time. It was built around the same time as the laird James Kirkpatrick received his Baronetcy for his loyalty to King Charles , and the Stuarts, (In actuality the Baronecies were sold to a chosen few landowners for &1000 , a colossal sum back then,this was in order to secure a registered following,an elite crew).Unfortunately the mansion was burned down 1748,apparently because of the careless use of a candle by a drunk servant.The ruins were further destroyed during WW2 by the army using it for target practice.When the mansion was burned down the chief and hif imediate family reclaimed some of the stone to repair Closeburn castle, and once again it was used as a residence.(at the time of writing the castle is once again in Kirkpatrick family hands ,some of the descendants of William Kirkpatrick of Malaga bought it,its unclear as to whether or not they still own it)
Legend of the Closeburn Swan (a Kirkpatrick Banshee)

Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald

view ruins of Torthorwald castle,showing an example of the vaulted method of building.Torthorwald is in Dumfrieshire .One story of the origin of this name is as follows. There was large Norse presence in this region which is prevalent in place names such as Tynwald ,Mouswald, and Thorthorwald. Norse legend tells of Thor " the thunder god "who''s father was Odin ,Odin it was said kept a forge burning for all time. Thor worked the hammer in his fathers workshop. Norsemen thought the thunder was Thor working his hammer on a giant anvil. Another legend tells of how Thor would drive through the skies on his chariot ,scraping his wheels off the tops of hills making sparks ,thus producing thunder and lightning. So the name means "the hills where Thors chariot wheels make ( fire ) ,lightning " or Thor 's fire stones" or Thors hearth. Whoever named Torthorwald certainly had this in mind, especially when the late summer sun shines off the sandstone hills surrounding the area giving an irridescent orange glow. There was also a lot of iron work sites here in times gone past perhaps adding to the story. The castle at Torthorwald occupies a site where a fortification has existed for centuries Duncan Kirkpatrick youngest son of Stephen of Closeburn, answered the call to arms by William Wallace to overthrow the English domination of Scotland. He was a strenuous patriot, and would by no means yield to the haughty usurpations of the English Edward. Assisting William Wallace with all his might , especially at the fight near Lochmaben. Wallace was pursuid by the English garrison there ,he'd slaughtered lord Cliffords son and some others ,the Baron of Torthorwald came oppertunely to his aid. The English garrison was slaughtered. At this time Duncan did not own Torthorwald, it belonged to his wifes father, who was sir David Thorwald of Torthorwald, it was he who had the title baron. David held lands in England, as well as in Scotland . Duncan like other patriots did not agree with absentee landlords who spent most of their time in England. When the cry for Independence rang out he was keen to take back everything Scottish from the usurpers. To this end he assumed the title Baron of Torthorwald .This would be seen as an act of treason by the English overlords, he knew there was no turning back now ,it was all or nothing. After the war of Independence king Robert the Bruce evicted all Scottish land owners with lands in England ,back south. For his services to the Independence struggles Bruce awarded Duncan the Barony of Thorthorwald, which he'd confiscated from David , Duncan therefore officialy became known as Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald. The Torthorwald lands were exchanged a few generations later by another Duncan for the lands of Ross ,also in Dumfrieshire which belonged to the Carlyle family. The title of Baron of Tortuorwald went with the lands , so the Tortuorwald Kirkpatricks became known as the Ross Kirkpatricks .The last in the line of the Ross Kirkpatricks had no heirs ,this being the case he approached his cousin , the chief of the Closeburn Kirkpatrick, with views on signing the lands of Ross over to him ,in order that they remain in the Kirkpatrick family after his death. The Closeburn family had a tradition ,whereby , the castle drawbridge was pulled up at meal times, a custom which cost them the lands of Ross. Kirkpatrick of Ross was so insulted by his refused entry to Closeburn castle, because it was dinner time, that he went to the earl of Douglas ,giving him the lands instead.One of the Closeburn family married a daughter of Carlyle ,then owner of Torthorwald, bringing it back to the Kirkpatricks through marriage. ( some images of Torthowald castle,showing the vaulted interior construction.They also show details of earthen ramparts suggesting an earlier defencive structure on this sight.

