GEORGE E. PENTLAND, Letter in 1949

In 1949 George E. Pentland who lived in Canada wrote a letter to members of his family (these were Pentland descendants  who migrated to Canada during the 1800s) about his discovery that the Pentland family had originated in Scotland - he said he had always been told when he was growing up that his family were all from Ireland.   His Canadian family were descendants of Alexander Pentland & Elizabeth Wilson who were married at Carrington, Scotland about 1540.

George said he had been researching the history of the Pentland family for several years and had obtained some information from a researcher in Scotland.  (That researcher was a Mr. Walter McLeod from Edinburgh, Scotland)    Here is an excerpt from his letter  that sheds some light on what he had learned:
     "The ancient Pentland home was in  the County of               
     Midlothian, Scotland, now called Edinburgh County,
     and all the church and state records show Pentland
     families living in the villages of Liberton, Niddry Mains,
     Gilmerton, Pentland, Carrington, Sunnyside, and
     Cannongate.   All of those places are so close together
     that they are inside a circle of less than four miles radius.
     There is a legend among the Pentlands there yet, for many
     are still there, that all the Pentlands in southern Scotland
     are of one connection."  

George attached the following to his letter so that his family members might understand better where their ancestors once lived:   

   "The northern parts of Scotland, also the western parts
     both of which face the sea, are rugged, rough, and
     mountainous, and are interspersed with small lakes and
     roaring rivers.   This region, now known as the Highlands
     of Scotland, was, more than two thousand years ago,
     inhabited by a wild and rude people called Picts.   These
     Picts, formerly known as Pechts, were tall in stature,
     blue--eyed, fair complexioned, and powerful in battle.
     {NOTE: Some historians claim they were shorter in stature!}

     At the extreme north of their kingdom was a treacherous
     and stormy piece of water known as the Pechtland Sea, and
     it was so called for centuries.   But at the time of Julius
     Caesar, when the Romans took possession of Britain, they
     were unable, owing to linguistic difficulties, to pronounce
     the "ch" of Pecht, and promptly changed the word to "Pent".
     As a consequence the country became known as the land
     of the Pents, or Pent--land, and the sea as the Mare Pentland-
     icum;  but as the Orkney Islands are just a few miles from
     the coast, this water is now known as the Pentland Strait.  
     A few miles south of Edinburgh, not more than four or five,
     there is a range of hills, also rough and rugged, and which
     were said to mark the southern boundary of the land of the
     Pechts.   This range is known as the Pentland Hills, and, as
     our family name first appears in a small village called
     Pentland which is close to the Hills, it is fair to assume that
     the name comes from the Pechts, or Picts.   If so, and if we
     really descended from these people the name must go back
     for many centuries, even to remote antiquity.

     There is, however, another theory as to the orgin of the name.
     One writer says that the name Pentland Hills, and the old
     parish of Pentland (in existance in the 12th century) may be
     from the Cymric 'pen', a height, and 'lann', an enclosure.
     Both of those theories may be true, but ever so many writers
     on names give the Pecht theory the preference.

     Just when reliable records of the family begin we do not know,
     but we read that on January 7th, 1298, Adam de Pentland, a
     monk, with Abbots, Priors, and other Monks, swore on Corpus
     Christie to be loyal to Edward I of England.   This ceremony
     took place at Edinburgh, and is the earliest mention of the

     There is evidence that we belonged to the landed gentry of
     those days, for, on August 17th, 1304, King Edward I visited
     Pentland Castle, in Pentland village.   The record states the
     King gave orders to Richard de Bremisgrave to have two
     tuns of good wine sent to Pentland.   This man obtained the
     wine, and they evidently had quite a jubilation, for we read
     further that the Lord of the castle, Christin de Pentland,
     demanded from the government of Scotland five shillings
     damages to his property.   This interesting item of history
     is as follows:  "In 1304 Christin de Pentland, hospiti regis,
     apud Kynell, de donoipsius, regis pro dampnis que sustinuit
     in domibus suis et bladis asportatis, per diversos de hospicio
     regis in adventu suo ibidem mense proprias, five shillings".

     The above note is quite important, as it shows that there
      was an ancient Pentland Barony, that the family was in high
      esteem with the King, and that they had somewhat extensive
      possessions.   In passing, we may remark that this episode
      took place in the days of the famous Sir William Wallace.
     The castle was still in existence in 1501.   The castle probably
      stood on the site of a farm house now called Pentland Mains,
      in the parish of Lasswade.

      Other interesting items are on record at this early period for
      we learn that in 1304 some one pays John de Pentland 46
      shillings, 8 pence, for loading and unloading a cargo of coal.
      The records of the reign of Edward I under date 1304 - 1305
      also show that "they account for the expenses of Ralph de
      Pentland, John Pollock , and two grooms and a clerk, sent
      from Aberdeen to Montrose to arrest a vessel laden with
      rebel merchandise, and to bring her to Aberdeem, which they

      NOTE:  The above is quoted from an unknown  'book'
                    referred to by George that either he, or someone
                    else had written about the Pentland family in Canada.