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Index of first names

Douglas in Elgin






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A collection of notes about the Douglas family in Elgin, Morayshire


  • Alexander Douglas (1226-1232), Sheriff of Elgin

  • 1420 - Walter Douglas, Sheriff of Elgin attneded a great gathering of northern gentry at the Kirkyard of Chanonry of Kosemarkie in 16th August, 142

  • On 12th March, 1560-1, James Hay of Mayne, Alexander Guthrie in Elgin and seven others burgesses of Elgyne were delated before the Lords for convocation of the lieges to the number of eight score on the eighth day of January last, and for setting upon Alexander Robertson in 1'ittendreich and others tenants and servants to Elizabeth Douglas, Lady of Pittendreich, and hurting and wounding them to the great effusion of blood. They compeared not and were denounced rebels. 

  • In 1476, James Douglas, custumar of the burghs of Elgin and Forres, charges himself with twenty pounds, being the custom of salmon carried beyond the kingdom for two years past.  It is noted in the " Rolls " about this time (1501) that James Douglas of Pittendreich "has had and exersit the office of Chaumerlanery of oure lordschip of Murray this lang tyme bypast."


  • 1477, November 22nd. The King granted to James of Douglas and his heirs certain lands in the Lordship of Moray, he paying, inter alia, the sum of 5 6s. 8d. yearly from the lands of Pittendreich to a chaplain, of old foundation, on the Castle Hill of Elgyne.


  • 1528, September 6th. The King granted to his brother James, Earl of Moray, his heirs and assignees, the third part of the lands of Duffus, the lands of Pettindreich, Caldcottis, Darcle and Serestoun, and the house, tower, tenements and buildings within the burgh of Elgin per- taining to the King by reason of the forfeiture of George Douglas, brother of Archibald, formerly Earl of Douglas.

  • 1528, September 6th. The King granted.... 2s. of yearly rent from the east land of William Douglas, senior, burgess of Elgin, on the north side of said burgh ;   Isabella Douglas, relict of Robert Pedder is mentioned as being a neighbour in the same charter, as is James Douglas in Elgin

  • 1546, August 17th. The Queen granted to Alexander, Lord Gordon (son and heir apparent of George, Earl of Huntly), his heirs and assignees, the land and tenement, with garden and tail in the burgh of Elgin, on the east side of the Queen's highway, between the croft called Harvyisfield, the lands of Robert Innes and Elizabeth Douglas, and the land called St. Ninian's land, pertaining to the Queen by the death of James, Earl of Moray, her uncle, bastard, without lawful heirs. 

  • George Douglas was born about 1566 as the son of Alexander Douglas, the Provost of the royal burgh of Elgin in Moray. In 1588 he held the living of the parish at Dallas (Presbytery of Forres) just nine miles southwest of Elgin. He studied in Edinburgh and graduated in 1599 under the regency of William Craig. He was admitted to his next charge in 1601 in Cullen with Deskford also in the charge. w: 1st unknown s: Alexander w: 2nd Jean Stewart s: George d: Elizabeth, Marie

  • Alexander Innes, translated from Essil, 1589, deprived before 1598, and outlawed by the Court of Judiciary for “being airt and pairt in the slaughter of Agnes Leslie, relict of Alexander Douglas, Provost of Elgin, and of William Hay, Mayne.”


  • ALEXANDER DUFF, adm. to Creich 1628 before 28th Nov. 1616; dem. 13th Aug. 1623, and adm. here ; ratified his promise, 19th April 1626, to marry Jean, daugh. of John Douglas, burgess of Elgin, but in 1626 for failing to implement the same, his horse was seized and he was ordered to be warded if found within Elgin. [The Book of the Duffs, ii., 532 ; Reg. of Deeds, dl., 374 ; Elgin Sess. Rec.~]