Torthorwald castle showing signs of earlier earthen ramparts......... .........

The Caerlaveroch murder

Caerlaveroch castle , scene of the murder of Roger (Hoge) Kirkpatrick 1558.Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, who was known to have been involved in the slaying of John "red " Comyn, was after this deed known as Mak siccar. He was not alone in the killing, having a willing accomplice in James Lyndsay of Donrod. The story goes, when Bruce commited the stabbing in the church he din't quiye kill the Comyn , where on both Roger and Lyndsay entered the church and "made sure", thus the name Mak siccar as motto, and the bloodsoaked dagger as emblem in the Kirkpatrick family crest. For this murder in gods house ,a mortal sin in the eyes of the church, Bruce was " ex communicated "which meant the church in Rome, who were very powerfull withdrew their support and protection . This was very serious at the time since the churches protection was all that stood in the way of domination by other christian kings in Europe, the church was almost like the modern UN . Ex communication meant you were " godless heathen " in the eyes of everyone else and were considered " infidel "often giving rise to excuses for barbarity, and "plunder "all unhindered by constraint by the religeous community. If Bruce was ex communicated for his part in the killing then it's certain Roger Kirkpatrick was too. Roger had a son ,also Roger. This Roger ,was known locally as "Hoge" ,proving he must have captured public immagination enough to earn a nick name from locals . He was greatly involved in Scottish affairs of state , being made sheriff of Dumfrieshire by 1356.After the Scottish wars of Independence,there was still some regions in Scotland which held out for the English dominators. Caerlaveroch castle was one of these places. Edward of England had created his own sheriffs in such places to keep control, so the situation arose where there was two sherifs ,one Scottish ,one English one had to go, we know there was a final" show down", resulting in a seige at Caerlaveroch ending in a Scots victory.History places the earl of Douglas as he who captured the castle, but it's far more likely the scottish sheriff was responsible.At all events Hoge Kirkpatrick was given posession of Caerlaveroch castle. This is proven by his signatory seal on a document issued from there in early 1357.People didn't write in those days only preists and scibes were taught, therefore they used wax ,and specially made seals bearing their family crest like modern day rubber stamps, each individual to its owner ( this is where "make your mark " evolves as a saying ). One night in late 1357 an incident occurred at Caerlaveroch known as the Caerlaveroch murder. It is said that after a visit by his friend James Lyndsay of Dunrod ( it should be pointed out that these two men were the sons of the pair who committed the murder of Comyn , each having the same names as their fathers ),the same James Lyndsay sneaked back in the night and murdered Roger in his sleep. It's said the murder was over a woman ,we'll never know ,perhaps the Lyndsay's have a story. One old story is that on the night of Comyns death a kinsman was keeping vigil over his body as he lay in state in the church he was killed in. It was customary to keep vigil over bodies since they were often looted. D uring his vigil the kinsman heard a deep sobbing coming from inside the church ,which was empty appart from he and the dead Comyn. The sobbing becoming a loud weeping and wailing .A voice then resounded, wailing out in a loud and pleading tone When god ? when will vengence be visited on the evil "heads who commited such a crime in your house? To which the reply in a loud booming voice was, "When fifty two summers have come and gone then vengeance shall be satisfied" .Some say this was divine retribution , the sins of the father visiting the son, whether or not this story is true, the fact remains that 52 years after the slaying of the Comyn the sons of the men involved were involved in another murder. Lyndsay was caught the same night he murdered Hoge, less than 3 miles from the murder scene. The king took a personal interest in Lyndsays summary execution at Caerlaveroch , Hoge was well thought of by all ,from commoner to king. He was the first and last Kirkpatrick of Caerlaveroch. The murder remains a mystery to this day.

