Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

History of the House of Ochiltree

History of the House of Ochiltree of Ayrshire Scotland and of those who came to America and some of the allied families 1124—1916.
By Clementine Brown Railey (1916) Sterling, Kansas

The historical matter in this volume has been gleaned from various sources. Much has been quoted from "The Covenanter, Cavelier, and Puritan" by Temple, "The Scot Irish in America" by Hanna and "The Annals of Avusta County Virginia" By Waddell.  Also other sources remembered by family members or obtained from public records.  Authenticity has been the keynote of this work and whenever there has been a doubt as to this is, it is so stated.

This history traces the family back to the nobility of Scotland, in one case of on to Bruce, of the other, Wallace, still farther back to the Norman Knights, followers of King David I into Scotland  on his accession to the throne in 1124 with a blending down the lines of Norman, Saxon, Dane and Celt...

The name Ochiltree has been spelled in various ways, such as Ockeltree, Okiltree, Okletree, Ogletree, Oughiltree, Auglitree, Uchilrie, and Ocheltree, in some instnces now pronounced with the long sound of "O". A member of one branch of the family that spells it "Ocheltree" states that his father had told him that it was originally spelled :"Ochiltree."  We find it spelled thus in Scottish history and by the laarger portion of the family.  As it would not be practicable to follow out the various methods of spelling, we adhere to the one standard spelling..

The word Ochil, in Scotch, Uchel in Welch means high and the original signification fo the name Ochiltree is said to have been a place of high trees or as on tradition, it was a landmark and could be seen for miles around.  We read also of the Ochil hills in Scotland..There is a town of the same name in Ayrshire Scotland...

The family name was Stewart and that the Ochiltrees in America are descended from Andrew Stewart, Lord of Ochiltree of Scotland of the Royal House of Stewart has been handed down in all branches of the family, not as a tradition but as a fact, of those who emigrated to America were well aware.  Just where the American families branch from the Family Tree is just not tradition but should not be overlooked. Henry Miller Ochiltree deceased many years ago, grandson of James Ochiltree, who was born about 1740 and emigrated to America told his son, Thomas that the name of Thomas had come down in the family, in honor of Lord Ochiltree.  It is interesting to note that the name Thomas first appears in the line, in the name of Andrew Thomas Stewart, Lord of Castlestewart, County of Tyrone Ireland, a descendant of the third Lord of Ulster in 1610 and was created Lord Castlestewart in the Peerage of Ireland..About the time of the emigration of the Ochiltrees to America, he claimed and was granted the right to vote at an election of Scottish peers and later, claimed the title and lands of Ochiltree, in Scotland, but this clam was allowed by the House of Lords...

The partial record has been received of the North Carolina branh which was represented in Texas by Judge Will Beck Ochiltree and his son, Thomas Peck Ochiltree, whose ancestors came to America in 1739.. This record begins with: "Lord Ochiltree, Island of Jura Scotland"  This tells us that Lord Ochiltree was, in 1608, made the King's Lieutenant over the Western Isles. The Island of Jura is off the west coast of Scotland..The given names of the members of this family were David, Duncan, Malcolm, Hugh, Archibald, Murdock. all representative of Stewart names.

A descendant of Michael Ochiltree who came from Armaugh County Ireland in 1792 says,"My grandmother, Nancy Ochiltree Lowry was born in Armaugh in 1775 was a good woman, very much a lady and very proud of her descent from Royalty and of the family name of Stewart."

Although nothing perhaps has been found to fully establish the point of connection, with any particular branch of the European line, or descent of Lord Ochiltree in Scotland or Ireland, enough has been given for a starting point for research in those countries.   The original home of the Ochiltrees was Ayrshire.. We are told by the Highlands that is the northern part of Scotland inland from the coast.

There were many instances in the unsettled and turbulent condition of affairs, during and subsequent to the Reformation of families being forced to leave Scotland and for greater security, to change their names..

In the case of the Ochiltrees, the name is a surname, it would seem distinguished the Protestant branch of the Stewart family.  It was also a protest against the conditions, the combatting of which, eventually, caused the loss of title and lands of Ochiltree in Scotland.  The adoption of the name of their ancestral lands, forever designates their ancestry and origin and their firm stand against the existing perils of those times. As the American branches were strongly Protestant and Presbyterian, it would certainly seem that they had descended from the Protestant and Presbyterian branch of the family in Europe.

