Medieval Land Barons of Southwest Scotland



The families listed here lived in Galloway, Scotland. Public documents in medieval times were required by
law to be written in Latin from the earliest time up to abut 1740. Many of these documents still exist in
Scotland, but the old Latin is hard to read even for the best scholar.

However, in 1923, a man named R.C. Reid translated all the documents from the Scottish Archives
pertaining to Galloway from the first records through the early 1600's. This R.C. Reid Collection is well
indexed and is a treasure of information on the local families. This collection is housed in the Public Library
in Dunfries, Scotland.

Scotland in medieval times was ruled by powerful overlords who were often at odds with the Crown and the
mainstream political maneuvering in the rest of Scotland. In 1369 Archibald Douglas was created Lord of
Galloway, superior of all land between the Rivers Nith and Cree. He purchased the estates of the Earl of
Wigtown and the King confirmed him as Earl of Wigtown in 1371. He appointed a steward to collected
revenues, hold courts, and administer the affairs in the lands that became the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. In
this Stewartry, he was the law, not the King's Sheriff as elsewhere in Scotland. James, 9 th Earl of Douglas
and Lord of Galloway was the largest private landowner in Scotland.

He and his brothers ignored the King's orders and conducted their affairs as theywished.James plotted with
Henry V1 of England to overthrow James 11 of Scotland and the Douglasses were defeated in battle. All the
Earl's property was declared by the Scottish Parliament forfeit to the Crown. James died in exile in England
in 1488 without issue.

One of the allied families to Douglas was McMillans who also lost most of their holding. They escorted
Robert the Bruce from Tayside and Gilbert Macmillan was created Baron de Ken in 1308. In the 16 th
Century the Macmillan's of Brockloch were recognized as hereditary Chiefs of the Galloway MacMillians.
In Galloway, some of the forfeit estates were granted to local families who had shown loyalty to their King.
Among these families were: Agnew, Herries, Maxwells, Gordon, and Kennedy. The Gordons and Kennedy's
vied for control of the estates endowed to the church by the former Lords of Galloway.


The Armstrong Society World Wide, Brieryshaw, Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland DG13.
This headquarters is at the Armstrong Castle which is now a museum. Neil Armstrong is a
member of this family.
Armstrong/ Hamilton of Co. Tyrone, Ireland

The Armstrong line here first is John Armstrong who was born in Scotland cb. 1605. His father was banished to Ireland and the family settled in County Tryone. John's son was John cb. 1670 in Danagheady, Co. Tyrone. His son was Thomas Armstrong, cb. 1710 in Danaghendy. He married Jane Hamilton. Michael Hamilton, Jane's father lived in Drumgaunty, Parish of Donagheady, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Michael's parents were James Hamilton and Elizabeth of Tullys, in the Liberties of Derry, Ireland
He died in 1755 and is buried in the Churchyard of George Parish of Donagheady, Co. He leaves bequest to sons, James, Edward and Michael. Michael Hamiltion married Anne Shipton.
Thomas Armstrong brought his family to American in about 1735. They settled in Northumberland Co., Penn where he died 25 Sept. 1783. Family records state, Jane Hamilton Armstrong died while here children were still young. The last child was born about 1761. The family was still in New Jersey in 1766. Thomas remarried Anna Magdalena. In an old letter dated 1848 from a son of John Armstrong, states the Thomas Armstrong had children by both his marriages, but gives only four by his first wife. The documented children of Thomas and Jane were:

a...... Nancy Anne, b. 1750 Derry, Ireland, married John McAdam from Co. Antrim, Ire. at
........Kingwood, N.J. 30 Jan. 1766. The family moved ot Columbia, Ohio.
b...... James, b. 1753 Derry, Ireland was a Capt. in Lee's Legion, moved to the South and
.........died in Vaor, Georgia after 1810
c.......John, b. 20 April 1755 in New Jersey. He married Tabitha Goforth in 1793 and died in
.........Spring Hill, Clark Co., Indiana. He was a Col. in the R/W.
d...... Hamilton, cb. 1757 in N.J. died in 1801 in Ft.Wayne, Ind. Served as a Capt. in the R/W
e....... Mary, cb. 1759
f....... Elizabeth, cb 1771 married Mr. Wilson.