  • In 1627, James Douglas was a Burgess (see seal register, below


  • Abt May 1645 - Montrose carried his revenge still farther, for, after burning the lands and houses of Campbell of Calder, and plundering all his effects, as well as those of the earl of Moray, who was then in England, he proceeded to Elgin, where, on the twelfth of May, he burnt the houses of Walter Smith, John Mill, John Douglas of Morristoun, and Alexander Douglas, some of whom, with some of their sons, were concerned in James Gordon’s murder.
    The houses of Robert Gibson, George Donaldson, and George Sutherland, and other inhabitants of Elgin, from their proximity to those put on , were seized upon by the flames, and consumed. The houses of Hay, the provost, and Gawin Douglas were also selected for destruction, but their safety was secured by the payment of a sum of money.
  • On 23rd July 1694, William Douglass, merchant, was listed as a baillie of the South West Quarter of Elgin





  • Provosts of Elgin

    1488 James Douglas (father of David Douglas of Pittendreich)
    1521–1525 David Douglas of Pittendreich
    1529–1530 William Douglas
    1554-1557 Alexander Douglas
    1559-1561 Alexander Douglas
    1568-1569 Alexander Douglas
    1574-1575 Alexander Douglas
    1584-1585 James Douglas of Shutting Acres (1)
    1586-1587 James Douglas
    1600-1601 James Douglas of Shutting Acres
    1609-1610 James Douglas of Barflethills
    1623-1631 Gavin Douglas of Shutting Acres
    1643-1645 Gavin Douglas of Morristoun (or Murieston) (Possibly brother to Alexander Douglas, Bishop of Moray, q.v.)
    1650-1653 John Douglas of Morristoun
    1655-1658 John Douglas of Morristoun


In the book, 'When Scotland was Jewish: DNA Evidence, Archeology, Analysis of Migrations ...' By Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, Donald Neal Yates, it suggests that these early Douglas Provosts were Jewish.



•  Suggested descendancy:

Alexander DOUGLAS Farmer at Blackhills, Moray (1775-1862) son of:
Alexander DOUGLAS Farmer Blackhills (1740-1811) son of;
Alexander DOUGLAS (1740-1811) Son of
Robert DOUGLAS (1701-) Steward (2) to Sir Robert GORDON son of:
Robert DOUGLAS Burgess of Elgin 1705 son of:
William DOUGLAS Bailie Dean of Guild , Elgin(1690-1702) son of:
Robert DOUGLAS Chamberlain to Gordon of Gordonstown (1602-) Son of:
James DOUGLAS of Shooting Acres Provost of Elgin son of:
Alexander DOUGLAS Provost of Elgin (1500-1547) son of:
James DOUGLAS of Pittendreich (1466-1500) married Eliz Hay son of:
Archibald DOUGLAS (Archibald the Grim) (1325-1400)


•  My response to the above:


