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Halkerston Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: IN ARDUA NITOR (in difficulties I am depended upon)

Let me share with you the fascinating history of your family, the Halkerstons. Our family name is derived from the place name Hawkerton, which means ‘farmstead belonging to the Hawker.’ It is believed that our ancestors were associated with the royal office of hawker and were granted lands by the king to support them. There are still lands known as Halkerstone near the village of Inveresk in Midlothian, as well as the lands of Hawkerton in the Mearns, south of Aberdeen. Our family coat of arms proudly displays falcon heads, symbolizing our connection to falconry.

The first recorded instance of our surname can be traced back to Midlothian, specifically with William de Halkerston, who lived between 1185 and 1236. He appears to have been a client of the High Stewards of Scotland, the Stewarts, and was a co-heir to a man named Robert of Kent. It seems that Robert of Kent was the father of William’s wife, Ada. The historical document also mentions Richard, William’s brother, and his wife Emma, likely Ada’s sister, as well as John of Montgomery and his wife Helen, possibly the third sister. Another member of our family, Johan de Haukerstone, is listed on the Ragman Roll, which was a document of submission to the English King Edward I in 1296 following his invasion of Scotland and the deposition of King John.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, our family name was quite prevalent around Edinburgh and the Lothians. In fact, there is a street in Edinburgh named Halkerstone Wynd, which is believed to have been named after either John or David Halkerstone. John is known to have been one of the builders of the magnificent Trinity College in Edinburgh, although sadly, it was later demolished to make way for Waverly Railway Station. On the other hand, David Halkerstone met a tragic fate in 1544 when he was killed during an invasion by the English forces of Henry VIII. This invasion, known as the Rough Wooing, was part of Henry’s attempt to arrange a marriage between his son and the infant Mary Queen of Scots. Our family’s main line later became the lairds of Rathillet in Fife.

However, one of the most well-known, or rather notorious, members of our family was David Halkerstone, who lived during the 1680s. He was a militant and fanatic Scottish Covenanter and gained notoriety for his involvement in the brutal murder of Archbishop James Sharp of St. Andrews in 1679. David’s actions led to his trial and eventual execution.

This is the rich and sometimes complex history of your family, the Halkerstons. It is a testament to the resilience, diversity, and occasionally turbulent nature of our lineage. May we honor our heritage and carry forward the legacy of the Halkerstons with pride.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: IN ARDUA NITOR (in difficulties I am depended upon)

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