The line of descent of the Ochiltrees is as follows:

Kenneth McAlpin united the Scots and Picts under his sway and was succeeded by his son, Constantine. He had another son Hugh whose son Doir was made Thane of Lochaber.   Doir's son Murdock had a son Ferquhand who had a son, Kenneth who married the daughter of his kinsman, King Kenneth II.  Their son, Banquo and three of his sons were murdered by enemies.. A fourth son, Fleance or as he was called Flahald, escaped to Wales and was graciously recieved by Griffith ap LLewellyn whose daughter he married.. He was murdered at the instigation of some of the Welch nobles. Walter the son of Fleance revenged his father's death and had to flee from Wales.  LLewellyn being dead, he found shelter at the Saxon Court of Edward the Confessor, quarreled with a courtier who   belittled the Welch and had to flee to Brittiany in France also inhabited by a branch of the Celtic race where he married a daughter of Alan, Earl of Brittiany who joined William of Normandy in the invasion of England in 1066.  Walter accompanying him..  After the overthrow of the English at the battle of Hastings and the establishment of the Normans in England, Walter recieved a grant of land in Shropshire on the border of Wales.  He fell out with the Normans however, and went north to his father's country where he was well received by the king, his distant kinsman, Malcolm III who granted him the lands of Renfrew and Kyle in Ayrshire in lieu of Lochaber, the former possession of his house.

Walter left a son, Alan and Alan a son Walter who as a Norman knight accompanied King David I on his march to the Clyde, the most northern boundary of his possession on his accession to the throne of Scotland in 1124.  He was granted the greater part of Renfrew, Immerwick, Hassandean and large estates in Teviodale and Lauderdale and was made the first High Steward of Scotland..  This office became hereditary in this family for several generations were the High Stewards of Scotland..Ther were Walter, Walter, Alexander, James, Walter.  Before the fixed surnames they were known by the name of their office.  When they complied with the  fashion of armorial bearings, which did not prevail until two generations after their settlement in Scotland, they adopted the fess cheque for computing to their office at the exchequer table..Walter the sixth High Steward so distinguished himself in the fierce fighting against the English for the independance of Scotland that he gained the favor of King Robert the Bruce, Robert I of Scotland. He married his daughter Marjorie.

Their second son, Robert, was the first of the Stewart kings, the family of the greatest opulence and power in Scotland.  His wife was Elizabeth Mure, daughter of Sir William Mure.  He ascended the throne as Robert II on the death of his uncle. his mother's brother, King DavidII. The second son, RobertIII whose wife was Countess Margaret of Montieth had a son Murdock, whose wife was Mariell dauther of Sir William Keith...They were the parents of James the Gross who had a son, Alexander who became  the first Lord of Avondale, whose  nephew,died at Solway Moss in 1513 fighting against the ancient enemy of his country, England.. There was scarcely a family of any note in Scotland which had not to mourn some  lost on Floden Moor..

Andrew Stewart, son of the Second Lord of Avondale or Avandale, exchanged his barony, with his kinsman, Sir James Hamilton of the Stewart line, for that of Ochiltree in Ayrshire and was ordained by Act of Parliment March 13, 1542, to be called "Lord Stewart of Ochiltree."  His son Andrew Stewart, the second Lord Ochiltree was called the Good Lord Ochiltree.  He was an active promoter of the Reformed faith and in zealous supporter of John Knox and was one of the Lords of the Congregation.  He was wounded at the battle of Langside, fighting against Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Of his five sons, William was slain by the Earl of Bothwell and James, created Earl of Arran, was the father of Sir James Stewart of Killeith, who became fourth Lord Ochiltree in 1615.   Margaret, second daughter of the second Lord Ochiltree, married John Knox.   His brother Henry Stewart married Margaret Tudor, widow of James IV and was created Baron Methven, another brother, Sir James Stewart of Beath was ancestor of the Stewarts Earls of Moray through his son James, Lord Doune.

Comments on this book were sent in by Dan Ogletree of Virginia Beach, Virginia...

This book has often been used by the American Ochiltrees/Ogletrees to prove their royalty. However, there are glaring discrepancies.

First of all let me say that the lineages in the book are probably very good.  She did over 300 pages of lineages which required a lot of work and devotion.