The Col. John Armstrong served in the R/W in the North Carolina line with Lt. Col. John Patton and Archibald Lytle. His collection consists of about 5000 papers and 35 ledger, notebooks and diaries. The contents are dated 1772 - 1950. The entire collection has been calendered and indexed. Col. Armstrong's concerns were taken over by his son, William G. Armstrong and many of the papers are his. The collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society Library,315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46202


The Cunningham Earls of Glencairn stem from the second son of Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs.

Cunningham of Carpington

This branch of the Cunningham family stems from the thrid son of Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs.

1. Thomas Cunningham, the 3'rd son of Baidland was issued a Charter dated 1385.

2. Adam Cunningham of Baidland, son of Thomas was successor. He married the daughter of Sir Duncan Wallace and owned land in the barony of Caprington from her father and became Cunningham of Caprington. He died mid-15th century.

3. Sir Adam Cunningham of Caprington, their son inhereted both fathers and mother's estates. He married Isobel Carwford, daughter of Malcolm Crawford. The honour of Knighthood was conferred on him by King James IV who issued him several Charters.

4. John Cunningham of Caprington, their son married 1'st Annabella Campbell, daughter of Sir Matthew Campbell of Loudon, Sherrif of Ayr. Main residence was Castle of Caprington but owned Culzean, Tarbolton, Braidland, Brothocklee and more. His 2'd wife was Lady Elizabeth Cunningham, daughter of William 4th Earl of Glencairn but had no children. He died about 1565. A daughter was Agnes Cunningham who married Andrew Stewart, the 2'd Lord Ochiltree who owned estates in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and the Stewartry. He was owner of the Barony of Earlston which included Waterhead. They had 7 children.

5. William Cunningham of Caprington, son of John and Annabella, marrried the daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar. William died 1596/7. They had 3 sons, William of Caprington , John of Broomhill, and Hugh of Previck.

6. William Cunningham of Caprington married Lady Margaret Hamilton, second daughter of the Earl of Abercorn but had no children.

7. John Cunningham of Broomhill, brother of William, married Eleanor, daughter of Andrew McAdam of Waterhead. Their sons, John, b. 2/2/1605 and William, b.11/7/1607. William purchased the Caprington title which had lapsed on the death of his great uncle.

8. William Cunningham, son of William and Eleanor, married 1'st daughter of Patric, First Lord Lindores and Jean, daughter of Robert Stewart Earl of Orkney. They had 3 daughters. His 2'd wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William Sinclair of Rattar, descended ffrom the Earl of Caithness. They had 3 sons and 4 daughters.

9. John Cunningham, the first son purchased the barony of Caprington which had become extinct on the death of his great uncle, Sir William Cunningham in 1648 who died without issue. King Charles 11 created him a Knight-baronet in 1669.

10. James Cunningham, 2 'd son of Geife (Geise)

11. Adam Cunningham, 3 'd son was Captain of the Army.

MISC. Cunningham records

1600 - Alexander Cunningham a resident of Aiket
1602 - John Cunningham wife was Janet McAdam
1617 - Andrew Cunningam Bishop of Lismore, wife Elizabeth.
1619 - Alexander Cunningham of Tourlands, grandfather of John Crawfurd of
Crawfurdland noted in 1624.
1626 - Marion Cunningham spouse of Adam Cathcart, son of William of Bardarroch
1629 - David Cunningham servant to Prince Charles and Steward of Scotland.
1629 - William Cunningham, decesed, widow was Katherine Kennedy
1629 - James Cunningham, Esq. granted 1000 acres in Barony de Rapho, Ireland
1630 - James Cunningham resident of Balliachame, Donegal, Ireland
1631 - Adam Cunningham servitor to Sir William Cunningham of Caprinton
1660 - Jean Cunninghame, daughter of James Cuningham of Aikett was the wife of
Gilbert McAdam, younger of Waterhead
1660 - Alexander Cunningham, Dean of Rapho, Ireland, wife Katherine Murray
1685 - George Cunningham a Covenanter banished to America July 24th.
1750 - Sarah Cunningham was the wife of Gilbert McAdam, son of James McAdam of Waterhead. Aid to Camp to Earl of London stationed in New York City. Family returned to Scotland after R/W.

1753 - Cunningham of North Carolina and Tennessee
Col. John M. Cunningham was granted by Lord Granville 640 acres in Guilford,
originally Orange County, N.C .

1770 - Hugh Cunningham, wife Sarah (Davis?) resident of Botetourt Co., Virginia, left
estate to daughter Jesibel, step son, James Davis, plus 11 children. Owned land
next to John Davis and Robert Young.

