GORDON & ALLIED FAMILIES OF THE HOUSE OF GORDON
    our branches, family names and history
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The Gordon clan has included both Highland and Lowland branches of the family since the 14th century and also
has branches of the family in Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia, New
Zealand, Canada and the United States as well as other parts of the world. It was felt that to be called a Highland
Clan only did not truly reflect the history of the Gordons, therefore our Chief anciently chose to call the clan by
the name House of Gordon.

FAMILY NAMES OF THE HOUSE OF GORDON


Adam, Macadam, Adams, Adamson, Addie, Adis, Addison, Aiken, Aitken, Atkins, Aitchison, Atken, Atkin, Atkinson,
Badenoch, Barrie, Boyne, Brisband, Connon, Cromb, Crombie, Cullen, Culane, Connor, Craig, Darg, Darge,
Dorwald, Duff, Durward, Eadie, Edison, Eddie, Edie, Esslemont, Garioch, Garrick, Garriock, Geddes, Gerrie,
GORDON, Gardiner, Gardner, Huntley, Huntly, Jessiman, Jopp, Jupp, Laing, Lang, Laurie, Lawrie, Leng, Ling,
Mallett, Manteach, Mar, Marr, Mavor, Meldrum, Mill, Mills, Miline, Milles, Mills, Miln, Milne, Milner, Milnes, Moir,
Moore, More, Morrice, Morris, Muir, Mylen, Steel, Steele, Teal, Teall,
Tod, Todd, Tough, Troup

_________________________________________________________

With 157 main branches, the Gordon family traces it’s lineage back to Adam de Gordon who settled in
Berwickshire in the time of Malcolm III, known as Malcolm Ceanmor, or his son, David I (1124-53). Chalmers in
Caledonia appears to be giving two versions of the family’s origin first being in the time of Malcolm III or his son
David I, with Adam being one of the favorites and ridding the land of a particularly pesky boar (hence the boar’s
heads on the arms) and being given land in Berwickshire. The other version put forth has the family coming
during the reign of Malcolm IV or his brother William the Lion and settling in the Berwickshire area called Gor dun
meaning hill fort hence the name of the family. There are many suppositions on the origin of the family from the
Gorduni tribe located in Flanders during the time of Julius Caesar; to the Norman family de Guerdon (later spelled
Gourdon); to the possibility of Adam & Richard de Gordon being the sons of Ernulf of Swinton and therefore a
cadet branch of the Swinton family whose arms also bear the three boar’s heads. (Sc. Peer.,iv, p.507) Although
there seems to be much to support the possibility of the Swinton claim in regards to the early customs of the
family, the similarity of the arms and so forth, there has been no documentary proof found to date for this
supposition. In addition, it would be more likely that the grandfather of Richard & Adam de Gordon, Adam de
Gordun who fought with Malcolm Ceanmor would be the link with the Saxon family of Swinton, if there were indeed
a link. Edward Gordon of Cairnfield in his History of the House of Gordon, XVIII Vols. (1949) states that since the
Gourdon name was known in France from at least the time of Charlemagne that the opinion of the Gordon family
historians followed that of a French origin for the family. (Vol I, p. 129) He further puts forth the version of Adam
de Gordun (Gordon) being among the ten thousand men under Siefried, Earl of Northumberland, (some French
and Norman knights then at the English Court) being granted by King Edward the Confessor to Malcolm Ceanmor
to regain his throne from Maclbeatha, Maormer of Moray, better known as MacBeth. (Ibid-p. 131) Adam de
Gordun (sic) was granted lands near the lower Tweed (the lands then named Gordun for the family in
Berwickshire and also land in present day Roxburgh district—see below for references to Kelso and Houm, now
called Hume) for his service to Malcolm in regaining his throne. He later died, leaving a son also named Adam, in
battle at Alnwick in 1093 when Malcolm Ceanmor invaded England in an attempt to regain lands in Northumbria.
This version seems to be the most plausible and the accepted version of the Gordon’s entry into Scotland.

