Skip to content Skip to footer

The Cheyne Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: PATIENTIA VINCIT (patience conquers)

Let me share with you the historical background of your family name, Cheyne. It is believed to have originated from Quesney near Coutances, a place of Norman or French heritage. The name itself signifies ‘oak plantation’ derived from the word “chesne.” According to historical accounts, a family from Quesney migrated to Buckinghamshire and subsequently settled in Scotland around the year 1200 during the reign of William the Lion. Interestingly, some early clerks mistakenly associated the word for ‘oak’ with the meaning ‘dog,’ leading to the accidental styling of the name as ‘Canis,’ as noted by George Black. During the years 1147 to 1160, a person named Rabel de Chene witnessed charters by William de Vipont to the monks of Coldingham in North Durham.

The earliest recorded presence of your family in Scotland can be traced back to William de Chesne, who witnessed charters granted between 1198 and 1214 to the monks of Holyrood by William de Vipont, son and heir to William de Vipont and Emma de St. Hilary. Reginald le Chein served as the Great Chamberlain of Scotland from 1267 to 1269. He married a sister of John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, whose wife Margaret was the sister of King John Baliol. The second Reginald was also a supporter of the Baliol claim to the Crown of Scotland. He fought alongside John Baliol at Dunbar in 1296, but after his son Reginald the third was captured, he pledged allegiance to Edward. Later, he became one of Edward’s Justiciars ‘beyond the mountains’ and was taken prisoner by the English in May 1296. He remained in captivity until his release in 1299. Initially, he refrained from political involvement until after his father’s death, after which he actively fought for the Bruce cause, even signing the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.

The primary area associated with your family is Esslemont, while cadet houses or branches of the family held lands in Straloch, Dundarg, and Pitfichie. James Cheyne, born in 1595, and his relative Alexander Cheyne faced outlawry around 1601. The inhabitants of Aberdeen were officially prohibited from interacting with them. This situation arose due to James divorcing his first wife in 1598 and subsequently marrying Elspeth Gordon of Gight. The marriage ceremony was conducted not by a minister but by another relative, James Cheyne. Alexander Cheyne was described as James’ ‘constant abettor in crime and companion in disgrace.’ In later generations, the family produced notable medical doctors. During the mid-eighteenth century, the most prominent figure bearing the name was Dr. George Cheyne, a renowned society doctor in London and a vocal advocate for vegetarianism.

SHARE WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: PATIENTIA VINCIT (patience conquers)

$99.00

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Copyright Notice: This artwork is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or usage of this artwork without explicit permission from ScottishFamilyCrest.com is strictly prohibited.