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Whitefoord Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: TOUT EST D’EN HAUT (All is from above)

Let me share the intriguing story of your family name, Whitefoord, a tale etched with the rich tapestry of Scottish history. The lands of Whitefoord held a special place on the River Cart near Paisley, and the origins of the name itself remain somewhat shrouded in mystery. While the reasons for the association with the color white over the river ford are not entirely clear, the old English name ‘whita’ provides a glimpse into the past. The legacy traces back to a remarkable figure, Walter, who distinguished himself in the Battle of Largs in 1263, earning him the honor of acquiring these lands from none other than Alexander, High Steward of Scotland.

Walter Whitefoord’s presence in history is solidified by his witness to a charter of Alexander III during the same year. In 1296, amidst the turbulence of the times, John de Wheteford’s lands were reinstated by the order of the sheriff of Lanark. A significant figure, John de Quhetfur, is vividly described in a notarial instrument of 1413 as ‘dominus ejusdem,’ an esteemed distinction indeed.

The family arms, adorned with two red wheatsheafs, recount a storied victory achieved by one of your ancestors over the English during the era of Robert the Bruce. A tale of ingenuity unfolds, as the victory is attributed to a clever surprise attack involving a causeway made from a multitude of wheatsheaves. Whether history or legend, your family’s reputation and influence grew significantly as they forged alliances through marriage with notable families like Semple, Somerville, and Houston. As time flowed, the principal line of your family saw its conclusion in 1689.

However, the legacy of the Whitefoord name continued through the Whitefoords of Blairquhan, who emerged from a younger son of Whitefoord of that Ilk. This lineage secured substantial lands in Ayr, and their status as hereditary coroners of Carrick added to their distinction. The narrative takes a notable turn with the story of James Whitefoord, who married a daughter of Sir Bryce Blair of that Ilk. Their son, Adam, achieved the rank of baronet in 1701, cementing their family’s place in history.

Colonel Charles Whitefoord of Blairquhan emerges as a pivotal figure in the 1745 rebellion, embodying unwavering loyalty to the Hanoverian cause. His legacy carried on through his only son, Caleb, born in 1734. Caleb’s life intertwined with literary and historical giants like Dr. Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, and David Garrick. A statesman in his own right, Caleb was appointed to negotiate peace with America after the War of Independence, becoming a close confidant of Benjamin Franklin.

The lineage extends further, with Major General Philip Whitefoord, heir to the line of Blairquhan, commanding Allied land forces in Norway from 1944 to 1945. Although the family’s association with the Castle of Blairquhan faced changes, with its sale in the late eighteenth century, the legacy of your family name endures as a testament to the resilience, achievements, and remarkable connections that have shaped the tapestry of your family’s history.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: TOUT EST D’EN HAUT (All is from above)

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