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Halket Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FIDES SUFFICIT (faith is sufficient)

Let me share with you the captivating history of your family, the Halkets. Your family name is believed to have originated from the lands of Halkhead in Renfrewshire, Scotland. Some suggest that the original name of the area was Hawk-wood. It was here that a knightly landowner adopted the name of his principal seat, giving rise to the Halket surname. Although the exact origins of your family are somewhat mysterious, the presence of Sir Henry Hackett as a witness on a charter in 1230 attests to their early existence.

The House of Pitfirran has long been recognized as the prominent branch of your family. They have held their lands in Fife since the fourteenth century and acquired the lands of Luphannan and Balingall from David II by 1370. Variations of the name, such as Philip Hagat, Lord of Balingall, can be found in writs of Pitfirrane from 1390. Sir Robert Halket of Pitfirrane was knighted by James VI, and his son, Sir James, staunchly supported the Covenanters during the reign of Charles I. Sir James was even elected as a Member of Parliament for Fife in 1649 and continued to raise his own cavalry regiment. Another notable figure, John Halket, is recorded in Dysart, Fife in the mid-sixteenth century, while Robert Holkat was recorded in Culross. The line of Sir Charles Halket of Pitfirrane, who was bestowed the title of Baron in 1662, ended with his daughter, Janet, who married Sir Peter Wedderburn of Gosford. As a condition of inheriting the estate, Sir Peter assumed the Halket name and arms.

Your family has produced remarkable individuals throughout history. George Halkett, born in 1692, was a Jacobite songwriter and schoolmaster. He studied at the University of Aberdeen and later became a schoolmaster near Fraserburgh. George was closely associated with prominent Episcopalian families in the area, such as the Frasers of Philorth. However, he is best remembered as the composer of songs like ‘A Dialogue between the Devil and George II,’ which allegedly led the Duke of Cumberland to offer a reward for his capture. Another notable figure is Lady Elizabeth Wardlaw, formerly Halket, the daughter of Sir Charles Halket of Pitfirran. Described as a woman of elegance and wit, Elizabeth was a talented poet known for her imitation ballad ‘Hardyknute,’ which later became the subject of much antiquarian debate.

In more recent times, General Sir Colin Halket distinguished himself as the commander of a brigade in the German Legion during the Peninsula War (1808-1814). He endured severe injuries at the Battle of Waterloo. Sir Peter Arthur Halket of Pitfirrane, the eighth Baronet, served in the 42nd Highlanders during the Crimean War. He carried the Queen’s Colour at the Battle of Alma in 1854. Unfortunately, the baronetcy came to an end in 1904.

Such is the storied history of your family, the Halkets. It is a testament to the resilience, talent, and significant contributions made by your ancestors. May you carry their legacy with pride and continue to add to the remarkable tapestry of your family’s history.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: FIDES SUFFICIT (faith is sufficient)

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