The Douglas family in Moray is an area of research with which I have been grappling over a period of time. This is a really interesting 'tre' that you have posted. here are some thoughts. There is no clear, definitive, record of the very early Douglases, and different theories exist. I have not come across a 'Douglas of Dallas' before, but it is reasonable to expect that there was a Douglas of Dallas, it being in Moray. However, I do wonder if this might be a corruption of 'de Duglas', as early Douglases were known (see below). Moravia is one of the historical countries in the east of the Czech Republic. The Frisch family of Moravia is fairly well documented. See: However, this is more likely to be a reference to Freskin. Freskin was a minor nobleman active in the reign of King David I of Scotland. His name appears only in a charter by King William to Freskin's son, William, granting Strathbrock in West Lothian and Duffus, Kintrae, and other lands in Moray, "which his father held in the time of King David". The name Freskin is Flemish, and in the words of Geoffrey Barrow "it is virtually certain that Freskin belonged to a large group of Flemish settlers who came to Scotland in the middle decades of the 12th century and were chiefly to be found in West Lothian and the valley of the Clyde". Freskin's land acquisition does not appear to be unique, and may have been part of a royal policy in the aftermath of the defeat of king Óengus of Moray. For instance, on December 25, 1160, a charter was issued by King Máel Coluim IV to Berowald the Fleming, who seems to have controlled Bo'ness in West Lothian, granting him the lands of Innes and "Nether Urquhart" [=Etherurecard] in the "province of Elgin"; notably, one of the three witnesses to the charter which granted "Berowald Flandrensis" these lands, was "Wilhelmus filius Frisgin", William, Freskin's son. Freskin appears to be the progenitor of the "de Moravia" or "Murray" family who were lords of Duffus in the later 12th century and early 13th century and who rose to become the earls of Sutherland (southern Caithness), although it was not until the 13th century that we can be certain they took the surname "de Moravia". Comparison between pre-1330 Douglas(L) and Moray(R) ArmsIt is also quite possible that the House of Douglas arose from the same stock. The first recorded Lord of Douglas, William de Douglas, is attested to in various charters of William the Lion. Five of his six sons became clerics, the eldest of which Bricius de Douglas became Bishop of Moray in 1203. Alexander, Henry and Hugh de Douglas all became Canons of Spynie. It appears that the youngest, Freskin de Douglas, remained in Lanarkshire as parson of the parish of Douglas, before being appointed Dean of Moray. The similarity between the heraldry of the Morays and Douglases with the use of "Argent, on a chief azure, three stars of the field" for Douglas, and "Azure, three stars argent, two and one" for Moray, makes this compelling. Belief in the common descent of the Morays and Douglases was certainly extant in the early 1400s. Clan Sutherland also clain dscent from Freskin. Despite the above, I also have a note that Freskin was the son of William de Duglas, 3rd lord of Douglas. See: To be a Douglas brother-in-law to Freskin, Freskin's sister would have had to have married a Douglas. However, there is no record that I can find of Freskin's sisters. William 'Longlegs' is the son of Archibald, d1240, and he was the father of William 'Le Hardi'. Le Hardi's son was James 'The Good', and his son was Archibald 'The Grim'. At this point we have a problem; Archibald 'the Grim' did have a son, James, but he became the 7th earl of Douglas, and he was born in 1371. I can find litle reference to James Douglas of Pittendreich. There was a James who was Provost of Elgin in 1488. I am still trying to find out more about this branch of the Douglas family - here is where I have got to: I do not have any information about provosts of Elgin, but I have found a reference book which I have not read: The Burgess Rolls of Banff and Elgin by Frances McDonnell. Published by Willow Bend Books, 65 E. Main St., Westminster MD 21157-5026. 1998. 52 pp. Softcover. $7.50 plus $3 p&h. For further details of Douglases in Elgin, I recommend the book 'The Records of Elgin', which can be read here: I will, in time, be extracting details of the Douglas family and including them in The Douglas Archives. So, I mixture of fact and not quite so factual, I think.

•  Response by Forfarian:

"..a few dates don't seem right..."

Indeed they don't

Alexander DOUGLAS Farmer at Blackhills, Moray (1775-1862)
son of: Alexander DOUGLAS Farmer Blackhills (1740-1811)
son of; Alexander DOUGLAS (1740-1811)

Alexander could not have had a son born the same year as he was

Son of Robert DOUGLAS (1701-) Steward to Sir Robert GORDON
son of: Robert DOUGLAS Burgess of Elgin 1705
son of: William DOUGLAS Bailie Dean of Guild , Elgin(1690-1702)

This William would have been just 21 when Robert, son of Robert, was born - a bit on the young side to be a grandfather?

son of: Robert DOUGLAS Chamberlain to Gordon of Gordonstown (1602-)

and from this it looks as if Robert was aged 88 when William was born in 1690?

Son of: James DOUGLAS of Shooting Acres Provost of Elgin
son of: Alexander DOUGLAS Provost of Elgin (1500-1547)
son of: James DOUGLAS of Pittendreich (1466-1500) married Eliz Hay
son of: Archibald DOUGLAS (Archibald the Grim) (1325-1400)

Archibald cannot have had a son when he was 141 years old.





1.  Shooting Acres?

2.  Also referred to as the 'Head gardener'.


See also:

  • Douglas of Pittendreich
  • Bishop Alexander Douglas
  • Douglases of Moray

  • •  Bishops of Moray
  • Ancestors of Alexander Douglas, 1855-1922 [pdf]


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