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, 2021

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 Russell Lynn Drysdale on September 18, 2019 at 5:56

Photos of sign and windmill  courtesy of Francisco Dean, location Argentina  

Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on September 18, 2019 at 5:29

Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on September 18, 2019 at 5:28

Comment by William Douglas on September 17, 2019 at 16:02

Drysdales in South America 

Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on September 8, 2019 at 17:14

in re : James Drysdale  once Provost of Bridge of Allan , in William Drysdales book Auld Biggins of Sterling there are a few old photos of Bridge of Allen. 

Comment by William Douglas on September 7, 2019 at 18:49

On a visit to Cambuskenneth, a ruined Augustinian monastery located on an area of land enclosed by a meander of the River Forth near Stirling in Scotland, I found a Drysdale grave marker is the small cemetery attached to the abbey. 

Comment by William Douglas on August 3, 2019 at 22:30

The Drysdale/Wharrie connection 

Major James Drysdale is the son of William Drysdale of Pitteuchar and Anne Cunison, daughter of the Sheriff-Clerk of Hamilton

Comment by William Douglas on August 3, 2019 at 19:30

Searched high and low - and then found the link with James Cuniston, Sheriff-Clerk of Lanarkshire in my own library!  From the 'Lost Mansions of Lanarkshire', by Dan Sweeney


Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on July 30, 2019 at 19:24

William, the Photo below is from my understanding  Irene Lommers Franken's immediate family , Ben i think  is her brother , Thomas Drysdale setting in the chair in front , is a spitting image of my grandfather Orvin D. Drysdale sr. seen below with Hazel Jane Jeffs ,my grandmother .

Comment by William Douglas on July 30, 2019 at 14:30

drysdaleA Drysdale family in Batavia. 

from left to right: 
Dee Drysdale (background with glasses, great aunt of mine)), Thomas Drysdale (foreground in chair, great-grandfather), Rob Drysdale (uncle, boy in background next to aunt Dee), Peter Drysdale (uncle, next to Rob), Ben Drysdale (great uncle, in chair), Suze Drysdale-Turpijn (great-grandmother), Jane Mary Drysdale (my mother), unknown to me (with glasses .. who knows it may say) 
This photo was taken in Batavia, near the Theresiakerk / Theresiakerkweg ... as far as I know. I don't know any professions, only that my grandfather Thomas Cochrane Drysdale (not on photo) worked at the Government House Service (and sergeant at the KNIL) and died on / at the Burma railway in 1943. 
Greetings, Ben Franken


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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.

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