1776 ­ Matthew Cunningham served in the Revolution in Capt. George Person's Co. and
was at the Battle of Camden. The family was allied to McKamie and Galbreath.
who moved to Bedford Co. Tennessee. A member of this family, Jeremiah
Cunningham b. 1824, was founder and Editor of the Confederate Veteran


The estate of Lefnoreis does not exist anymore as it was sold in 1635 by the Crawfords to the Earl of Dumfries who changed the name to Dumfries House.

Lefnoreis were an ancient branch of the Crawfurde family. They were granted land by the King under the Great Seal the Lordship of Uchiltree and the Barony of Drilstoun. They took Loch Doon Castle from the Kennedy family in 1510. The Crawfords owned all the land east of Deugh and Ken down to Dalry. The Lordship of Ochiltree passed to the Strewart family, reason unknown. They jointly owned these land in 1618 when George Crawford and Andrew Stewart, former Lord Stewart of Ochiltree, signed a joint resignation in favor of James, Lord Stewart of Ochiltree. In 1620, James Strewart sold the Barony of Earlston to Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, Knight.

1570 - David Crawford wife was Isabel McAdam who owned lands of Blackcraig.
1586 - David Crawford of Blackcraig sold to Quintin Carwford of Drumlaucht lands of Blackcraig and Craigcolrine in Kells parish.
1598 - Jane Crawford wife of Alexander Gordon in Barskeoche, parish of Kirkmaiden, Wigtoun.
1615 - Sir George Crawford of Lefnoreis issued 1,000 acres land grant in Co. Tryone, Ireland.


Grierson World Project & I.E.
David Alan MacGregor Grierson
dagrierson at

(Gregor, Gregory, Greir and etc. are all modifications of the name MacGregor. The Greirsons made claim as decsend from, Malcolm, dominus de MacGregor who died in 1374. Members of this family often signed their name Grier)

1419 - The Earl of Douglas granted Gilbert Greirson of Lag the Lands of Drumjohn which included Longford and Holm of Daltallochan. The Earl of Douglas granted William Greirson, Gilbert's second son, the Lands of Castlemaddie and Keremunno (now Carminnows) in 1456. The Greirson family owned most of the lands west of the River Deugh.

1544 - Marion Greir was married to Andro McAdam probably in Carminnows.
1569 - John Greirson or Greir in Kerymanoch was married to Sibilla McAdam
1582 - Janet Greir of Knokingeroche wife of Quintien McAdam
1584 - Grilis Greirsone, wife of John McMillane in Broklock, John Greirson in Longford was her brother.
1594 - William Greir wife was Janet McAdam


The name is derived from the parish of Gordon in Berwickshire. They were Anglo-Norman and settled in the south of Scotland in the 12th Century Adam de Gordon joined King Louis XI of France in the Crusade of 1270.

In the reigh of King Robert the Bruce, Sir Adam, Lord of Gordon. obtained a grant of the Lordship of Strathbogie in Aberdeenshire. He was Ambassador to Rome who made the reconciliation between the Brouce and the Pope. He was slain at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. His great-grandson, Sir Adam fell at the Battle of Homildon in 1402 leaving a only child and heiress, Elizabeth. She married Alexander, the 2'd son of of Sir William Seton of Seton. Her only son, Alexander was Earl of Huntly with heirs assuming the surname of Gordon.. The Huntly Castle was the most magnificent seat of the Gordon near the mouth of the Spey is now in ruin.

The Gordon Highlanders (2'nd Battalion) was raised in 1794 from an offer by the Marquis of Huntly, eldest son of the 4th Duke of Gordon a Highland regiment on the Gordon estates. The corps was accompanied by six pipers at the request of Jane, Duchess of Gordon. They served in Ireland in 1799. They served most gallantry during the Waterloo campaign.


The Gordon of Lochinvar descends from the second son of Sir Adam of Gordon who lived in the 14th century. The seat of the Gordon's of Lochinvar was the Kenmure Castle near New Galloway. These Gordons from Glen of River Ken were priciple landowners and the most powerful of the Glenkens family. Their Castle has been inhabited from the 11 th century until about 1900 when the contents was stripped and shipped to New York to be sold. The peerages of this house became dormant in 1847 and the Castle is now in ruin. The surviving family documents taken from the Castle are presently in the Dunfries Public Library.

