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Kirkpatrick Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: I MAKE SURE

Allow me to share the intriguing history of your family, the Kirkpatricks, and the remarkable journey they have undertaken throughout the ages. Your family’s name originates from the chapel of St. Patrick, nestled in the parish of Closeburn in Dumfriesshire. It is believed that your ancestors have held lands near Closeburn since the ninth century, establishing deep roots in the region.

The first recorded mention of your family dates back to the twelfth century, when Ivone de Kirkpatrick served as a witness to a charter of the Bruce family. In 1246, during the reign of Alexander II, a Humphrey de Kilpatrick acquired a charter for the lands of Colquhoun from the Earl of Lennox. Humphrey’s son, Ingram, was the first to adopt the name Colquhoun. Geographically, the name ‘Kilpatrick’ has become closely associated with the Lennox region, while places bearing the name ‘Kirkpatrick’ are predominantly found in Dumfries-shire.

One of the notable figures in your family’s history is Roger de Kirkpatrick, who was a loyal attendant to Robert Bruce. Legend has it that the family motto, derived from Roger Kirkpatrick’s actions, is tied to the murder of Sir John (Red) Comyn. In the church of the Greyfriars in Dumfries, Bruce confronted Comyn, accusing him of treachery. A scuffle ensued, during which Bruce stabbed Comyn. Disturbed by his own actions, Bruce sought reassurance from his companions, expressing doubt about Comyn’s fate. In a resolute response, Kirkpatrick cried, “Sire, You doubtest so? I’ll mak sikkar!” (“I’ll make sure”), as he rushed back into the church and ensured Comyn’s demise.

The Kirkpatricks later received a pardon from the Pope for their role in Comyn’s death. In 1314, your family was rewarded by the Crown with the lands of Redburgh. In 1355, Sir Roger Kirkpatrick distinguished himself by capturing Caerlaverock and Dalwinston Castles from the English, thus safeguarding Nithsdale. The title eventually passed to Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, who obtained a charter for the lands of Closeburn and Redburgh from Robert, Duke of Albany, in 1409. Sir Thomas’ grandson, also named Sir Thomas, was taken captive by the English during the ill-fated Battle of Solway Moss in 1542.

In 1685, another Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn was honored with the creation of a Baronetcy of Nova Scotia in recognition of his loyalty to the embattled Charles I. He constructed a grand ancestral residence, unfortunately destroyed by fire in later years. The Closeburn estate was eventually sold by Sir James, the fourth Baronet. Your family’s legacy extends beyond Scotland’s borders as well. William Kirkpatrick, a merchant in Malaga, Spain, entered into a union with the daughter of a Belgian baron. Their great-granddaughter, Eugenie, achieved eminence as Empress of France upon marrying Napoleon III, ultimately becoming the last Empress of France.

As you reflect upon the captivating tapestry of your family’s history, remember the valor, loyalty, and resilience that run through your veins as a Kirkpatrick. Your ancestors’ indomitable spirit and unwavering devotion have left an indelible mark on the pages of history. Embrace their legacy with pride, knowing that you hail from a lineage that has shaped the course of Scottish heritage and even made its mark on the broader world stage. May their stories inspire you to embrace honor, fortitude, and ambition, as you carry their torch forward into the future, adding your unique chapter to the rich saga of the Kirkpatrick family.

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Family Crest Motto: I MAKE SURE

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