Penland / Pentland  Family  History

William Pentland & Margaret Murry (Murray)
The story is told that in 1211 AD, a man known as Jarl David of Orkney in
  Scotland (Jarl being the title of a territorial Chieftain - just below the King of
  Norway) and his wife whose name was 'Petlandi' (a Pict), sent their young
  son, William Petlandi south to Edinburg for his safety, as they feared war was
  about to happen in Orkney.   When William grew up, he married a young
  woman named Margaret Murry (Murray).   They had three sons, Adam, who
  became a Monk in Hollyrood Abbey,  Christian, who was Lord of a Castle near
  Kynel, and David who most believe was the ancestor whose descendant
  came to America before 1650.  That first Pentland is believed to be the
  probable ancestor of all Pentland's, Pendland's, Penland's and Pendlum's in
  America.  The exceptions may be Pentland's whose ancestors came during
  the 1800's to America and to Canada.

  Recently, I became aware of a genealogy for Margaret Murray!  I can not
  swear to it's authenticity or accuracy, but it provides an interesting glimpse
  into that time, so I am sharing it with you!   {my feeling is that information should
   not be withheld or suppressed waiting for absolute proof,  because most of us will
   be long gone before many things are totally proven}  This is what the listing
  contains:

    *  Margaret  Murray  b.  1220, Scotland  d.  1250 in Eastwood, Renfrewshire,
       Scotland
   *  (Father)  Baron William Murray of Bothwell  b.1200 in Bothwell Castle,
       Scotland d.1244
   *  (Grandfather)   Hugh Freskin (Moray) de Moravia  b.  abt. 1162  in Duffus, 
       Moray, Scotland    d.  bef. 1222  in Duffus, Moray, Scotland
   *  (Great Grandfather)  William Freskin (Moray) de Moravia   b.  1139  in
       Duffus, Scotland
       d. 1204 in Duffus, Moray, Scotland
   *  (GG Grandfather)   Freskin (Moravia) de Moravia  aka Le Fleming    b.  abt.
       1107 in Flanders, Belgium    d. in Duffus Castle, Duffus, Morayshire,
       Scotland
   *  (GGG Grandfather)  Robert  (Flandre)  de Flandre, aka Robert II (Flandre)
        b.  1065 in Belgium  d. 1111 in Meaux, Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne, France

  NOTE:   The accuracy of dates when dealing with genealogy information is
   usually not very reliable.   It appears that the date of birth of Margaret may be
   an example.   The document reveals that Margaret had a second husband,
   John Montgomery and they had four children born between 1235 & 1245 AD.
   The only Pentland son listed is the younger son, David (along with the four
   Montgomery children).  Since the date of Margaret's death is listed as 1250, it
   seems likely that the two older Pentland sons may have left home by the time
   Margaret married John Montgomery.  If that is true, Margaret's actual date of
   birth may have been closer to William Pentland's - about 1200 AD.   It is not
   known when William died or where he was buried. { This genealogy listing
   was probably done for the Murray and/or Montgomery families, but it
   included Margaret's marriage to William Pentland and her son, David
   Pentland.   ...............................Charles Penland    (May, 2017)
        *         *        *         *          *   
                    "THE  BARONY  OF PENTLAND"
                              < by  Charles  Penland cpen1936@yahoo.com >...2010

While researching the history of the Penland family, I discovered that originally, the name was Pentland, and that most of the people who migrated to America with that name, came from Scotland.  I also found information that seemed to indicate that at one time, in Scotland, the Pentland family had a certain status and were property owners.  I also discovered that the family property had apparently been confiscated and given to one, Sir Henry Sinclair, and that the property belonged to the Sinclair family  until the year 1633, when they sold it to the Gibson family.  It is believed that the Gibson's held onto the property until the twentieth century.

I knew that there is a man in Alaska named Derile Pentland, who claims to be the direct descendant of the family in Scotland that was recognized as the leader of the "Pentland Clan".   Derile claims that the Pentland family had owned property there that had been confiscated from them by Robert the Bruce and given to the Sinclair family leaving the Pentland Clan landless. (that occurred because the Pentlands had supported King Edward I at the battle of Bannockburn)   Here, in the lower 48 states, it seemed that there were few, if any, who seriously believed what he was saying, was the truth! 