1507 - John Gordon of Lochinvar, in court records, later became Armour bearer for King
James V.
1569 - John Gordon in Benbrek left a will.
1583 - Robert Gordon of Knockgray wife was Margaret McAdam. Their son was
Alexander Gordon.
1617 - William Gordon was absent from Court in Kirkcudbright
1623 - John Gordon of Ardwell wife was Christian McAdam, daughter of Gilbert
McAdam of Waterhead.
1669 - Edward Gordon, dec. widow Sibella McAdam of Barmarke
1672 - William Gordon of Barmerk parents were Sybil McAdam and spouse of Edward
Gordon of Barmark, cautioner James Gordon in Kirkillbryd
1673 - James Gordon, son of James Gordon notary in Kirkcubright
1674 - Alexaqnder Gordon and William McAdam in Gnockgroch, obligation wit: Walter
Gordon in New Galloway
1675 - Alexander Gordon elder, witness for Alexander Gordon, younger of Knockgray for tack.
1700 - Barbara Gordon was spouse of Mungo McAdam of Waterhead.

1700 - Elspeth Gordon married John McAdam in Inverness
1745 - Mary Gordon married John McAdam on 8 Oct. in Wigtown

1858 - James C. Gordon married Debora McAdam 9 May Poke Co., Mo
1858 - Mary E. Gordon married Alexander McAdam 30 Aug. Poke Co., Mo.


1519 - William Hamilton of Cumnock, sister Jonet Hamilton Wilson married John McAdam
1618 - William Hamilton was the minister of the Kirk of Dalry and was entitled to collect
teinds from all the lands in the parish.

Hamilton of County Tryone Co., Ireland see Armstrong family


1577 - David Kennedy of Culname in Carrick
1569 - Christiane Kennedy was married to Andrew McAdam of Waterhead
1584 - Marion and Christine Kennedy, sisters, and heirs portioners of the deceased John Kennedy of Gyiltre.
1584 - Thomas Kennedy of Bargany sold lands of Park, Mylntoun, and Laggan.
1600 - John Kennedy of Brockloche was a writer
1600 - John Kennedy was a resident of Blarquhan
1601 - Alexander Kennedy was the son of John Kennedy of Brockloch
1601 - Hugh Kennedy was a resident in Garrihorne
1601 - Andrew Kennedy, Lord Stewart of Ochiltrie
1603 - Christian Kennedy, spouse to George Crawford in Anchenvey
1605 - James Kennedy a resident of Straiton
1608 - Elilzabeth Kennedy spouse of Thomas McMillian, son of James in Brokloch
1669 - David Kennedy of Knockreoch son of Lt. William Kennedy


Allied family of the Douglas Clan

1695 - Grisel McMillane spouse to George McAdam in Bow
1708 - Jean McMillan spouse of William McAdam of Nether Knockingarroch

McMillans were Quaker families in York Co., Penn. from Ireland arrived abt. 1740 to America.


(Stewarts of Galloway appear to gbe the oldet cadets of the Royal Stewarts. Mary Queen of Scots changed the spelling to Steward which is the same family)

1548 - Andrew Stewart became 2'd Lord Ochiltree upon the death of his father. He married Agnes Cunningham, daughter of John Cunningham of Caprington. They had 7 children.
A. Andrew Stewart, Jr. never became Lord Ochiltree because his father outlived him. He married Margaret Stewart, daughter of Henry Stewart, Lord Methven but had no children. He 2'd married Margaret Keith and they had 8 children.

1. Andrew Stewart, 3'd Lord Ochiltree married Margaret Kennedy, daughter of Sir John Kennedy of Blairquhan. He was a gentleman of the bedchamber to King James VI, General of the ordnance and Govenor of the Edinburgh Castle. In 1615 he sold the Lordship of Ochiltree to Sir James Stewrt, son of Earl of Arran. In 1619 he moved to Ireland when made peer of Ireland under the title of Lord Stewart, Baron of Castlestewart in County Tyrone. He died in 1632.
2. Josias Stewart of Bonnyhtoun
3. Anne Stewart married Lord Jedburgh
4. Margaret Stewart married John Stewart of Traquair
5. Marjory Stewart married Sir Roger Aston, gentleman of bedchamber to James VI
6. Martha Stewart married Nicol Rutherford of Hundeley
7. Mary Stewart marred Sir George Crawford of Lifnorris
8. Isabel Stewart married Gilbert Kennedy of Bargenny

B. James Stewart of Bothwellmuir was created Earl of Arran and became High Chancellor of Scotland.

1749 - Jean McAdam married James Stewart in Wigtown 28 July