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Schaw Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: I MEAN WELL

Allow me to share the intriguing story of your family, the Schaws, a tale rooted in legacy and noble service. The name Schaw in the Lowlands holds a unique origin, distinct from the renowned northern clan within the Clan Chattan alliance. Legend recounts that Schaw was the second son of Duncan, Earl of Fife, graced with the esteemed role of cup bearer to the king. While eighteenth-century heraldic authority, Nisbet, proposed their potential service to Alexander II or Alexander III, the exact period remains uncertain. The family’s heraldry speaks of their regal duty, reminiscent of the English Butler lineage. Your family came to possess the lands of Hayley, Wardlaw, and Drumchaber in Ayr from James, the Great Steward of Scotland, prior to 1309. In 1407, John Schaw, Lord of Hayley, formalized an agreement with Alan Cathcart, endorsed by charter under the great seal. Andrew Schaw, a younger heir from Hayley, received the lands of Sornbeg and Polkemmet in 1477.

A pivotal moment arrived in 1615 when John Schaw received a charter from James VI, elevating all their lands to the barony of Sornbeg. The leading family was notably the Schaws of Sauchie, located near Stirling. John Schaw of Sauchie held the esteemed post of Comptroller of the Royal Household during the reign of James III. A captivating chapter in your family’s chronicle unfolds with Christian Schaw, the young daughter of John Schaw of Bargarran in Renfrewshire. She was embroiled in one of Scotland’s final witchcraft trials, involving claims of torment by witches from the end of 1696 into 1697. Subsequently, three men and four women faced witchcraft charges, leading to their tragic execution. Remarkably, Christian emerged from her supernatural ordeal, eventually becoming the catalyst for a global trade in thread centered around Paisley. As she matured and married, she assumed the title of Lady Blantyre. Noted for her skill in spinning yarn, she conceptualized transforming it into thread, an idea she nurtured alongside her younger sisters and neighbors. From this modest initiative, a vibrant thread manufacturing industry burgeoned, known as Bargarran thread, named after her residence. The legacy of Bargarran thread continues to thrive today, underscoring her enduring influence.

With resilience and ingenuity, your family, the Schaws, has traversed the annals of time, contributing to both history and commerce, leaving a lasting imprint that resonates to this day.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: I MEAN WELL

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