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Urquhart Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: MEANE WEIL, SPEAK WEIL, AND DOE WEIL (Mean well, speak well and do well)

Let me share with you the rich tapestry of your family’s history, the Urquharts, tracing back to the ancient place name of Airchart, first documented in the life of the Celtic saint, Columba. The meaning of Airchart has been interpreted in various ways, including ‘woodside,’ ‘by a rowan wood,’ or ‘fort on a knoll,’ all connecting your family to the land’s natural beauty and prominence.

Your family’s legacy began as hereditary sheriffs of Cromarty during the reign of David II. Remarkably, Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, your ancestor, is said to have fathered twenty-five sons, seven of whom courageously fought at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. A testament to their valor and dedication to their cause.

John Urquhart, known as the Tutor of Cromarty, emerged as a guiding figure for your family. He nurtured his grand-nephew, Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie, whose achievements spanned literature, scholarship, and military service. Sir Thomas’s renowned translation of the French poet Rabelais remains a masterpiece to this day. His commitment to learning did not deter him from serving in Charles I’s army and later becoming a captive at the Battle of Worcester. Sir Thomas’s life ended with a unique twist—allegedly passing away from laughter while celebrating the Restoration.

The Urquhart legacy continued to intertwine with historical events. Colonel James Urquhart’s allegiance to the ‘Old Pretender’ led him to the Battle of Sheriffmuir, where he was wounded. Captain John Urquhart of Craigston, known as ‘the Pirate,’ left a legacy shrouded in mystery, cultivating romantic myths around his fortune’s origin.

Your family’s resilience carried into Jacobite times. William Urquhart of Meldrum, a cautious Jacobite, wisely avoided the Culloden disaster. In contrast, Adam Urquhart of Blyth openly aligned with the Stuart court-in-exile at Rome. The line continued through Major Beauchamp Urquhart, who met his end in the Sudan in 1898.

In 1959, a descendant of the Urquharts of Braelangswell, Wilkins Urquhart, asserted his rightful place as the chief of Clan Urquhart. The ancestral seat at Castle Craig, overlooking the Cromarty Firth, stands as a testament to the amicable connection between two great Highland clans, symbolizing your family’s resilience, unity, and enduring spirit.

Your family’s journey is a saga of courage, creativity, and loyalty. From the earliest days to the present, the Urquharts have etched their name in history, leaving a legacy of strength and unity that continues to inspire and uplift.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: MEANE WEIL, SPEAK WEIL, AND DOE WEIL (Mean well, speak well and do well)

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