About 1130, according to one William Gordon of Harperfield, Adam ‘Filius Adae de Gordun’ grants lands specially
limited, apparently for the site of a church and cemetery for the parish of Gordun, and extensive pasturage to the
Abbey of Kelso founded by King David in 1126. In a second charter confirmation to the monks of the Church of St.
Mary of Kelso: “the church of St. Michael of Gordun with the whole of its parish namely of Gordun and of
Spotheswode (Sottiswode)”, and “so long as the abbot and convent of Kelso are willing, the men of the other
Gordon, that is to say of Adam, may take the church sacraments there, and there their bodies shall be buried;
and again when they please, they shall return to their mother church of Houm.”  (Ibid)  Adam died in 1138 at the
Battle of the Standard leaving two sons, Richard de Gordun and Adam of Huntly & Faunes (Huntly & Faunes
presumably being presently known as Fans just west of West Gordon in Berwickshire.) Richer de Gordun, lord of
the barony of Gordon in the Merse between 1150-60 gave yet another charter which granted a piece of land and
the church of St Michael to the monks of Kelso, a grant confirmed by his son Thomas de Gordun (Kelso, 118,
126). Adam de Gordun, his brother also known as of Huntly & Faunes, along with Richer (or Richard) witnessed
the claim of lands of Swinton by Patrick, first earl of Dunbar (Raine, 117). (Another source sited for the claim of
the Gordon’s being a cadet branch of the Swinton family.) Adam’s son, Alexander, earned the gratitude of
Alexander I by killing or capturing a group of traitors who had tried to murder the King. For this he received the
lands of Stitchel in the Merse. (Edward Gordon, pp. 131-132)

Thus according to the documents & manuscripts assembled by Edward Gordon of Cairnfield, the descent follows
such (Ibid.):






























































































It was Adam de Gordon (Generation 8 d. 1333) who married an English lady by the name of Marjory and held
lands in her right for which he paid homage to England’s King Henry III and then his son Edward I (Longshanks of
Braveheart fame). On the death of Alexander of Scotland followed by the death of his granddaughter and heiress
Margaret the Maid of Norway, Queen of Scotland, the Scottish throne was left vacant. Edward I as the granduncle
(King Alexander’s wife was Edward’s sister) of the young queen had assumed the role of protector of Scotland
and upon her death assumed the role of arbiter of the dispute for the throne and backed John Balliol’s claim.
Adam also backed John Balliol’s claim and joined in his army when Edward reneged in his support and invaded
Scotland. Adam died on the fields of Dunbar. He left a son also called Adam who escaped from Dunbar, but was
compelled to surrender at Elgin. His mother was left with no option and was forced to swear fealty to Edward on 3
September in order to protect her son & his holdings. In the spring of 1297 Adam joined William Wallace in his
defense of Scotland and her freedom. However, he still owed fealty to Edward and John Balliol – bit tricky to
balance.
In 1305, Edward appointed him Justiciar of Lothian. In 1308 Adam was able to negotiate the release of
Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews and Primate (imprisoned for 2 years for his part in the coronation of Robert the
Bruce), and was also able to save the life of Sir Thomas Randolph (also a Bruce follower.) It was not until 1314
with the death of Balliol that Sir Adam was able to seek out Robert the Bruce and swear his fealty to him. At this
point, he entered service under Randolph now the Earl of Moray, and fought under his banner at Bannockburn.

In 1320, Robert the Bruce named Sir Adam and Sir Edward Maubisson as his ambassadors to carry the
Declaration of Arbroath to Pope John XXII outlining the grievances of the Scottish people against the English and
pleading the case for the removal of excommunication of Robert the Bruce by praising his character and rule. The
declaration outlined the Scottish people’s grievances against the acts carried out against them by Edward of
England and asked that the English king answer in person. It also set the will & wishes of the people above that of
the king and affirmed the belief in the right of the people to freedom and the duty to defend it with their lives. The
ambassadors were successful in convincing the Pope to consider the Scottish point of view and gain recognition
of Scotland as a free and independent nation along with her choice of king.  For his service Robert the Bruce
granted him the lands of Strathbogie Peel in Aberdeenshire. Strathbogie was later renamed Huntly and upon his
death at Halidon Hill in 1333, the Huntly estate was inherited by his elder son Adam. William, the younger son,
inherited the lands of Stitchel and his line became the Gordons of Galloway and the Viscounts of Kenmure. (Ibid
Vols. 12 & 13.) Adam’s line branched into the lines of Gordon of Auchleuchries, Tillytermont, Methlic, Buckie, and
Ruthven. Ultimately the main Huntly branch ended with Elizabeth Gordon, wife of Alexander de Seton. Their
children took the name of Gordon and their eldest son, Alexander, became the first Earl of Huntly. Alexander’s
son, George, married Annabella, daughter of King James I of Scotland. George and Annabella’s second son
became the progenitor of the earls of Sutherland, their third son was the ancestor of the Gordon’s of Gight and
thus of George Gordon, Lord Byron. (More on the line of Elizabeth Gordon Seaton later.)