Kirkpatrick of Kirkmichael

In 1482 ,Alexander Kirkpatrick ( son of Thomas the Closeburn chief) was given charge of Lochmaben castle on the western approaches into the south west, to guard against impending invasion from the south. The rebel earl of Douglas had been exiled in England for 30 years, and was said to be marching home to claim his lands back. He invaded in 1482 , marching up the western roads.He had intended to lay seige to Lochmaben castle ,where Alexander was fortified. To lay seige to a castle was a long tiresome process, involving heavy siege machinery labour force and a lot of time, seiges could last for years if the castle ,or fort, was well stocked. Douglas was approaching with a long column of men, wagons, and heavy seige engines which stretched for miles. Alexander would have his work cut out to survive such an onslaught. What he did has baffled historians ,rather than wait in the castle for the impending seige, he took his men out of the fortified castle and deployed them on the road.On meeting such opposition Douglas was totally unprepared for the fight that ensued his army were still arriving in a long column ( they'd take too long to make ready to be usefull ).Alexander attacked the very surprised Douglas ,his men yelling war slogans ,this to intimidate the opposition.It worked, Douglas's men fled in dissaray. There followed a running battle ending in the total defeat at Kirttle bridge. Alexander captured the bemused Douglas, who had believed in his own invivcability.He handed Douglas over to a greatfull Scottish king ,who rewarded him with the estate of Kirkmichael (Dumfrieshire ),this contributing even greater power to the Kirkpatrick's.Thus Alexander began another branch of the Kirkpatricks ,the Kirkpatrick's of Kirkmichael.Kirkmichael remained in the family for 200 years. By this period the combined estates of the Kirkpatrick's were constantly expanding mostly ruled over in feudal state by the chief.Alexander was given his estate by the king, making him a feudal lord in his own right. In 1547 a list was made by the king asto how many armed men his barons could call on in time of need,the Kirkpatrick's were listed thus; Closeburn could raise 403 armed men, Kirkmichael 222, Torthorwald 100, these included themselves and their immediate families and also afurther 700 from lands they had powers over.Even by modern day standards this is a force to be reckoned with. So it can be seen the Kirkpatrick's were a very powerfull family.The last lord of Kirkmichael William Kirkpatrick died in 1689 when the estate was sold,the proceeds beihg divided amongst his sons.George Kirkpatrick of Knock, and Robert Kirkpatrick of Glenkiln. These sons in turn began their own family branches, both fairing differently.

Robert Kirkpatrick of Glenkiln

In 1745 the exiled Stuart kings made another attemped to gain the crown back ,this was the Jacobite rebellion (the 45 ).Bonny prince Charlie had landed expecting the Scottish nobles to rally to his call. He was mistaken most Scot's nobles weren't interested any more. The new Hanovarian kings had treated them well it was much to risk joining any rebellion, as usual.T he jacobites enjoyed success initially but they were routed on Culloden moor in 1746.Although most nobles kept out of the rebellion ,the usual practice of sending a son to " hedge their bets "was still going on. One such man was Robert. The jacobites had marched as far as Derby and on their rtreat north had left Kirkpatrick in Dumfries to defend their march back to Scotland. Yet again a Kirkpatrick was in defence of the south west against the south.Robert was captured. Rebels were generally executed, common men being hanged, nobles however were beheaded ( a custom surviving from antiquity ).This then was Roberts fate he was beheaded in 1747.His estates were forfeited and his family forced to flee.One of his grandsons William went to Spain and became a fruit wine merchant, he became William Kirkpatrick of Malaga. This Williams grand dauhgter Eugenie later married Napoleon III and became Empress of France.Eugenie was close friends with Queen Victoria, spending a lot of time at Balmoral. So well she was thought of that years later Prince Andrew and Fergie named their daughter after Eugenie. The descendants of these "Spanish" Kirkpatrick's survive today and have recently bought the Kirkpatrick castle of Closeburn.

