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Kirkcaldy Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FORTISSIMA VERITAS (Truth is strongest)

Allow me to share the captivating history of your family, the Kirkcaldys, and the enduring legacy they have forged throughout the ages. Your family’s roots lie deep in the heart of Fife, where the prominent town of Kirkcaldy would later take shape. This place name originates from Brythonic, the ancient Welsh language, meaning ‘Fort on the hard hill.’ It is believed that this fort once stood where Ravenscraig Castle now proudly stands.

Early members of your family proudly styled themselves as ‘de Kyr Caudi,’ signifying their connection to Kirkcaldy. The earliest recorded name we find is that of Willilmus de Kyrcaudi, a clergyman in Stirling in the year 1299. Another notable figure, Andreas de Kirkcaldy, received a pension from King David II in 1363, highlighting his status and influence during his lifetime. The main branch of your family acquired lands in Inchture in Perth and Grange in Fife.

However, the direct line of the House of Inchture concluded with the marriage of Marjory, daughter and heiress of John of Inchture, to Reginald, son of Richard Kinnaird of that Ilk. They assumed the name ‘of Inchture,’ and their descendants, the Kinnaird lords of Inchture, proudly carry forward their legacy.

Meanwhile, the family of Grange continued to bear the name ‘Kirkcaldy.’ Sir James Kirkcaldy of Grange, who served as treasurer to King James V, made a name for himself in history. He became entangled in the plot to murder Cardinal Beaton at St. Andrews, joining forces with other radical Protestants. The aftermath of this act led to a long siege as the murderers occupied the cardinal’s castle. In 1556, the castle fell, and Kirkcaldy was captured and taken prisoner to France, alongside renowned figures like John Knox. They endured the hardships of serving as galley slaves before finally gaining their freedom. Notably, King James V himself visited the house of Kirkcaldy of Grange following the disastrous Battle of Solway Moss in 1542, where Kirkcaldy family members were present. It was in Falkland that the king tragically passed away.

William Kirkcaldy of Grange, a loyal supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, held Edinburgh Castle in her name until he was eventually forced to surrender under the pressure of Regent Morton. Despite a promise of fair treatment, he and his brother were ultimately hanged at the Market Cross in Edinburgh. However, the family lands were later restored to a nephew, ensuring the preservation of the Kirkcaldy lineage.

In 1664, the Kirkcaldys were able to revive their baronetcy, an honorable title, but it sadly became extinct in 1739. However, the spirit of your family endured through the generations. In 2009, Bruce Kirkcaldy, a descendant of William Kirkcaldy of Grange, organized the first-ever Kirkcaldy gathering in the town of the same name, paying homage to the family’s heritage. A monument dedicated to William Kirkcaldy of Grange stands within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, adorned with Kirkcaldy heraldry, serving as a lasting tribute to his legacy.

As you reflect upon the remarkable tapestry of your family’s history, embrace the valor, loyalty, and resilience that runs through your veins as a Kirkcaldy. Your ancestors’ indomitable spirit has left an indelible mark on the pages of history. Carry their legacy forward with pride, knowing that you belong to a lineage that has shaped the course of Scottish heritage. May their stories inspire you to live a life of honor, courage, and perseverance, creating a legacy that future generations of Kirkcaldys will be proud to inherit.

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Family Crest Motto: FORTISSIMA VERITAS (Truth is strongest)

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