Saturday, 23 April 2011

Surname Saturday: Haliburton

Haliburton is a Scottish surname which comes from two farms near Greenlaw in Berwickshire - Meikle and Little Haliburton. It is thought that the original name for the area was Burton, from the Norse bur, a storehouse, and dun (pronounced toon), a fort. Then a chapel was built and the area became Holy or Haly Burton.

The earliest recorded bearer of the surname was David de Halyburton who, in 1176, gave the chapel at Halyburton to the Abbey of Kelso. The Haliburtons originally held estates at Merton and Muirhouselaw near Dryburgh. In the 14th century they acquired by marriage the lordship of Dirleton, in East Lothian and, in the 15th century, the lordship of Pitcur in  Angus.

From Pitcur there developed a strong Angus branch of the family in and around the parish of Kettins, where Hallyburton House and Forest remain to this day. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Angus branch of the Haliburtons were also active as merchants and writers (solicitors) in Dundee and in Edinburgh.

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott was descended from the Haliburtons of Dryburgh through his mother. In 1820 he published a book called Memorials of the Haliburtons which is now available to read online at the Internet Archive.

Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689

One of the Haliburton lairds of Pitcur was killed at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, fighting on the Jacobite side under John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee. He is mentioned in the folk song The Braes of Killiecrankie: "The bauld [bold] Pitcur fell in a furr [ditch]:



My Haliburton ancestry

My own Haliburton ancestors come from the same period of Scottish history. I've traced them back to the early 17th century in the parishes of Kettins and Newtyle. My family were tenants of land belonging to the Haliburtons of Pitcur, so are likely to be related in some way, but at present I do not know how.











John Haliburton           aft 26 Aug 1622
George Haliburton John Haliburton   Susanna Halden bef 30 Sep 1664    
James Haliburton George Haliburton Susanna Halden Agnes Smith 9 Jul 1677   bet 1698 & 1700
Jean Haliburton James Haliburton Agnes Smith Charles Hay 8 Jul 1720 Coupar Angus, Perthshire aft 22 May 1753

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