I found references to something called the "Barony of Pentland".    I knew that normally a designation of "Barony" would probably derive from a property which possibly belonged to a "family or clan" with that same name.   Various Penland genealogy searchers that I came in touch with asserted that they believed that the 'Pentland property'  had never existed; no clan, no property and no titles!  I kept thinking about the possibility that Derile's story  might be true, simply because I kept finding information that seemed to support it.   First, I looked closely at what Derile had actually said in an e-mail to me.  Here is what he said:

      *   "The Clan Pentland derive their name from the norse name Petland or Petlandi which meant  “land of the Picts”.  The chiefs of the Clan Pentland are descended from Galam Cennalath the ancient Pictish King of Insi Orc “Orkney” and Gallaibh “Caithness”in Scotland.  The Clan’s principal seats were in Dair in N.E. Sutherland and Lyth in Caithness.  The Clan married with the norse Jarls of Orkney and Caithness for many generations.    In 1211 A.D.,  Jarl David of Orkney asked Thorkel Petlandi “his brother in law” to take his son William out of harms way, for he feared for his life if he stayed in Orkney or Caithness.  Thorkel “Torquil” Petlandi gathered some clansmen and moved south to Edislaw in Perthshire.  There William grew up and married Margeret Murry.
William & Margeret had three sons, Adam, Christian and David.  The brothers moved around the Firth of Forth.  Their name was changed from Petland to Pentland.   Adam became a monk in Holyrood Abbey and was known as "Adam de Pentland.    On 7 January 1298 he, along with his Abbots, Priors and others had to swear on “copis chritie” to be loyal to King Edward I, “the Longshanks,” of England.  This followed the defeat of the Scottish Army at Dunbar by the English, and two thousand Lords, Landowners, Bishops and other Churchmen, signed what was called “the Ragman’s Roll”.   Adam signed his name as Adam de Pentland.   Adam’s brother, Christian was a Lord of a castle near Kynel and signed the Ragman's Roll as Christian de Pentland, "Lord of Pentland".   On 17 August 1304, King Edward visited Pentland Castle.  Afterward, Christian demanded the government pay five schillings for damage done to his property during the King’s visit.  David also signed the Ragman’s Roll.  He signed it as David de Pentland.  All of the Clan Pentland and its septs can claim descent from these three brothers.  The badge of the Clan Pentland is a red lionshead with a silver collar charged with three red cresents.  The Clan’s motto is “virtue et opera” (by virtue and deeds).  The  Clan’s war cry is “Akue Aie”.  The plant badge of the Clan is juniper and butchers broom.  The Pentland tartan is similar to that of the Clan Gunn, with the addition of a brown line next to the red of the Clan Gunn.  The Clan septs are Pentlend, Paintland, Petland, Penland, Penlend, Petlend and Pendland. Currently, the Clan  Pentland is a landless Clan. They have no possessions at all in Scotland primarily because of the whims of Kings and Queens.  The family Pentland was originally of high nobility with claims to the throne itself.  After Jarl John, Jarl David’s brother died, Pentland lands in the north of Dair and Lyth in Caithness were annexed by the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce,  and given to the Sinclairs.  The Pentlands who stayed, migrated south, settling along the way in places such as Iverness, the Isle of Skye and Aberdeen.  The Pentland’s that made it that far joined others who were already there.  Some settled in Edislaw in Perthshire where friends and relatives such as the Murray’s and the MacDuff’s lived.  Later, they moved around the Firth of Forth and settled in the Pentland hills at  “Pentland”.  There they had castles and many other holdings.  At the battle of Bannockburn they risked everything and fought on the Scottish side.  They were rewarded by having their villages, castles and mains annexed to William Sinclair by King Robert the Bruce.  The Clan settled the area Nidrymains, Carrington, Liberton, Haddington, Edinburg, Lanark, Glasgow and many outlying areas.  They maintained their seat at Edislaw Perthshire until 1513 when it was given with lands and mains   to George Ramsey by Mary Queen of Scots.  That rendered the Clan landless, but they could still muster fighting men.  They threw their lot with Bonnie Prince Charlie who promised the return of all the lands and honors, if they helped him.  After the loss of that battle, the government tried to break the Clan by sending their chieftains and clansmen to penal colonies in Australia, America and Canada.  Many escaped to Ireland and France.  Later, the Clan Chief came back from Ireland and became a Burgess of Glasgow.  He was granted the Coat of Arms when his father died in 1811.  He later came to  America with his family and has been here ever since.  The Pentland’s were highlanders long before they became lowlanders.  In the 1990’s there were three or four families in Motherwell but mainly around Haddington, Niddry Mains, Carrington, Liberton, Edinburg and Glasgow.” (end of Derile's message)

