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Innes Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: BE TRAIST (be faithful)

Let me share with you the fascinating history of your family, the Inneses. The barony of Innes, situated in Morayshire, holds a significant place in your family’s history. In the year 1160, your ancestor Berowald, a nobleman from Flanders, was granted this barony by Malcolm IV. It was his grandson, Walter, who adopted the surname de Innes in 1226, giving rise to the Innes surname we know today. From Walter’s lineage, various branches of the Innes family emerged over time.

The Innes name has a connection to the Gaelic word for island, which adds a distinctive element to its origin. It is important to note that the Innes name is distinct from MacInnes or McGuiness, despite occasional shortening to Innes in the eighteenth century, leading to some confusion. Variations of the Innes name include Ennis, Ennes, Innis, Inniss, and Ince.

Among the notable figures in your family’s history, the eighth Laird had three sons: Sir Alexander, who eventually became the ninth Laird; John, who later became the Bishop of Moray and played a pivotal role in the restoration of Elgin Cathedral; and George, who became the head of the Scottish Order of Trinitarian Friars. Sir Alexander’s son, Sir Walter, served as the chief for forty-two years until his passing in 1454. His son, Sir Robert Innes, fought alongside the Earl of Huntly at the Battle of Brechin in 1452 and made efforts to atone for his past sins by founding the Greyfriars of Elgin. James, the eldest son of Sir Robert, held the esteemed position of Armour Bearer to James III and welcomed James IV to the Castle of Innes in 1490. James and his son, Alexander, were well-known patrons of the arts and architecture, leaving a lasting legacy in these fields.

However, your family’s history also includes some unfortunate events. Alexander the Proud, the sixteenth chief, was executed by the Regent Morton for the murder of Walter Innes. His brother, John, succeeded him as chief but later relinquished the chiefship to his cousin, Alexander Innes of Crommey. Tragically, John was also murdered in 1580 by Robert Innes of Innermarkie during a family dispute.

Sir Robert, the twentieth Chief, played a significant role in your family’s history. He sold the Aberchirder estates but built Innes House, which became an important landmark. The third Baronet, Sir Robert, married Lady Margaret Ker, and through this union, Sir James Innes, the sixth Baronet and twenty-fifth chief, inherited the dukedom of Roxburgh in 1805. As a recognition of his contributions, his son was granted the additional title of ‘earl Innes’ in 1836. It is important to note that the current Duke of Roxburghe, who bears the compound surname of Innes-Kerr, is unable to be recognized as the Chief of Clan Innes.

Beyond these remarkable achievements, your family has produced individuals who have excelled in various fields. Lewis Innes served as Vice-Principal of the Scots College in Paris, while his brother Thomas Innes held the position of Prefect of Studies at the same college. Cosmo Innes, born in Durris, became a distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and History at Edinburgh University. Sir Thomas Innes of Learney served as Lord Lyon King of Arms from 1945 to 1969, and his son, Sir Malcolm Innes of Edingight, continued the family’s legacy by serving as Lord Lyon from 1981 to 2001.

Your family, the Inneses, possesses a rich and diverse history, marked by noble deeds, cultural patronage, and notable achievements across generations. It is a legacy to be proud of, showcasing the resilience, talent, and contributions of your ancestors.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: BE TRAIST (be faithful)

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