My cousin Jennifer married Ian on 4th July and we were there to enjoy the celebration. A fantastic day in superb surroundings. Congratulations to you both.
Ian’s middle name is Leith and it turns out he is descended from the Leiths of Leith Hall. The hall is now owned by the National Trust and you can view more information about it on their website.
Jenny and Ian kindly sent me a document entitled Family Tree of Leith and Leith-Hay of Leith Hall and I set to work to incorporate it into The Williams Family Tree database. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for!
With the aid of The Peerage, Electric Scotland, Patrick’s People, and a few other websites I have taken Ian’s ancestry back a further 10 generations! Apparently, it all started with the De Leyth Clan arriving in Scotland from France in the fourteenth century. They settled around the Midlothian and changed their name, taking it from the port of Leith of Edinburgh.
It seems that a William Leith, who died in 1371, married Jane, the daughter of Donald, 12th Earl of Mar. Then came Laurence Leith of Barnis (1380-1437), Provost of Aberdeen (1401, 1403, and 1411). Some 9 generations later we arrive at John Leith of Barnes (1570) who married Marjorie Forbes, daughter of Arthur and Margaret Forbes and the start of the Leiths of Leith Hall. John and Marjorie had two sons, Alexander ‘HardHead’ Leith (ancestor of Leiths of Bucharne Blair which I have yet to research) and James Leith of Barnes and Leith Hall – also known as James Leith of New Leslie (just to confuse things further!).
Suffice to say that my research is still underway and I am actually updating the database as I write this blog. Amongst others, the Leith family has links to James II King of Scotland, James IV King of Scotland, and Bamber Gascoigne.
My work continues and no doubt there will be a lot more of the Leith family added to The Williams Family Tree in the fullness of time.