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This name is of local origin from the lands or barony of the same name near the junction of the rivers Ore and Levev in the parish of Markinch, Fife.This name is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in Scotland and examples of such are a John de Balfure, who appears on an assize in 1304 and is the first of the name in record. William de Balfure witnessed a charter by Duncan, earl of Fife between 1331 and 1335. Like their Irish Kinsmen many Scots were forced to seek emigration after the 1745 Rebellion and above all clearances of whole populations by landlords during the 19th century. Other examples of some of the most prominent of the name are Sir James Balfour (1583) author of Balfour's Practicks; Robert Balfour (1550-1625) philosopher and Greek, and last but not least, James Arthur Balfour (1848-1930) statesman and philosopher, created Earl Balfour of Whittinghame.

Found an article about the genealogy of Balfour Bethune which we've added here as a pdf file for download.

Download the account here



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