One of the things that struck me after reading Derile's note was that the early Pentlands seemed to have a propensity to back political  losers.  They were on the wrong side at the Battle of Bannockburn and Robert the Bruce took their property, Mary Queen of Scots took other property and gave it to George Ramsey and finally, they supported "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in a losing effort that resulted in the Clan losing everything!   But, the question remains, did this tale of woe really happen, or was it the figment of someone's imagination?   What I found,  trying to answer that question, was very interesting!  Here it is:

       *   According to Black’s  “Surnames of Scotland”  the name PENTLAND  is from an ancient but no longer existing Parish of Pentland in Midlothian County.  (Interestingly, in the early 1990s my son Patrick Penland (then a Captain in the USAF), who was in England on a flying mission took a weekend trip to Scotland and visited  a village called "Pentland" - I have a picture of him standing by the village sign of that name.)

       *   In the book “Pioneers of Dungannon & Nile", Ontario, Canada....pg 83,  in August 1998 the following statement throws some light on the subject:  “ The Pentlands came from the highlands to the south of Scotland many hundreds of years ago where they had a Castle and Barony which later became the property of Sir William Sinclair.   In 1633 the Sinclairs sold the Barony of  Pentland to the Gibson’s who held the lands into the twentieth century.  All that remains today of Pentland is the church yard which contains an old family vault of the Covenaters who were slain at the battle of the Rullion Green in 1666. "

         *   In a  1999  presentation, given by Niven Sinclair of London, Great Britain, a businessman,  researcher, and inspirer;  he spoke of a set of “proofs” that  Henry Sinclair’s voyage to the New World (a disputed event)  did, in fact, occur.   He said “In 1387  Prince  Henry Sinclair was making preparations to sail to the new world (Ontario).  He “gave indication of his forthcoming voyage, because he distributed much of his land;  to his brother John, he gave Pentland and Shetland....” (This presentation was one of seventeen given during the 5 - 7 September 1997 meeting in Kirkwall  Orkney)  

      *   I have corresponded with Niven Sinclair in England and he confirms that property called "Pentland" did belong to Sir Henry St. Clair and that he did pass it on to his brother John.  He says the understanding in the Sinclair family was that the property was given to Henry in settlement of a wager he made with his friend, the King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce.  The story goes, that one day the two were on a hill overlooking a meadow.  A Red Deer was peacefully grazing in the meadow below.  Henry bet the King his dogs could catch the deer before it got to the other side of the meadow.  When the King lost the wager, he gave the property to Henry (Nevin believes  that refers to the area near Edinburgh known as "The Pentland Hills".  (Which, of course, is the area that the Pentlands migrated to according to Derile's information)   A couple of excerpts from the "Templar Chart of the Crusades" also seem to confirm the Barony actually existed:
             * * William, 11th Barron of Rosslyn b. 1415 Rosslyn d. 1482 buried at  Rosslyn Chapel;  1476 Last Sinclair Jarl of Orkney, 1st Sinclair Earl of Caithness; Great Chancellor, Chamberlain,General Admiral of Scotland & Chief Justiciary of Scotland Lieutenant of Scotland. Lord Warden of the Three Marches, Knight of the English Order of the Garter & the French Order of the Cockle. Baron of Pentland & Pentland Moor, Cousland, Cardin of Cardin St. Clair, Herbertshire, Hertford, Grahamshaws, Kirkton, Cavers, Newburgh, and Roxburgh and Grand Master of Masons in Scotland. Made large additions to Rosslyn Castle, designed and built Rosslyn Chapel (40 years to finish) m. Margaret Elizabeth Douglas d/o 4th Earl Archbld. (Duke Touraine) Douglas & Princess Margaret of Scotland
           { Note:  In a July 2004 magazine ---  Roslin, U. K. Tourism at
             Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel is up 50%  this year, thanks to the
             best- selling novel “The Da Vinci Code.”   The book claims that
             the 15th century chapel, with its intricate carvings of pagan,
             Masonic, and Christian imagery, contains clues to the location
             of the “Holy Grail.”   Other legends about Rosslyn hold that the
             “ Ark of the Covenant” is hidden in a pillar and that the ”Head
             of John the Baptist”  is buried under the floor.}             

