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The Blane Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: PAX AUT BELLUM (Peace is obtained by war)

Let me share with you the captivating history of your family name, Blane. Your family name, also spelled Blaine, is prominent in Ayrshire and Wigtownshire and is a contracted form of MacBlane or MacBlain. It originates from the Gaelic name ‘Mac-Gille-Blane,’ which means ‘son of the follower of Saint Blane.’ The name is first mentioned in a Dumfries charter between 1124 and 1165, where it was witnessed by Gilcomgal mac Gilbláán. Saint Blane, who was born on Bute and died in 590, was a bishop of the Picts. The original ‘follower of Blane’ was likely an abbot or priest in one of Blane’s religious establishments, as these were the times before clerical celibacy. Place names associated with Saint Blane include Strathblane and Blanefield in Stirlingshire, as well as Dunblane, which was the center of the saint’s veneration. In 1127, Blane, or Bláán, served as the priest of Linton. As the centuries passed, we find records of Patrick Blane as the provost of the burgh of Wigtown in 1561, and an Agnes Blaine mentioned in the Parish of Kirkudbright in 1684.

Thomas Blane, a merchant from Girvan, is credited with establishing the prosperity of the gentry family. Members of your family emigrated to Ireland and the West Indies, where regrettably, some were involved in the slave trade. John Blane of Chappeldonan married into the Montgomery family, and their son Archibald fought in the British army during the American War of Independence. Archibald’s younger brother, Robert, served the British East India Company for a significant portion of his life and was honored with the freedom of the City of Edinburgh for his military achievements. Gilbert Blane of Blanefield was succeeded by his eldest son, Andrew, who pursued a career in law. Sir Gilbert Blane, Andrew’s younger brother, was granted a baronetcy in 1812 in recognition of his medical reforms within the Royal Navy, particularly his advocacy for using lemon and later lime juice to combat scurvy. He later became a physician to the Prince Regent, who would later become George IV. Sir Gilbert’s son and heir, Hugh Blane, served in the Scots Guards at the Battle of Waterloo three years later.

The family’s tradition of military service continued throughout the 19th century, with contributions in the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and the First World War. Unfortunately, the last baronet, Sir Charles Blane, lost his life in the naval Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916. Another branch of the Blaine family is documented as Scottish immigrants to Ulster in the 17th century. They later traveled to Pennsylvania to escape the persecution of Presbyterians during the time of the Penal Laws in Ireland.

As you explore the fascinating history of your family, the name Blane carries stories of religious devotion, military valor, and notable achievements in various fields. It is a heritage to be proud of, encompassing figures who made their mark in Scotland, Ireland, and beyond.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: PAX AUT BELLUM (Peace is obtained by war)

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