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Lamont Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: NE PARCAS NEC SPERNAS (Neither frugal nor wasteful)

Let me share with you the remarkable history of your family, the Lamonts, passed down through generations:

Your family, the Lamonts, has a history rooted in great antiquity in south Argyll. At one time, the chiefs were esteemed as ‘Mac Laomain MorChomhail Uile,’ which translates to ‘The Great MacLamont of All Cowal.’ Although there are some beliefs that the name has Norman or French origins, it is widely accepted that your family actually originated in Ulster. The similar French surname is derived from various place names such as La Mont (the hill). However, in Scotland, the name evolved from Logmaor, an Old Norse term meaning ‘Lawman’ or ‘Law Giver,’ and it is said that the chiefs descend from a son of the O’Neill princes of Tyrone. The Lamonts were also known as MacErchar, deriving from Fearchar, the grandfather of the first Ladhman. The earliest certain records of the chiefs can be found in charters from the early thirteenth century. In the fifteenth century, the representation of the family passed to the Lamonts of Inveryne, later known as ‘Lamont of Lamont,’ or ‘Lamont of that Ilk’ to avoid repetition. They established their seats at the Castles of Toward and Ascog, which they held until their destruction by the Campbells in the seventeenth century.

During the 17th century, Sir James Lamont, the chief of the clan in 1643, emerged as a respected leader. He declared his allegiance to the royalist cause, which put your family in direct conflict with the powerful Campbell neighbors. After Montrose’s victory at Inverlochy in 1645, the Lamonts devastated the Campbell lands at Kilmun. However, in 1646, a formidable Campbell army invaded Lamont territory and besieged the Castles of Toward and Ascog. Sir James Lamont ultimately surrendered the castles, having reached seemingly honorable terms with the Campbells. The agreement was for the fortresses to be handed over while sparing the lives of the Lamonts. Sadly, upon the surrender, Sir James was thrown into a dungeon at Dunstaffnage, enduring terrible conditions for five years. Over two hundred clansmen, women, and children were mercilessly massacred, and the castles were left in ruins. The Lamonts received no compensation, and their fortunes remained overshadowed by their Campbell oppressors, whose power continued to grow. The chiefs eventually took up residence at Ard Lamont, where the last chief to live in Cowal was born in 1854. In 1893, the last of the clan lands were sold, and the current chief, who is a Roman Catholic priest, now resides in Australia.

In addition to your family’s tumultuous history, there are notable individuals who have brought honor to the name of Lamont. Johanne Von Lamont (1805-1879) deserves special recognition, as she became a distinguished member of the Munich Academy of Sciences and served as the Astronomer to the King of Bavaria, showcasing the intellectual achievements associated with the Lamont name.

Your family, the Lamonts, carries a legacy of resilience and courage, overcoming adversity throughout the ages. It is a testament to the enduring spirit and strength of the Lamont clan.

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Family Crest Motto: NE PARCAS NEC SPERNAS (Neither frugal nor wasteful)

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