The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Drysdale - a Douglas sept


Drysdale - a Douglas sept

Drysdale is considered a sept of the Douglas clan, but it is quite likely that this was a separate family which existed previous to when the three Douglas brothers adopted the Drysdale name. A sept is a family that can be related to a clan or larger family for various reasons. Usually this came about either through marriage or by a small family seeking protection from a larger and more powerful neighbour.

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Latest Activity: Jul 6

Story of the creation of the Drysdale family

The following is said to tell the story of the creation of the Drysdale family, it was actually part of the Black Douglas clan which remained in Scotland, following their failed attempt against the Scots crown in 1455. [Earlier references to Drysdale, or Dryfesdale can be found]

"On the Twentieth Day of May, One Thousand Five Hundred and Three Years

We, Thomas, William, and James Douglass, sons of the departed Thomas Douglass, of Brushwood Haugh, in the parish of Drysdale, and Shire of Dumfries, left our native place for the reason here assigned, viz:- Defending our just and lawful rights against our unjust neighbour, Johnston of Greenstonhill, who, being determined to bring water to his mill through our property, and having obtained leave of his friend, the King, began his operations on Monday, the 16th of May, We prevented him by force.
The next day he brought twenty of his vassels to carry on the work. We with two friends and three servants, (eight in all,) attacked Johnston with his twenty, and, in the contest, fourteen of his men were killed, along with their base leader. A report of these proceedings was carried to the King, and we were obliged to fly, (the tocsin being sounded).
We took shelter under the shadow of the Ochil Hills, in a lonely valley on the river Devon. After having lived there a full two years, we returned home in disguise, but found all our property in the possession of Johnston's friends, and a great reward offered for our lives. We, having purchased a small spot, called the Haugh of Dollar, and changed our names to the name of our Parish, are clearly in mind to spend the residue of our days under the ope of the Ochils, and wish the name of Drysdale to flourish in the lonely valley. The King passed through this with his Court on the 12th of June, 1506, going from Stirling to Falkland - dined on Halliday's green. (an eastern neighbour;) but we were not recognised."

The above story has been preserved among the desendants of Thomas, William, and James Douglass, now known by the name of Drysdale, and copied at several times by different individuals - first, by Simon Drysdale of the Haugh of Dollar, in the year 1620; by Robert Drysdale of Tillicoultry, in 1708; by John Drysdale, Dunfermline, in 1835; by James Drysdale, Dumfermline, in 1838; by John Montrose Drysdale, in 1841; by George Drysdale, Aberdeen, in 1845; by David Drysdale, Glasgow, in 1857; by John Harrower Drysdale, Aylmer, Ontario, Canada, in 1920; and now by Nicholas Edwin Kontzie (great-great-grandson of Jane Drysdale), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 2000.

Discussion Forum

related royal family connection

Started by June carter. Last reply by Russell Lynn Drysdale Jul 11, 2015. 3 Replies

douglas , Drysdale, drummond , gardiner , clarkContinue

Who was Margaret Drysdail?

Started by William Douglas. Last reply by William Douglas Dec 2, 2014. 1 Reply

Lieutenant and Adjutant Sholto Douglas Sorlie, formerly of the 68th Regiment of Light Infantry, and late of the 2nd Veteran Battalion, who died On Tuesday, at Leeds, in 1839 in his 68th year, was the…Continue

Tags: sorlie, Drysdail

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Comment by William Douglas on June 7, 2014 at 18:19

Australian links between Douglas and Drysdale can be found in Elizabeth Douglass' scrapbook, ca.1855-ca.1890

She may be the wife of Alfred Douglass, who built Corio Villa. It would be good to get confirmation of that - and access to the photographs.

Comment by William Douglas on April 12, 2014 at 12:51

I found this gravestone in St. Mary the Virgin Parish Churchyard on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, amongst a group of Douglas graves.

More on Lindifarne...


Comment by William Douglas on April 4, 2014 at 22:53

This article: 'The Drysdale Family and Homeopathy' has some interesting links.


Comment by William Douglas on February 26, 2014 at 23:10

Yes, I did not understand the spelling thing when I first read it...

Comment by William Douglas on February 26, 2014 at 10:51

A slightly different version - with a different list of names below:

Comment by William Douglas on January 25, 2014 at 11:38

"Dunfermline Press"
8 March, 1930

PIT ACCIDENT. - While at work in the Valleyfield Colliery on Tuesday, Andrew Drysdale, miner, met with a serious accident through a piece of coal falling upon him. He was attended to by Dr Cook, Newmills, after which he was conveyed to Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital suffering from a broken arm and other injuries.

Comment by William Douglas on January 25, 2014 at 11:37

St Cuthbert's Parish Churchyard, Edinburgh.

Monument near East railing facing the east.

Sacred to the memory of Alexander Hutton, writer, Edinburgh,
an only child. As a son dutiful and affectionate, in his studies at the
University diligent and successful: in business, active, assiduous and
correct, died 18th April 1820, aged 17 years ; also of Mrs. Margaret
Drysdale, his mother, who died 26th May 1840, aged 80 years, wife of
Alexander Hutton, Portsburgh.

Upright Monument.

Erected to the memory of William Drysdale, Junior, son to William
Drysdale, Turf Coffee House, Edinburgh, died 4th November 1792,
aged 30 years, much regretted by his friends and acquaintances.

Comment by William Douglas on January 25, 2014 at 11:34

St Cuthbert's Parish Churchyard, Edinburgh.

Top Tablet on North Wall.

Sacred to the memory of Sir William Drysdale of Pitteuchar,
Knight, who died on the 4th June 1843, aged 62 years.

Lower Tablet on North Wall.
Sepulchretum Thomae Cochrane, M.D., 1789.

Marble Tablet on East Middle Wall.
In memory of Jane Fleming, first wife of Sir William Drysdale of
Pitteuchar, who died on the 18th November 1812, and of Jane Cochrane,

second wife of the above, who died on the ioth November 1818 ; also in
memory of Captain William Drysdale, 15th Regiment Madras Native
Infantry, who died in India on 21st June 1843, aged 32 years, eldest son
of the above Sir William Drysdale.

Comment by William Douglas on November 9, 2013 at 10:15

Here is an interesting list of Fife names where the middle name is Drysdale:

Comment by William Douglas on August 5, 2013 at 16:15

Good sleuthing, Russell.

Do you know who Helen Agnes Drysdale is?


Members (17)


Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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