            * *   Because of the St. Clair's long association with the Templar movement Henry was chosen by King Robert the Bruce to arrange for the exiled Templars in Portugal to  come to Scotland to train his men, and fight against England in exchange for land and refuge. A band of them were led by Henry to victory at Bannockburn in 1314.   He lost 1/3 of the Barony in 1335 because of John Baliol's agreement with England.  William, son of the 7th Baron , won Pentland Hills on a wager with King Robert the Bruce against his life, that William’s hounds would catch a deer before it crossed the March  Burn.

       *  Another reference (from the history of the Canadian Pentlands) implies that the original property was probably farther north, possibly near "The Pentland Firth" which is  between mainland Scotland and the Shetland Islands.  

       *  There are many articles that tend to confirm Henry Sinclair's trip to North America almost a hundred years  before Columbus discovered it.  Here is one version:
         [In 1398, Prince Henry set sail with 200-300 men in twelve ships. Designed similar to the Viking Longboats of previous centuries, some of Sinclair's vessels were modified with raised "castles" fore and aft, on which bowmen and spearmen could attack opponents.   Antonio Zeno was the navigator and recorder of the fleet's log, which is called the "Zeno Narratives."   The voyage took the explorers to Faeroes, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and to New England.   They had harmonious contacts with the Micmac Indians throughout at least one year.   Several archaeological artefacts remain to validate their miraculous adventure.  They are the Zeno Narratives and Zeno Map, a Venetian cannon in Nova Scotia, the Micmac Indian legends, and a rock carving in Westford, Massachusetts.   Some researchers believe that Sinclair and his group built the Newport Tower in Rhode Island.   Antonio Zeno reported about Henry Sinclair, "If ever there was a man who is worthy of a mortal memory, it is this man [Henry Sinclair] becuse of his great bravery and goodness".]   Note: During the past several years (2010 - 2016) a TV series has been shown on 'The History Channel' about that trip and the suspected burial of 'Temple Treasures" (from the Knights Templars discovery in the Temple in Jerusalem) in the "Money Pit" on Oak Island, and the possibility that Henry and his men may have traveled as far in-land as Minnesota.

       *   In 1984, a man called  “Lord John Pentland”died in New York City.  He was known  around the world as an author and long time President of the  Gurdjieff  Foundation.   He was born in 1907 as “Henry John Sinclair”.   John Sinclair was the last person to hold the "Lord Pentland" title as he had no male descendants.   There is little doubt that his Title came from the "Barony of Pentland property" that had been transferred to the Sinclair family.  On 12 March 2000 Niven Sinclair sent the following message to me referring to  John Sinclair, Lord Pentland:

"From: Niven Sinclair
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 19:53:06
The last Lord Pentland died in 1984 in New York.  With him, this particular branch of the Dunbeath branch of the family died out.
I am indebted to Judith Fisken for sending me the following information which is taken from a book called "Eating the I" which was written by William Patrick Patterson who visited Rosslyn Chapel with Lord Pentland in 1983 during which he, Patterson, had a premonition of his teacher's death" i.e. that of Lord John Pentland.
In a review of  "Eating the I" one reads: "......readers will get a taste of Gurdjieff's teaching in action and its influence on one man's search.  They will also get an extraordinary glimpse of an extraordinary teacher - Lord John Pentland - the British aristocrat who, as President of the Gurdjieff Foundation brought the Gurdjieff Work to life for so many people until his death in 1984".
Elswhere one finds Patterson "reflecting on the intimate, stark and redeeming moments of his tutlelage under Lord Pentland who was head of the 'Work' in America".
The narrative of the book deals with the collision which occurs between teaching i.e. that which we are taught and the inner self  or spiritual self.
In other words, we have another Sinclair spreading the gospel about the essential balance between Man's physical and spiritual needs.  This is a continuation of the message which Earl William Sinclair left (chiselled out in stone) within Rosslyn Chapel in the 15th Century. It is just as valid as we enter the 21st Century.”
Niven Sinclair

