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The Scottish Nation

CONGALTON, an ancient surname in Scotland, derived from the barony of Congalton in the parish of Dirleton in East Lothian. The family of Congalton of Congalton subsisted for twenty generations in the male line. The first on record was Robert de Congaltoun, who witnessed a charter of Richard de Moreville, constable of Scotland, without date, but granted about 1162, engraved in ‘Anderson’s Diplomata.’ In the Ragman Roll, occurs the name of Walter de Congleton, supposed by Nisbet to be one of this family. The name occurs again in a charter by Patrick earl of March of the lands of Stonypath in 1316, ‘On 8th May 1509, a royal charter was granted by King James the Fourth to Henry Congalton of Congalton, of the king’s island and lands of Fetheray, along with the hill of the castle (Monte-Castri) of the same called Tarbet; also all and whole the king’s island and lands of Craigleith, with the pertinents of the same, lying within the Firth of Forth, county of Edinburgh and constabulary of Haddington, creating, uniting, annexing, and incorporating all these islands, lands, and hill of the castle aforesaid, with the pertinents of the same, in one whole and free barony, to be called the barony of Tarbet, to be held of the king, paying one penny of Scots money, at the said hill of the castle of Tarbet, in name of blench farm if required, along with the marriage of the said heirs of Henry Congalton when it shall happen.” [Great Seal Register, Book xv., No. 115.]

      The elder branch of the family succeeding through heiresses to the estates of Hepburn of Keith in East Lothian, and Rickart of Rickartoun, in the county of Kincardine, assumed the names of Rickart and Hepburn. [See RICKART, and HEPBURN, surnames of.]

      Robert Hepburn Congalton of Keith and Congalton, the eighteenth generation of the family, sold Congalton to his brother, Charles, whose son, William Congalton of Congalton, married Mary, daughter of David Bethune of Balfour in Fife. His son, Charles Congalton of Congalton, succeeding to the estate of that ancient and distinguished family, of whom was Cardinal Bethune, took the name and arms of Bethune of Balfour, and sold Congalton, which was afterwards purchased by the heir male, Colonel Robert Rickart Hepburn, of Keith and Rickartoun, member of parliament for the county of Kincardine, who dying in 1804, was buried with his ancestors in the church of Golyn. Congalton was sold to a gentleman of the name of Grant, in whose family it remains.

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