An important date in the Gordon history came with the charter dated 13 July 1376 in which King Robert II of
Scotland reaffirms the grant of the lands of Strathbogie upon the descendant of Adam de Gordun, named in the
charter as Joannes de Gordon (also known as Sir John de Gordon). This is the first time the Gordon spelling of
the name is recorded in an official document. In 1377, Sir John Gordon burned Roxburgh to the ground in the
border wars in order to keep it from being of use to the English. He overthrew Sir John de Lilburn at Carham, had
a hand in the defeat and capture of the English Governor of Berwick, Sir Thomas de Musgrave. He died on the
field of Otterbourne in 1388.  Sir John married Elizabeth Somervell by whom he had four sons, Adam, John,
Alexander and Roger. Alexander and Roger died at Hamildon Hill in 1402 leaving no issue. Adam the elder son
inherited the Huntly titles and John, the younger, a life interest in the Gordun estates. There has been much
confusion about the order of birth between these two sons and much ado as to the inheritance of Huntly
(Strathbogie) by Adam’s daughter, Elizabeth and her husband Alexander de Seton over the sons of John. Many
have supposed that John’s sons, known as Jock & Tam, were illegitimate. However, Edward Gordon in his
research successfully defends the position that John was the younger son, and that his sons were not illegitimate.
It is noted that Sir Adam is consistently styled as Sir Adam of Huntly, while John is styled in some documents as
John de Gourdon, Lord of the same. This would seem to indicate that Adam being the elder inherited the higher
title of Huntly while John was given a life interest in the Gordun estates in Berwickshire. It is further pointed out
that as the father and elder brother were kept busy defending their interests in the south and defending the
eastern March from border raids, the younger son was entrusted with defending the newly acquired northern
estates of Strathbogie (later renamed Huntly). In order to win over the pictish peoples of the area, Sir John
adopted many of their ways and married one of their own, Elizabeth Cruikshank, the daughter of Cruikshank of
Aswanley who was a Toshstirgh, or judiciary of the area (an executive position most like a baron bailie.) Their
sons were John and Tomas, commonly known as Jock of Scurdargue and Tam of Ruthven, who were certainly
accepted by the heiress Elizabeth and her husband Alexander de Seton as legitimate near relations. Edward
Gordon makes much of the document of 1422/3 wherein this line is referred to as natural sons, and seems to be
supposing that it is the Church’s attempt to impose it’s determination of legitimate vs. illegitimate due to the newly
stated position of marriage as a sacrament. It must be noted that it was not until the Council of Florence (1438-
45) that the Church declared marriage one of the seven sacraments. Therefore, contrary to his statement that
this document was after the acceptance of marriage as a sacrament, it was in fact recorded prior to the Council of
Florence’s convening by sixteen years. However, the accepted laws of the time in Scotland would not have
prevented either son from inheritance of lands, titles or chieftainship regardless of a church marriage or not. So
the point regarding the confusion over the elder/younger son is well laid out and supported in his arguments. It
must also be noted that Elizabeth did not inherit directly from her father who died in 1402. She inherited from her
elder brother, John,  who died without issue in 1408 when she inherits the estate. Still, this is a hotly debated
issue among the Gordon researchers and whether John the father of Jock and Tam held the estates which
passed to his brother Adam upon his death somewhere between 1388 and 1394 and then eventually to Elizabeth
or not is moot as it is clear that Adam inherited over Jock and Tam and any question of their rights of inheritance
was not contested by them.

Elizabeth Gordon and Alexander de Seton, Lord Gordon by right of his wife (that is to say she was the title bearer
and he owned the property and enforced the rights thereof by virtue of his marriage to her), held the lands of
Strathbogie. Their son, Alexander, assumed the name and arms of Gordon, and was created the first Earl of
Huntly by James II in 1449, and also in 1451 received the former Cumming lands of Badenoch, as well as grants
to land in Inverness and Moray. He accompanied Margaret of Scotland to France on marriage with Dauphin Louis
(1436); held command at siege of Roxburgh Castle (1460). His son George Gordon second earl, was Lord High
Chancellor of Scotland (1498-1501). He married Annabella, daughter of James I of Scotland; from their second
son, Adam Gordon of Aboyne, descended the earls of Sutherland. (Adam took title Earl of Sutherland in right of
his wife Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, sister and heiress of the 9th earl.) From their third son were
descended the Gordons of Gight, maternal ancestors of Lord Byron. Their eldest son, Alexander Gordon (d.
1524), third earl, led the Scots vanguard at Flodden (1513). He was twice a member of the Council of Regency
(1517, 1523).
George Gordon (1514-1562), fourth earl, was Regent (1536-37). He supported Cardinal Beaton against Arran
(1543); as Lieutenant of North, he crushed the Camerons and MacDonalds (1544). He was Lord Chancellor in
1546. In 1548, he received the earldom of Moray, but when stripped of it through the queen' s jealousy of his
power, he joined the Lords of the Congregation (1560) and died in revolt against royal authority. His second son,
George Gordon (d. 1576), fifth earl, was restored to his father' s lands and dignities (nominally, 1565; actually,
1567). He allied himself with Bothwell and Queen Mary (1566); was made Lord Chancellor; aided in the murder of
Darnley, the divorce of his sister from Bothwell, and Mary' s marriage with Bothwell. He conspired for Queen Mary'
s deliverance from Loch Leven Castle (1567), but seceded from her cause (1572).