[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org

        *   (The following is quoted from the  “The Hall of Names International,  Inc.  on their Certification # - 943320-12.10 H-27462 for the name "Pentland" )    “The Border region of England and Scotland produced some of the most illustrious family names the world has ever known, names such as Armstrong, Nixon, Graham, Hume, Irving, Rutherford, and so on and included in this group is the surname Pentland.  Professional analysts have researched the history of lowland Scotland and northern England, including many  private collections of genealogical records, the Inquisitio, the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, the Ragman Rolls, The Hearth Rolls, the Domesday Book, parish caartularies, baptismals, and tax rolls, and revealed that the first record of the name Pentland was found in Midlothian where they were seated from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.   Different spellings of the name were found in the archives, each alternate linked to the root source of the surname.  The name Pentland occurred in many references, from time to time the surname was spelt Pentland, Pentlan, Paintland, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son.  Scribes and church officials recorded the name from its sound, sometimes changing the spelling on each occasion of the same person’s birth, death or marriage.  The family name Pentland is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons.  This ancient, founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged  from Lancashire in the South, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.  From 400 A.D.  to  900 A.D. their territory was overrun firstly by the Irish Gaels, then the Angles from the east, and, finally the Picts and Dalriadans from the north.  However, their basic culture remained relatively undisturbed.  By 1000 A.D., the race  had formed into discernible Clans and families, perhaps some of the first evidence of the family structure in Britain.  By the 16th and 17th centuries many of our modern family names descended directly from this ancient race, including Pentland.  Tracing its ancient development, the name Pentland was found in Midlothian where they were recorded as a family of  great antiquity seated on the lands of Pentland in that shire.  Adam of Pentland was a Monk of Holyrood Abbey in 1298.  Ralph Pentland led an expedition to Montrose to arrest a vessel destined for England with wool and hides.  Thomas  Pentland acquired lands in Edinburgh in 1400, and William Pentland was given permission to trade with the English in 1480.  They flourished on their estates for several centuries.  Notable amongst the family at this time was Pentland of  Midlothian. 

The border of England and Scotland was created on a line from Carlisle to Berwick in the East.  Many Strathclyde families straddled the border but continued to be unified clans, powers unto themselves.  After 1000 A.D., border life was in turmoil.  In  1246  6 Chiefs from the Scottish side and  6  from the English side met at Carlisle and produced a set of laws governing all the border Clans.  These were unlike any laws prevailing  in England or Scotland or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world.  For example, it was a far greater offence to refuse to help a neighbor recover his property, wife, sheep, cattle or horses than it was to steal them in the first place.  Hence the expression  “Hot Trod”, or, a hot pursuit, from which we get the modern “Hot to Trot”.  For refusal of assistance during  a “Hot Trod”,  a person could be hanged on the instant, without trial.  Frequently, the descendants of these clans or families apologetically refer to themselves as being descended from  ‘cattle or horse thieves’  when, in fact, it was an accepted code of life on the border.
In 1603, the Union of the Scottish and English crowns became  reality under King James VI  of Scotland, who was also crowned King James 1st of England.  The Crown dispersed these “unruly border clans”, clans which had served loyally in the defence of each side.  The unification of the governments was threatened and it was imperative that the old “border code” should be broken up.  Hence, the Border Clans were banished to England, northern Scotland and to Ireland.  Some were outlawed and banished directly to Ireland, the Colonies and the New World.”
( End of Quote)

Was there a "Barony of Pentland"?   It certainly would seem so -- and it is also logical for me to believe that the early Pentland family members that migrated to America in the mid 1600s were probably directly related to one of the three sons of William Pentland and his wife Margaret Murry)  Some have suggested that it was likely David's family members that first migrated to America.  Obviously, there is not (at this time) proof of that, but it does seem possible.

NOTE:  An interesting thing to me is that the first Pentland family was a Pentland & a Murry.  The thought suddenly struck me that when my father James Penland married  my mother Izella Pearl Murray in 1934 -- that maybe somehow circumstances had just come full circle!