Category: Histories

The Hunters of Hunterston

The first Hunters arrived at Ayrshire in the opening years of the 12th century, having come over from Normandy about four years after the Norman Conquest. Experts in hunting and fieldcraft with generations of experience in the forests of their land of origin, these Norman lords were invited to Scotland by King David I who was himself brought up in the Norman court in London.



The famous Bayeux Tapestry

The Hunters did not fight at the side of William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings, but followed him later to England.

The wife of one of the descendants of the Hunters who later settled in Scotland was a lady-in-waiting to William the Conqueror’ spouse, and is thought to have been one of the ladies who worked on the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

This linen strip, 223ft long and 1.5ft wide, graphically depicts the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the actual battle itself.

By the late eleventh to early twelfth century the Hunters had found a new home in Scotland, and close on 1,000 years later, are still to be found on the land in the north of Ayrshire where they first settled.

The Hunter Family

The Hunter family are fortunate to have an ancient parchment charter still in their possession confirming a grant of land at Huntarstoune and Ardneil (near West Kilbride) dated 1374, with a rent of a silver penny only to be paid on request to the Crown.

Ancestral Trails

After a month long vacation this past August, we followed my Hunter ancestors from
Giles County, Pearisburg, Virginia, to the Giles County courthouse where a Revolutionary War Memorial lists a Robert Hunter who is my ancestor. The Giles
County Historical Society was closed, but is on my list for future trips.

Family Histories

Hunter Crest BadgeThree Hunter landowners from Paisley were signatories to the infamous “Ragman Roll” in 1296 when King Edward I of England held a parliament at Berwick to which he summoned all Scottish landholders to swear allegiances to him.