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The Dennistoun Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: ADVERSA VIRTUTE REPELLO (I repel adversity with fortitude)

Let me share with you the historical background of your family name, Dennistoun. Your family name has a territorial origin and is derived from the old barony of Danzielstoun. This manor was named after a man called Daniel, possibly of Norman descent, hence the name ‘Daniels-town.’ There was a suggestion that your family might be related to a younger branch of the Earls of Lennox, but this connection is considered doubtful. Your ancestor, Sir Hugh Denzilstone of Denzilstone of that Ilk, submitted to Edward I. Your family’s connection to royalty came through his granddaughter, Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, who married Robert II in 1347 and was the mother of Robert III. This royal connection brought extensive lands and the governorship of Dumbarton Castle to your family.

Robert de Danielstone served as a hostage for David II in 1357 and later became a commissioner for the peace treaty with England in 1370. He succeeded his father as the sheriff of Lennox and the keeper of Dumbarton Castle. After his death in 1399, his brother Walter forcibly took Dumbarton Castle and attempted to claim it as a family possession. Their relative, Robert III, offered Walter the bishopric of St. Andrews as compensation for returning the castle, but Walter passed away before this could happen. William de Danielstoun held positions in the royal household of Robert III and his son, the Duke of Rothesay. In 1547, Robert Denniestoun became a freeman of the incorporation of Goldsmiths in Edinburgh. By the seventeenth century, the family was associated with their estate at Colgrain. John Dennistoun of Colgrain fought and died for the royalists during the War of the Three Kingdoms and participated in the failed attempt to restore the monarchy in 1653.

Dennistoun of Dennistoun played a prominent role as the commander of the cavalry militia in Dumbartonshire. However, your family is best known for their contribution to the development of Glasgow. In 1814, James Dennistoun purchased the vacant estate of Golfhill. He was a strong supporter of the Liberal Party and worked for the success of the Parliamentary Reform Bill, which was passed in 1832. James was offered a knighthood by Prime Minister Earl Grey as a recognition of his efforts, but he declined it, considering it to be seen as self-serving by the people of Glasgow. His grandson, John Dennistoun, served as a Member of Parliament for Glasgow between 1837 and 1847. Another notable family member, Alexander Dennistoun, played a significant role in the development of Glasgow. He employed architects to create the suburb of Dennistoun, located to the east of the city centre.

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Family Crest Motto: ADVERSA VIRTUTE REPELLO (I repel adversity with fortitude)

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