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Meldrum Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: MENS IMMOTA MANET (The mind remains unmoved)

Let me recount the fascinating history of your family, the Meldrums. The origins of your surname are intertwined with a place, where a knightly landowner chose to bear the name of his esteemed residence. This illustrious location, the ancient barony of Meldrum, is nestled in Aberdeenshire. The name itself emerges from the fusion of ‘Meall’, signifying ‘mountain’, and ‘druim’, denoting ‘ridge’ in Gaelic. The heart of this barony is now known as Oldmeldrum, distinguishing it from (New) Meldrum House, an architectural gem that emerged in 1625. However, another twist of history reveals that this place was also known as Feodarg, a name that may have alternatively woven itself into your family’s lineage.

At the genesis of your ancestral tale stands Philip of Meldrum/Feodarg, a knight whose legacy flourished between 1233 and 1273. History designates him as a justiciar of Scotia. Philip’s lineage, intricately interwoven with the fabric of Scottish nobility, possibly connects to the Lundin kindred. This family had migrated from England to serve Scottish monarchs. Philip, a man of consequence, wed Agnes Comyn, a member of the powerful northeastern Comyn family, rivals to the Bruces. The tapestry of your ancestry becomes even more vivid with the mention of Philip’s connection to Agnes Comyn, a name echoing through 1263.

The mantle of leadership was then passed to William, possibly Philip’s son, who graced the annals as ‘Dominus (Lord) de Meldrum’ in 1278. Both Philip and William de Melgedrum played roles of significance, etching their names in history as witnesses to the foundation charter of the Hospital of Turriff, overseen by the Comyn Earl of Buchan. Linked by blood and alliances, the Meldrums assumed a dominant stance in the northern territories. William’s trajectory took a turn as he ascended to the post of sheriff of Aberdeen, and later found his name on the Ragman Roll, affirming submission to Edward I of England in 1296, amidst the turmoil of the English invasion.

History unfurls a poignant episode in the life of William Myldrum, a Scottish prisoner of war, who met his fate at the hands of the English in 1402. Elizabeth, an heiress, marked the conclusion of the direct line of Meldrum of that Ilk as she joined in marriage with William, the son of Sir Alexander Seton, a figure who met his end at the Battle of Brechin in 1452. Another facet of your family’s narrative unfurled with the Meldrums of Crombie, who intertwined their fate with the influential Preston family. This alliance is mirrored in the quartering of the Meldrum arms with those of Preston. The Meldrum name continues to grace the landscapes of Aberdeenshire.

Notably, Sir John Meldrum emerges from the pages of history as a dedicated soldier in the service of James IV and Charles I. However, his loyalties underwent a transformation in 1642 when he lent support to Parliament against the reigning king. His path was marked by both triumphs and adversity. In 1644, he suffered defeat at the hands of Prince Rupert at Newark, but his valor was soon redeemed when his army triumphed over a considerable Royalist cavalry force. Yet, the climax of his life arrived during the siege of Scarborough Castle in 1648, where he fell.

Embrace the rich tapestry of the Meldrum legacy, a saga woven with courage, alliances, and the twists of history. Your family’s journey paints a portrait of resilience and commitment, casting a radiant light upon the annals of Aberdeenshire.

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Family Crest Motto: MENS IMMOTA MANET
(The mind remains unmoved)

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