The narrative part is where many have to take exception.  It is believed that she started the royalty myth and it was picked up and expanded on by her latter day disciples.  As one Scottish historian and genealogist said when shown the book - "She certainly did not know much about Scottish History did she".

Here are some specifics:

  1.  She states Duncan and David arrived in 1739. No proof of this whatsoever.  In fact one descendant said Duncan arrived in the same party as Flora MacDonald. If this is the case the year would have been 1774.  Source: Information pamphlets handed out at the tomb of Flora MacDonald.

  2.  She states that Duncan and David were the sons of Lord Ochiltree of Jura.  There was never a Lord Ochiltree of Jura according to the Royal Scots Ancestry Society and in 1739 there was no Lord Ochiltree of anything.

  3.  There has been nothing produced where any of these early arrivals claimed royalty.  It seems to have been done on their behalf by Raily and her disciples.
Even the congressional record of Thomas Peck Ochiltree makes no mention of it.  The civil war records of his father Thomas Beck Ochiltree make no mention of it. North Carolina records has page after page on Duncan but it is not mentioned.

  4.  She also states that Ochiltree was not a family name but one that came into being when Lord Ochiltree adopted it as part of his title.  In actuality there were more than 300 Ochiltree families roaming around Scotland for 250 years before a Stewart used it as part of a title.  These Ochiltrees, our true ancestors, had occupations such as lawyers, clergymen, fish mongers, laborers, weavers, etc.

  5.  In general terms she describes a name change.  Not one shred of evidence has been produced substantiating any name change from Stewart to Ochiltree.  One book, "Lyon in Mourning" has been used for this purpose but when you look at the referenced pages, it makes no mention of any name change.  It further says that Alexander Stewart who was supposed to have changed his name was a servant and not royal.

  6.  And finally, Ms. Railey on page Viii of the book states "Although nothing, perhaps, has been found to fully establish the point of connection, with any particular branch of the European line, or descent from the first, second, or third Lord Ochiltree in Scotland, or in Ireland, enough has been given for a starting point for research in these countries".  In other words she never saw anything either.

Some Descendants of Alexander Ocheltree....
Compiled by Helen Ocheltree
Frisco Texas 1974

The name Ocheltree as a surname distinguished the Protestant branch of the Stewart family following the great religious reformation which took place in about 1625.  "That the family name was Stewart, and that the Ochiltrees, In America, are descended from   Andrew Stewart, Lord of Ochiltree, of Scotland, of the Royal House of Stewart, has been handed down, in all branches of the family, not as a tradition but a fact of which those who emigrated to America were well aware."

Mogallus,  a Prince of Scotland who had a son Grimus, or Grim-Macdubh, or Chinet, or Girg MacKinath, or Greg, by some called the son of K. Duffus, who succeeded as King of Scotland in 995.  Then Malcom went against him, but at length matters were accommodated so that Grimus was to reign until he died and that the crown was to be conferred on Malcom and his heirs, but Grimus turning a tyrant, the nobles sent for Malcom and when matters came to a battle, Grimus was taken and had his eyes put out and the law for succession confirmed..He died 1003--1008 and was buried at Malcom.

Grimus had a son who was the father of Bancho..Some say his mother was the daughter of King Duffus  Bancho, Thane of Lochabyre, general of the Army with MacBeth, Governor of the Western Isle under King Duncan I.He was slain by MacBeth's confederates in 1040.

Bancho had a son Fleance, who, fearing the same fate with his father, fled to Wales by night and was honorably entertained by the Prince.  He married Nesta alias Mary daughter of Gruffuth ap Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales.

They had Walter I...This young Welchman returned to Scotland after the restoration of Malcom Canmore, who for his eminent services against the insurrection of Galloway and his being a branch of the Royal Family, was created Lord High Steward or general receiver of the King's revenue) of Scotland, the name of which offfices became afterwards the surname of the family...He died in 1116.

Walter I had a son Alan, "the Stewart" in the reign of David I (King of Scotland 1124-1153).  He went with Godfrey of Bullogn and Robert, natural son of Henry I, King of England, to the Holy Land and gained much renown.  He married Margaret of Galloway.

Their son, Alexander I, The Stuart, by some  flourished in the reign of King William, the Lion..He died 1191.

His son Walter II The Stuart, lived during the reign of King Alexander II King of Scotland 1214-1249.. He died in 1258..From this time the younger sons of the family had the surname of Stuart derived from the office.

