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Somerville Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FEAR GOD IN LYFE

Allow me to recount the fascinating saga of your family name, Somerville, unfolding through the corridors of history. The origins of this name trace back to Somerville, a town nestled near Caen in Normandy. Your family’s tale takes flight with Sir Gaulter de Somerville, a stalwart who accompanied William the Conqueror during the transformative events of 1066. Among his progeny, William de Somerville, the second son of Gaulter, embarked on a journey to Scotland alongside David I. There, he was granted lands near Carnwath in Clydesdale, firmly anchoring your family’s legacy in Scottish soil. William’s endeavors bore further fruit when he acquired the lands of Linton around 1174, a testament to his stature. His roles as chief falconer to the king and sheriff of Roxburgh underscored his significance within the realm.

The torch of bravery and loyalty passed down the generations. Sir William de Somerville, the fifth in line bearing that name, valiantly stood against the Norse invasion at Largs in 1263, fighting in the service of Alexander II. Stepping onto the stage of history, his son Sir Thomas graced the pages of the Ragman Roll, a record of nobles who swore fealty to Edward I of England in 1296. However, the subsequent year saw him joining forces with the indomitable Sir William Wallace in the stirring struggle for Scottish independence. This resolute spirit thrived through time, finding embodiment in his great-grandson, Sir Thomas, who was honored with the title of Lord Somerville around 1430. A prominent figure, he held the mantle of justiciar over the region south of the Forth.

The lineage’s dedication to the cause was palpable. John, the third lord, bore the scars of battle, wounded in the engagement against the English at the Battle of Sark in 1448. He stood steadfast during the siege of Roxburgh in 1460. The torch was passed, and Hugh, his brother, took the reins. A prisoner after the tumult at Solway Moss in 1542, Hugh was ransomed, pledging his support for the proposed union of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Edward, Prince of Wales. The lineage continued to shape Scotland’s narrative, their struggles intertwining with the grand tapestry of history.

The path embraced shifting allegiances, reflecting the complex politics of the era. Hugh Somerville, the seventh lord, toggled his allegiance, moving from Queen Mary’s side to James VI’s. Splendor mingled with challenges as James VI enjoyed the opulence of the Somervilles’ hospitality, leading to their financial strains and eventual sale of estates. Despite trials, the spirit endured. The Somerville peerage emerged in 1723, acknowledged by the House of Lords. John, now thirteenth Lord Somerville, stood tall as a representative peer of Scotland and erected the enduring House of Drum on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Amid your lineage’s chronicles, the remarkable Mary Somerville graced the stage. A beacon of intellect, she was a mathematician, scientific writer, and fervent advocate for women’s education. Her legacy endures through the distinguished Somerville College in Oxford, an embodiment of her pioneering spirit. As your family history unfolds, you’re reminded of the steadfastness, valor, and contributions that have shaped your identity. It’s a legacy that speaks to resilience, intellect, and the enduring capacity to make a positive mark on the world.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: FEAR GOD IN LYFE

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