George Kirkpatrick of Knock

George was the eldest son .he had his own lands in Knock Dumfrieshirehe .H e was an officer in the army of William of Orange against the jacobites. In 1719 he invested his proceeds from the estate in the Irish linen industry, settling his son ,another Alexander, there in Dublin. He became Alexander Kirkpatrick of Drumcondra. These Kirkpatricks were very successful in Ireland ,accumulating vast wealth and estates, a lot of which in county Antrim. The linen industry proved very succesful, later expantion into land speculation proving equally fruitfull. Again the Kirkpatricks end up in high positions being elected sheriffs and elders. At this time there was already some Kirkpatricks settled in Ireland .It's not clear which branches of the family were where ,but we do know of the 3 Closeburn brothers who landed in county Antrim in an open boat in 1690.

Kirkpatrick's in Ireland

There were Kirkpatricks in Ireland since at least the mid 1600's. Some came from Closeburn others from Kirkmichael. Differing reasons made them go there. In the 1600's King James VI made alterations to the bible, thus it became the king James bible. Some people were totally averse to this , demanding that the lords word was not for translation.

This was amended a few years later by Charles 1st.In basic terms he was trying to impose his own beleifs , that of Catholocism on a predominantly Presbeterian Scotland.This was too much for some people.

These people signed a covenant, decreeing that they'd adhere to the true faith , the "untouched " religion. They became known as the covenanters. This made the king ,and his followers , very angry. It was an act of defiance to the king's authority, and he came down on them hard. There followed "the killing times" where persecution followed persecutions of all " rebels". Covenanters were not permitted to meet in groups ,or to go to church. They met in secret ,in the woods and other safe places ,these meetings were called "conventicles ". Barbaric means were invented to combat such "heresy" as thousands of catholics were killed by protestants ,and vice versa. These were desperate ,dangerous times accusations of heresy and witchcraft were thrown about ( this wasn't too long after the witch persecutions ) .People understandably fled mainland Scotland for the safety of Ireland, it's at this time people began re-aligning their religious and political loyalties. One such attrocity was the drowning of the ( so called ) Wigton martyrs. This was when some local people ,from Wigton ( Dumfrieshire ) were tied up in the Solway firth when the tide was out, and left to drown, dying rather than betraying the covenant. Among those drowned was Mary Wilson, wife of one of the Kirkpatrick's of Ross, these two families have a long record of intermarriage. It is known that some of the Kirkpatricks fled to Larne near Belfast, settling there with their kinfolks the Wilsons of Ballycloughan . The family soon spread all over county Antrim. Also at this time king JamesVI began what's known as the " plantation " of Ulster. This is when he installed loyal landowners in the Irish provinces to ensure he had support ,in the event of insurrection, which was never far away in those troubled times. Many such loyal men therefore settled Ireland, no doubt attracted by new lands to exploit and fortunes to be made. Kirkpatricks were amongst them .Although the head of the family would be given the lands it was usual to send sons , or cousins to actively settle them and administer the estates, sending the chief the lions share of any profits made. These sons would take their families sometimes even their own tenants to these new lands. The plantation created its own problems, local inhabitants were now displaced , homeless , and unemployed .This led to discontentment and created barriers between the local inhabitants and "grey squirrels " ( as the settlers were called ). It can be seen how, for a number of reasons, the Kirkpatricks settled in northern Ireland,. Whichever branch of the family they were from they knew they'd have cousins there One branch settled in county Antrim and from these descended Andrew Kirkpatrick , most of his 10 children went to the Americas in the late 1800#s. ( a lot of Kirkpatricks went to the "new world "in the 1700-1800's). One of his sons Samuel Kirkpatrick came home to mainland Scotland in the late 1800's settling in Prestonpans ( east Lothian ) .From Samuel descended the numerous Kirkpatricks in the lothian region.