Walter II married Aida de Dunbar and they had a son Alexander II The Stuart, general of the Army of King Alexander III (1249-86). He signalized himself in the battle of Largs against the Danes 15 August 1263.  He died in 1286.

His son John, The Stuart, in the time of brave Sir William Wallace, was slain in the Battle of Falkirk 1298. He was called the Stuart of Bute in right of his wife Martha, heiress daughter of Lord of Bute...

Their son, Walter III, Lord High Steward of Scotland, who died 1320 had married Marjory Bruce daughter of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland.  Their son, Robert II was the 100th King of Scotland.

Robert II was Lord High Steward of Scotland and Earl of Strathern.  He succeeded King David Bruce 1370, and William, Earl of Douglas dropped his claim 1373.   The King died at the Castle of Dundonald 12 April 1390. and was buried at the Abbey of Scone.   He reigned 19 years and was age 75.  He married, first, Eilzabeth Muir, daughter of Sir Robert Muir of Rowaland. She died before he was king. He married, second, Euphame widow of John Randolph, Earl of Murroy and the second wife of King Robert.   She was Queen of Scotland and the daughter of Hugh, Earl of Ross she died 1376.

Among his many children by both wives, Robert II had, by his first wife, Elizabeth, Robert Stuart, First Earl of Monteith, in right of his first wife and earl of Fife by the resignation of the Countess.  He was made Regent of Scotland.  His brother Robert III, made him Duke of Albany 1399..He died  September 3, 1420.  He married, second, Mauriella, daughter of Sir William Keith, Marshall of Scotland.

Among his many children by both wives, Robert had by his first wife Margaret a son, Murdock, who succeeded his father as Duke of Albany and Regent of Scotland.. After the restoration of King James I (1406-1437) that King growing jealous of the Duke's power and discovering some troublesome intrigues, Murdock was beheaded May 19, 1425.  Murdock married Isabel, daughter and coheiress of Duncan, Earl of Lennox.

They had among their children a son named James Stuart, Knight, who fled to Ireland where he died.  His son Walter Stuart, Knight of Morphy had a son Alexander Stuart, Lord of Evandale 1488.. Alexander married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Kennedy of Blairquhan...Their son was Andrew Stuart, "Groom of the Stole" to King James IV (1488-1513) of Scotland.

Andrew exchanged the Lordship of Evandale-Annandale for the Barony of Ochiltree and became ancestor of the Lords of Ochiltree.  He died 1548.  He married Margaret, daughter of James Hamilton, Lord of the Privy Council and created Earl of Arran August 10, 1503..

By his first wife Beatrix, daughter of Lord John Drummond, Andrew had:, Andrew Stuart, Marjory Stuart who married John Knox and Christian Stuart who married John Bosswell of Auchinleck.

Andrew Stuart, called the Good Lord Ochiltree was a great instrument in the reformation..   From him, the Lords of Ochiltree descend...

The connection of the Lords of Ocheltrees and the brances in American is not known..The first Ocheltrees came over in 1739 and settled in North Carolina and it is thought the second in 1760, although some written dates are conflicting.

The former accounting of Alexander Ochiltree authored by Clementine Railey is mentioned, however this article is authored by Maud Ocheltree and Lula Neal both of Bayard Iowa in 1974.

Alexander Ocheltree was born in Scotland in 1742..About the year 1760 he came to America landing first in Pennsylvania from Armagh Ireland with his brothers Matthew and Michael...Matthew settled in Delaware where, in 1761, he married Mary Maxwell, daughter of James Maxwell..  Matthew died May 14, 1798 and is buried in the red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church yard near the Maxwell  homestead in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County Delaware..  Mary who died earlier is believed to be buried in Hockessin Delaware where they had made their home.

Michael went from New Castle Delaware to Rockbridge County Virginia about 1794 or 1795..   He bought land there in 1797.  On September 20, 1798 he married Betsey Findley and died the following May in Botetourt Couty..  Alexander went first to Augusta County Virginia and the to Greenbrier County West Virginia.  He married Elizabeth McCoy.  They were among the first white settlers in this area, former ones being killed by Chief Cornstalk, the Chief of the Shawanese tribe and was born 1747. Chief Cornstalk attacked Donnely's Fort which was a settlement about 10 miles north of Lewisburg WVA...The women and children got safely within the confines of the fort but Alexander and a Mr. Burns were killed by the indians..



This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus