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Haliburton Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: WATCH WELL

Let me share with you the rich history of your family, the Haliburtons, passed down through the ages. It all began with lands in Berwickshire, previously known as Burton or Burghton, until a chapel was established there. Following this, the name became Holy, or Holyburton. According to eighteenth-century heraldic authority Alexander Nisbet, the church derived its name from a holy man named ‘Burton.’ Your family held land in various places, including Edinburgh, Berwickshire, Perthshire, and Angus, but their main estate became Dirleton in Haddingtonshire. Records from medieval times attest to the presence of early Haliburton family members. Walterus de Halyburton made a donation to the Abbey of Kelso in 1176. His grandson, Sir Henry Halyburton, pledged allegiance to Edward I of England in 1296. Sir Henry’s grandson was captured by the English at the Battle of Durham in 1346 and was eventually released in 1357 as part of a ransom for David II.

Notable members of your family ascended to prestigious positions. Sir Walter Haliburton became Lord High Treasurer of Scotland in 1439 and a year later was appointed a Lord of Parliament with the title Lord Haliburton of Dirleton. Prior to that, he had been held hostage in England for James I. He had also married Isobel, daughter of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, connecting your family to the Stewarts. Mark Haliburton served at the court of James II but was later executed for reasons unknown. John, the second Lord Halyburton, married Janet, daughter of Sir Robert Seaton of Seaton. The Haliburtons acquired Dirleton Castle through marriage around 1350. Mariotta Haliburton, Lady Home, was a 16th-century Scottish noblewoman who is remembered for her role in defending and negotiating the surrender of the Castle of Hume after the Scots’ defeat at the Battle of Pinkie. She was the daughter of Patrick Haliburton of Dirleton.

James Halyburton of Pitcur served as Provost of Dundee for an impressive thirty-three years, from 1550 until 1583. He was a religious reformer and an active opponent of Mary, Queen of Scots, participating in the Battle of Langside against her. He later became involved in the Ruthven Raid and faced the consequences of James IV’s wrath. Sir George Halyburton was appointed Lord President of the Court of Session in 1642 and had previously been knighted by Charles I at Holyrood. Another George Haliburton, an Episcopalian clergyman, became the Bishop of Aberdeen. Despite his old age and frailty, he attended the raising of James Stuart’s standard in 1715 and passed away a few weeks later.

These are the remarkable stories of your family, the Haliburtons, filled with noble titles, influential positions, and significant events that have shaped your ancestral lineage throughout history.

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Family Crest Motto: WATCH WELL

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