Andrew Kirkpatrick

Andrew Kirkpatrick, "red Andrew" , as he was known on account of his red beard, was born in 1821. He descended from three brothers from the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn, Dumfrieshire, who, sometime in 1690, landed at the giants causeway (county Antrim). Their reason for going there are unclear, but we do know there was a rift in the Closeburn family at that time. The chief of the family was made a baronet in 1685. He married three times. On the day of his third wedding 1689 his eldest son left home for England, another three went to Ireland. Ireland was a very volatile place at that time, the jacobite struggles were still underway although the rebellion had failed in Scotland. These three brothers settled the north near Ballycastle, their descendants seem to have become tenant farmers, the agricultural census of 1803 states that an Andrew Kirkpatrick, and a Samuel Kirkpatrick were holding land in Carnsampson townland, and John Kirkpatrick in Drummans townland, both in the parish of Ramoan. A townland is the smallest unit of sensus, in a parish, ranging in size from 50 to 100's of acres. Each would be a small community of farms and dwellings. Andrews mother was from the Boyd family, who lived in the neighbouring townland of "Whitehall", (parish of Ramoan ). Mrs Kirkpatrick owning 21 acres in her own name there, perhaps a dowry from her fathers land in whitehall. She may have been the daughter of sir Hugh Boyd , an industrialist who built a glass factory at Ballycasle county Antrim. Andrew's future wife, Nancy Ann Mac Neil, worked as a maid for Mrs Kirkpatrick at Whitehall. Andrew had three sisters, one, Eleanor, was a music teacher in a girls school, the other two were hat makers ,having their own shop ,eventually going to Philadelphia USA to open up there. It's unclear if he had any brothers. Andrew had a peat cutting business that he ran with his family in culkenny townland,. On their parents death (Andrew 1874 ,Nancy Ann 1878,) the three youngest of their children ,ranging in age from 9 to 14 years ,continued to keep house and work the business ,supervised by their older sister and brothers all of whom had begun their own lives outside the family home. There were 10 children William, Samuel, Sarah, Andrew, Charles, Margaret, Archibald, Agnes-Stewart, Katie and John .Katie and John both died in infancy. William ,the eldest son ,had a harness makers shop in Dublin making horse trappings and belts etc. Charles went to Canada in 1885 with his sister Sarah's husband to become a rail road engineer , Sarah joining him three years later. It's believed they went on "Queens assisted passage " which was when queen Victoria gave concessions to people who would go live in Canada to populate the area, Canada then being part of the empire. Archibald joined the army, he was in the" Prince of Wales's own hussars". He was stationed in India.. Margaret went to Pilladelphia to keep house for her two old aunts there , ending up in Iowa.. Andrew went to California, he had a ranch there, also a hotel. Agnes Stewart the youngest child stayed with Williams family until she went to America , settling eventually in Boston. Samuel came home to Scotland. He was a mineworker , he first went to "Greeengairs" (Lanarkshire) ,where he met his wife ,He and his family were moved to Prestonpans east Lothian by Summerlees ironworks company (who were the mine owners). He worked in "Prestongrange" or "Preston links" colliery, Samuel had a large family living in and around Prestonpans ,one of his sons John married a Musselburgh girl named Jean Gibson and settled there. John was also a miner ,he had three children Samuel, James and Lucy. The research for this book was done by the next generation of Kirkpatricks , and it's hoped future generations will be able to learn from it ,that they are part of an unbroken chain of ancestors stretching back to the foundations upon which Scotland was built as a nation.

The Kirkpatricks went to the New World as early as 1700. They played a part in the American war of independence , also the civil war ,not only were we instrumental in the formation of our great nation, but also America…………..to be continued.

The research for this book, (involving countless hours of study , many miles of travel, and an amazing amount of patience and dedication), was only possible because of the input of others,therefore it is a testament to the dedication of our volunteers.Wha's like us?

We would like to fill some gaps in the story, and continue the story of the American/Canadian side of our family. If anyone has any information concerning our family( specifically Independence/civil war information) we would be greatfull of any input for the next instalment .. We are eternally grateful to William Kirkpatrick Walters, to whom we dedicate this volume. Also any queries about our ancestry are welcome.