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Issue 91 - We've got mail

Scotland Magazine Issue 91
February 2017


This article is 23 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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We've got mail

A selection of messages from our readers across the globe

SIR ­— My paternal line originated in Britain. I have never found, in my family research, an answer to the question: Why are the "Kings" a part of the MacGregor Clan? Is there research showing a date when the name "King" appeared in the Clan History? I have not found any. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. SJ King

The MacGregors are the senior clan of Clan Alpin, descendants of King Kenneth MacAlpine, King of Scots in the 9th Century. After a bloody feud with the Colquhouns in the early 17th Century, Clan Gregor was outlawed by James VI, King of Scots, and its clansfolk hunted down. Large numbers of clan members therefore changed their names to avoid being arrested, imprisoned or worse, and it is possible that the name King, a throwback to the MacGregors' Royal lineage, was adopted by a clansman around his time. The ban was lifted by Charles I when the Laird of MacGregor emerged from the mists to support him during the revolution. However, if you were calling yourself King, the surname would have stuck.

SIR ­— My grandfather Hamilton once told me of our Scottish genealogy. He gave me information when I was 13 years old. I have been to Scotland on five separate trips in a span of several years. I am now a retired teacher, 90 years old (also a WW2 veteran). When first in Scotland I never was told about the town of Hamilton. On all my successive trips I never had an occasion to learn of the town. Maybe someone in your office will help me in this quest.
D Hamilton

The area that is now known as the town of Hamilton, in South Lanarkshire, was once known as Cadzow, which comes from the Celtic word Cadihou (the name of a hunting lodge belonging to Rederech, ancient ruler of Strathclyde). Created a Barony by David I in the 12th Century, it was later given by Robert I (The Bruce) to Walter FitzGilbert of Hameldone, in Northumbria. Sir James Hamilton, a descendent of Walter, was created Lord Hamilton after he married Mary Stewart, who was the sister of James III. The Barony was, nevertheless, still known as Cadzow until 1445 when a Royal Charter allowed the town and its surrounding lands to be renamed Hamilton. Later, in 1548-49, in became a Royal Burgh. A book titled Old Hamilton, by Rhona Wilson, gives a detailed account of the town's history and is available to purchase online via Amazon.

SIR ­— I have for a number of years been trying to discover where the 19th Chief of Clan Lamont was buried. His full name was Major John Henry Lamont, retired 92nd Regiment Gordon Highlanders who served in the Napoleonic Wars. He was born on the 9 June 1774 and died near Glasgow at Robroyston on the 31 March 1829. The family had a vault in a church, St. Kilfinan, in Argyllshire, but he does not seem to have been interred there. Surely a Scottish newspaper of the time would have printed an obituary naming his place of burial, but I have found nothing. This brave Scotsman deserves to have his place of burial recognised. Would any of your readers be able to help?
C Yorke

Unfortunately we can’t give very much insight into your query. However we do suggest that, if you have not already done so, you get in touch with the Clan Lamont Society ( They may hold further information on the Chief or perhaps one of their members will have access to useful records. Alternatively, we suggest engaging the services of a professional genealogist based in Scotland, such as Steve McLeish of Scotia Roots (, to help you discover the Chief's elusive resting place. Good luck!

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