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Clan Kennedy
Clan Kerr





This family clan are first recorded in the early twelfth century, but may have been around much longer than that. Some people say that the name Kennedy originates from the Votadini tribe that stayed in the Lothian area of Eastern Scotland . A chieftain of that tribe named Cunedds had been sent by his Saxon leader to establish communities to resist the raids from Marauding Picts. The settlements soon spread down the whole of the west coast as far as Northern Wales .

Using the Celtic language to explain the name Cunedda meant that it would be spelt Cinneidigh (Ugly – or grim headed). The name eventually became synonymous with the Ayrshire district of Carrick. William the Lion granted lands to Gilbert Mac Kenedi, and he witnessed them as recorded at the time.

The Kennedy family clan claim to be blood related to the earls of Carrick. They played their part in the Scottish war for Independence which Sir William Wallace and (King) Robert the Bruce so gallantly led.

Wallace until his death at the hands of the English in the year 1305, and Bruce to the fields of Bannockburn on that summer day the twenty-fourth of June 1314 Scotland finally regained her Independence from the yoke of English rule only to give it back in the year1603, when the crowns were united. They were rewarded further with Robert the second confirming John Kennedy of Dunure as chief of his name and Baille of Carrick. This happened in the year 1372.

James Kennedy, who was born in the year 1406, was appointed Bishop of Saint Andrews in the year 1440 and did much to turn the fortunes of the diocese round and in fact became one of the most outstanding prelates of Scotland .

Gilbert Kennedy was created Lord Kennedy in the years between 1452-57 there is a dispute about this date. He was also Regent to the infant James the third. In the year of 1509 Sir David the third Lord Kennedy, was created Earl of Cassillis, but unfortunately for him he died a few years later at the battle of Flodden, in the year 1503, many Scottish clans people died a savage and brutal death that day. The cream of Scotland 's upper-class clans people, were killed this day. From the years 1649 to 1651 the Lord Justice General of Scotland , was John Kennedy the sixth earl of Cassillis. Him and his son who would become the eighth earl were firm believers in the Protestant religion and backed Parliament during the civil war.

The Kennedy family stayed out of the Jacobite struggle years and were little heard of until they were all over.

The fifth Marques of Ailsa presented Culzean Castle to the National trust of Scotland , to enable future generations to appreciate the history and diverse cultures of the Scottish life style.


Chief: Marques of Ailsa

Clan Seat : Cassillis House, Maybole; Culzean Castle , Ayrshire

Plant: Oak

Memorials: None

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The Kerr family clan are traditionally from the Border region of Scotland . They are first recorded in Scottish history around the end of the fourteenth century. They are known as one of the great riding clans of the Scottish borders. There are many names which appear to come from the primary Kerr, including, Kerr, Ker, Carr, Carre. It is said that originally the name stemmed from the Norse name 'Kjrr' which when translated to English means ‘marsh dweller'. On the island of Arran in the Irish Sea , just off the mainland of Scotland the name can also be found, but this is a different name altogether and comes from the Gael ‘Ciar' which when translated to English means ‘dusky'.

John Kerr from the Selkirk Forests, had a son called Henry, (1357) who was Sheriff of Roxburgh, his son was called Andrew Kerr of Auldtounburn, and he had three sons. From his youngest son came the Kerr's of Gateshaw, and from the second the Kerr's of Linton, the oldest son was the father of Walter of Cessford, who had two sons. From them we get the Kerr's of Dolphinstoun, Littledean, and Morriston.

A charter was given to Andrew Kerr of Cessford, in the year of 1451 for the barony of Old Roxburgh. Six years later Andrew Kerr was appointed ‘ Warden of the Marshes' in the year 1493, the family were confirmed and given the barony and castle of Cessford , and in 1502 Sir Andrew Kerr of Ferniehurst was appointed Warden of the middle marsh and also the barony of Oxnam. Mark Kerr who was a grandson to Sir Andrew Kerr received a barony for the lands of Prestongrange and Newbattle, in the year 1591, and in 1606 he was created as Earl of Lothian. In the year of 1624, this title was to fail as his only son died without producing a male heir to succeed him. In the year of 1624 Sir Andrew Kerr, of Ferniehurst was created Lord Jedburgh.

The first Marqess was Lord Justice General of Scotland . He was credited with having five daughters and also five sons. One of his sons was very well known as a professional soldier who was reputed to have a very explosive temperament and an even higher sense of personal honour. Despite having fought several duels during his illustrious arm career he ultimately rose to the high rank of General, and was appointed governor of Edinburgh castle in the year of the famous Jacobite struggle for truth 1745. Another Kerr played a part in the Massacre of Culloden in the year 1746; his name was Robert Kerr, son of the third marques. Robert Kerr has the dubious distinction of being the highest ranking combatant killed on the Hanoverian side.

Sir Walter Talbot Kerr was an Admiral of the fleet from 1899 until 1904. He was the youngest son of the seventh Marquess.


Chief: Marquess of Lothian

Clan Seat: Ferniehurst Castle , Jedburgh

Plant: Moss Myrtle

Memorials: Newbattle Abbey


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© Crann Tara 2006