George Gordon (1562-1636), sixth earl, was head of Roman Catholics of Scotland. He took part in the plot
leading to the execution of Morton (1581), and in the conspiracy that delivered King James VI from Ruthven
raiders (1583). He raised rebellion in north (1589), but had to submit to the king. He conducted a private war
against the earl of Moray and killed him (1592).  After the destruction of his Huntly Castle (at Strathbogie) by the
king, he had to leave Scotland (1595). He was charged with treason, pardoned, received into kirk, and created
the first Marquis of Huntly and joint Lieutenant of the North (1599). His son George Gordon (d. 1649), second
marquis, was created (1632) Viscount Aboyne. He refused to subscribe covenant (1638). As Lieutenant of the
North, he was driven from Huntly by Montrose. In civil war, he took the king' s side, and stormed Aberdeen (1645).
Excepted from general pardon (1647), he was beheaded by order of Scots Parliament. His grandson George
Gordon (1643-1716), fourth marquis, was restored to the family titles and estates in 1661 and created Duke of
Gordon (1684). He held Edinburgh Castle for James II in Revolution of 1688. His son Alexander Gordon (1678-
1728), second duke, also a Jacobite, as Marquis of Huntly led 2300 men to Old Pretender at Perth (1715).
Lord George Gordon, the third son of the third Duke of Gordon was a naval lieutenant. From 1774-1781, he
served as a Member of Parliament. In 1778, he headed protestant associations organized to secure the repeal of
act relieving Roman Catholics of certain disabilities. He headed a mob of 50,000 in a march from St. George’s
Fields to the Houses of Parliament to present a repeal petition. The crowd got unruly and the result was the No-
Popery (or Gordon) Riots lasting from June 2nd- 8th, 1780. He was charged with treason and through the skillful
defense by Erskine was acquitted. Upon his excommunication from the church, he converted to Judaism in 1786.
In 1787, he was convicted of libel of Marie Antoinette. He lived out the rest of his life in ease at Newgate prison
where he gave many dinners and dances.

Alexander Gordon, Fourth Duke of Gordon raised several regiments including the most famous of all British
regiments, the Gordon Highlanders. Appointed as Keeper of the Seal of Scotland, and Lord Lieutenant of
Aberdeenshire, Alexander was elected as a representative peer of Scotland and was created a Knight of the
Order of the Thistle. He was also the author of well known songs such as Cauld Kail in Aberdeen and The Reel o'
Bogie, and was admired by Robert Burns who visited Gordon Castle in 1787 and it was a "fine palace, worthy of
the noble, polite and generous proprietor".

George Gordon (1770-1836), fifth and last duke. In 1794 under the direction of his father, Alexander, 4th Duke of
Gordon, he raised the Gordon Highlanders regiment, first under the command of General Moore in the
Netherlands, and then Gordon commanded it in Spain, Corsica, Ireland, Holland; attaining the rank of general in
1819. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Bergen (1799); commanded a division in the Walcheren
expedition of 1809; and in 1820 he was presented with the Grand Cross of the Bath.  The dukedom became
extinct at his death, and most of the Gordon property passed to his nephew, the Duke of Richmond. The Huntly
title was passed to the late Duke of Gordon's kinsman, George, fifth Earl of Aboyne. This nobleman was
descended from Lord Charles Gordon, fourth son of the second Marquis, who, in consideration of his loyalty and
service, was created Earl of Aboyne by Charles II at the Restoration in 1660. The Huntly title has since followed
his line to the current chief, Granville Charles Gomer Gordon, 13th Marquis of Huntly, Earl of Huntly, Earl of Enzie,
Earl of Aboyne, Lord Gordon of Badenoch, Lord Gordon of Strathavon and Glenlivet, Baron Meldrum of Morven,
County Aberdeen, and Chief of the Name and Arms of Gordon.
House of Gordon Genealogy
& DNA Project
Jock & Tam GORDON
Branch


