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Clan Landrum


Landrum is believed to be a variant spelling of the Scottish family name Lendrum. The Lendrum family were originally named "Comyn" (or "Cummin" / "Cumming"), a Norman family descended from Charlemagne which lived in what is now France. Comyn is a typical Norman nickname, probably taken from the spice cummin. The three bundles of plants in the Cummin coat-of-arms, usually blazoned as garbs or wheat sheaves, were doubtless originally bundles of cummin.

The first Comyn came to Britain with William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest, and the family spread to Scotland. The first Comyn to settle in Scotland was powerful Anglo-Norman churchman, William Comyn, a close confidant of King David I, under whom he became Chancellor of Scotland. The Comyns acquired the title Earl of Buchan, one of only thirteen such titles in Scotland. Two other Comyns were also acquired earldoms. The Earls of Buchan were William Comyn (1210-1233); Alexander Comyn (1242-1289); and John Comyn (1289-1309).

The Comyns lost their family name in a struggle over succession to the Scottish throne. When King Alexander III died in 1291, his only direct descendant was the "little Maid of Norway," but when she died also, the throne was disputed by Alexander's distant relations, the heirs of David Earl of Huntington, John Balliol and Robert Bruce, known as the "Competitor." Balliol was the grandson of Margaret, David's eldest daughter while Bruce was the son of his daughter Isabel. John Comyn, known as "the Black Cummin," and brother-in-law of John Balliol, was also a claimant through his descendance from King Donald III.

Both Baliol and Bruce took up arms and gathered supporters. In order to prevent a civil war, King Edward of England, who had a claim of his own, was called to decide between the two. He chose Baliol, but he then deposed Baliol in 1296 and took the throne himself. This strengthened the claims of John's son, "the Red Cummin" to the throne. A struggle for the throne ensued between the Comyns and Robert Bruce, grandson of the Competitor, and Robert stabbed and killed "Red" Comyn at a conference in a church in 1306. The Comyns were finally defeated by Robert Bruce in battle at Bannockburn in 1308, and "Red" Comyn's son was killed in the battle.

Bruce confiscated the lands of the Comyns and banned the name. A younger son of the Earl of Buchen took the surname "Lendrum" derived from the place where he lived in northeastern Aberdeenshire.

Earliest Landrum Emigrants to America -- John and James

Most of the Landrums in America are probably descended from two brothers, John (1665- abt. 1707) and James Landrum (abt 1671-????) who emigrated from Scotland to Essex Co., Virginia in 1688. According to family tradition, the brothers emigrated directly from Scotland, and it is known that ships brought Scottish settlers to Rappahanock River ports during the 1680's. Other members of the family emigrated to Ulster at the same time. The entry and settlement patterns in Virginia support the idea of immigration directly from Scotland. Most Scots in Ulster were from the Lowlands of Scotland, and they arrived in Philadelphia and moved along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road into the unsettled areas in the Shenandoah Valley in far Western Virginia. Entry through the Chesapeake Bay ports and settlement along the east cast are characteristic of Highland Scots who came directly from Scotland.

You can read a lot more at Lee Murrah's Landrum Family page


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