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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
IX. The Gaels


to Norway in 1286. The family adhered to The Bruce during the Scottish War of Independence, and in 1316 David de Wemys witnessed the homage of Duncan, Earl of Fife, to the Abbot of Dunfermline. On the failure of the male-line of the earls of Fife (the earldom was resigned to the House of Stewart by the last of the original line, a countess, in 1372), and the male-line of the House of Abernethy (by 1334), the head of the Wemyss family became the senior male-line representative of the House of Fife, and were later vested in the Undifferenced arms as chiefs of Clan MacDuff.

The Abernethys descend from the hereditary abbots of the Culdee monastery at Abernethy, and were the senior cadet (branch) family of the House of Fife. Hugh, Abbot of Abernethy, died about 1150. He was succeeded by his son Orm de Abernethy, who appears as a charter witness for the Bishop of St. Andrews before 1162. He may have given his name to the lands of Ormiston in East Lothian, which are contiguous with those of Salton, which were in the possession of his descendants, under their title of Lord Abernethy (a title which passed through heiresses after 1334, and ultimately to the Hamiltons by the sixteenth century). The House of Abernethy possessed the right to inaugurate the King of Scots as ecclesiastical representatives of the House of Fife branch of the Kindred of St. Columba. Between 1189 and 1196 King William the Lion granted the church of Abernethy to the Abbey of Arbroath, which had been founded in the early thirteenth century by King William the Lion (of the line of David I and the Kindred of St. Columba) as the seat of a new order in conjunction with the gradual secularization of the old Celtic abbeys, a task completed by about 1300 under King Robert Bruce. About the same time Lawrence, son of Orm de Abirnythy (sic), conveyed to the church and monks of Arbroath his whole right "In the advowson of the church of Abernethy." This can only refer to the kind of secularization of the old Celtic abbey-lands referred to in Chapter IV, for Lawrence de Abernethy retained the land and position of dominus or lord of Abernethy. The seal of Sir Alexander de Abernethy in 1296 bears the Abernethy coat of arms, a differenced version of the arms of the House of Fife, born on the breast of an eagle displayed (see under Lindsay).

The Scrymgeours have long been an important family around Dundee and in the Kingdom of Fife, and in the late fourteenth century they inherited a vast territory in Glassary in Argyle from the MacGilchrist lords of Glassary. The Scrymgeours descend from Alexander Schyrmeschur, son of Colyn, son of Carin of Cupar, who obtained in 1293 a tack or lease of the land of Torr, or Torer, in the parish of Cupar, Fife from Thomas de Kylmaron (also in Cupar). He held the office of Royal Bannerman, and in 1298 was made Constable of the Royal castle of Dundee by charter from the great Lowland war leader and Guardian of Scotland, Sir William Wallace. He was later executed by the English for carrying the Royal Banner for Bruce at the Battle of Methven. His ancestors appear in Coupar at least as early as the first half of the thirteenth


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