Sons of Sir John Gordon, "Jock & Tam" left
a tremendous legacy of Gordon Houses.
They were first cousins with Elizabeth
Gordon at right and were gr-grand
nephews of Sir William Gordon at right.
SETON-GORDON
Branch


Elizabeth Gordon,
daughter of Sir
Adam Gordon
married Alexander
Seton in 1408.
Sir William
GORDON
Branch

Branches of
Gordons
descending from Sir
William Gordon (b.
abt. 1294).
Gordon Septs


DNA projects for Septs of
the House of Gordon.
Septs may join the
Gordon DNA Project, in
addition to their own
surname project.
Ardbroylach
Arloch
Armeallie
Armillan
Arradoul
Auchenhuif
Auchinreath
Auchinstink
Auchintou
Auchleuchries
Auchline
Auchmenzie
Auchmull
Auchoynany
Avochie
Bad
Badinscoth
Balbithan
Balmad
Balmuir
Balveny
Banchory
Barnes
Birkenburn
Blelack
Bochrom
Bogardie
Bonnyton (Ayr)
Botarie
Bourtie
Brackley
Braco
Buckie
Burnshaw
Buthlaw
Cairnburrow
Cairness
Cairnfield
Cairnwhelp
Carnousie
Clunymore
Coclarachie
Coldstone
Collithie
Contlie
Coynachie
Crachullie
Cracullie
Craig
Crichi
Culdrain
Daach
Darley
Deskie
Dilspro
Dorlaithers
Drumbulg
Drumhead
Drumin
Drumwhindle
Drymes
Earl of
Aberdeen
Earlston
Edinglassie
Farskane
Fechil
Fernachty
Fetterletter
Fulziemont
Glenbucket
Glengarrock
Gollachie
Haddo
Hallhead
Hilton
Inverharrach
Invermarkie
Johnsleys
Kennertie
Kethocksmills
Kincraigie
Kindrocht
Kinernie
Kinmundy
Kinnoir
Knawen
Knock
Knockespock
Law
Leicheston
Lesmoir
Lord
Stanmore
Lungar
Manar
Merdrum
Methlick
Minmore
Netherbuckie
Nethermuir
Newton
Noth
Oxhill
Park
Pethnick
Pitglassie
Pitlurg
Prony
Rothiemay
Sauchen
Savoch
Scotstown
Shelelagreen
Soccoth
Straloch
Tecmuirie
Terpersie
Tilliechowdie
Tillyangus
Tillytelt
Tulloch
Wellheads
Abergeldie
Ardlogie
Auchdregny
Auchindown
Backies
Beldornie/Beldorney
Birkhall
Birsemoir/Birsemore
Bonty/Bonte/Buntie
Chappelton
Cluny
Coffurach
Corridoun
Cotton
Craibstone
Cromellat
Croughly
Delmore
Drummoy
Dukes of Gordon
Dukes of Richmond
Dunkinty
Earl of Aboyne
Earls of Sutherland
Gartay
Gight
Golspitur
Gordonstoun
Grandhom
Haffield
Letterfurie
Lord Byron
Marquis of Huntly
Myrieton
Orkney
Pittendreich
Ruthven
Sidderay
Sutherland
Tombae
Wardhouse
"Spanish Gordons"
Achanachie
Airds
Auchendolloy
Auchenreoch
Balmaghie
Barnbarroch
Bar
Barharrow
Barnhead
Bristol
Burnshaw
Buittle
Cambellton
Carleton
Colquha
Crogo
Cullindoch
Craichlaw
Culvennan
Earlston
Gelston
Glenluce
Grange
Greenlaw
Hallheath
Holm
Kenmure
Kilsture
Kirkconnel
Lochinvar
Muirford
Penynghame
Wincombe Park
Troquhain
Whytpark
Adam, Adams, Adamson
Addie, Adie
Addison, Aiken
Aitchison, Atkin, Atkins
Atkinson
Badenoch, Barrie
Connor
Connon
Craig
Cromb
Crombie
Cullen
Culane
Darg, Darge
Dorward
Duff
Durward
Eadie, Eddie, Edie
Edison
Esslemont
Garden,
Gardiner,Gardner
Garioch, Garrick, Garroick
Geddes
Gerrie
Harrison
Huntley, Huntly
Jessiman
Jopp, Jupp
Laing, Lang
Laurie, Lawrie
Leng, Ling
MacAdam
Mallett
Manteach
Marr
Maver
Meldrum
Mill, Mills, Milles
Miln, Milne
Steel
Teal
Tod, Todd
Troup
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