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Blackwood & Weir


Blackwood was accepted by CDSNA as a sept in September 1978.

As stated in the discussion of Blackett, Blacket-house owned by the Bells is alternatively known in Scotland as Blacket Tower and Blackwood Tower. 

Blackwood is also a place name in Lanarkshire and was the homeland of the Weir family. The Weirs are an armigerous family recognized by the Lyon Court and the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs but currently do not have a cheif.  Although a Lowland family, the Weirs are recognized as a sept of clan Buchannan, clan MacNaughton, and clan MacFarlane through marriages and alliances.

A brief history of the Weir family states,

Ralph de Vere, b. c. 1150. Ralph de Vere was either a younger son of Aubrey de Vere III. and Lucia Abrincis, or his second son, who lost  his right to the Earldom of Oxford as a result of opposing Henry II, the earldom passing to his younger brother, Robert. Evidently, Please note: Ralph de Vere was also known as Radulphus de Vere and Baltredus de Vere.

It appears that Ralph de Vere is the first of the name recorded in Scotland. He was taken prisoner along with Richard the Lion in 1174; he later witnessed a charter by King William I. of Scotland, sometime between 1174 and 1184. During the same period he gifted a bovate of land in Sprouston, Roxburgh, to the Abbey of Kelso; his brother, Robert de Vere, was a witness to this charter. The Weirs of Blackwood, Lanarkshire, claim their descent from this Ralph de Vere. [n.b. The Weir succession from Ralph de Vere to Rothaldus Weir of Blackwood is fully detailed in the charters of Kelso Abbey. See Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, pp. 475-476, 1899. See George Vere Irving, The Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, 1864.]

Ralph de Vere was a follower of Conan IV., Duke of Brittany, who held claim to the English throne as a great-grandson of Henry I. When Henry II. conquered Brittany, Conan and his followers  took refuge in Scotland, Conan marrying the sister of King William I. of Scotland. Ralph de Vere was awarded vast estates in Lanarkshire, where the following descendants were to establish themselves:

His son was Walter Weir, b. c. 1190. His son was Radulphus Weir, 1225-1296. His son was Thomas Weir, b. c. 1256. His son was Richardus Weir, 1280-1314. His son was Thomas Weir, 1310-1371, of Blackwood, Lanarkshire. A 1314 charter of Kelso Abbey states: 'This Thomas is the first recorded proprietor of the lands of Blackwood.' This possession was inherited by his son Buan Weir, 1340-1390, whose son was Rothaldus Weir, b. 1368.

Rothaldus Weir, 1st. Laird of Blackwood, was Bailie of Lesmahagow, 1398-1400, and in the latter year, Abbot Patrick, who styled him 'Well-beloved and faithful', granted him half of the church lands of Blackwood and Dermoundyston, with Stonebyres, Archtyfardle, and the whole of Mossmynyne. For Blackwood he was to pay 3s. 4.d annually, and for the other lands, 13s 4d.. That Mossmynyne was an important possession is apparent from the yearly payment required for it. Mossmynyne was a district between Harperfield and Coultershogle. The Weir estate of Blackwood, as stated, had been held by the family for some time previous to 1400. The Veres of Stonebyres and Archtyfardle and Mossmynemion were branches of the Weirs of Blackwood. In the 16th. Century, an old feud between the Weirs of Blackwood and their cousins the Veres of Stonebyres was supposedly ended when the Veres swore allegiance to the Weirs of Blackwood.

The son of Rothaldus Weir was Thomas Weir, b. c. 1400, 2nd. Laird of Blackwood. His son was Robert Weir, 1425-1479, 3rd. Laird of Blackwood. His son was Thomas Weir, 1462-1531, 4th. Laird of Blackwood. He married Aegida Somerset alias Somerville, b. 1463, of Carnwath, Lanarkshire. She was the daughter of John, 3rd Lord Somerville, of Cowthally, and Marion Baillie, born c. 1430 in Lamington, Ayrshire, Scotland, and died after Jan. 1505/06. She was the daughter of William VI. Baillie, Laird of Lamington, and Margery Hamilton.

The following is attributed to Ray Isbell and is found in most modern discussions of the Weir family.

George Black's statement that the Weirs are not shown in the records before they obtained the lands of Blackwood, Lanarkshire, is not accepted by the greater authority, Sir Edmund Burke of Burke's Peerage.  Further, the Veres/Weirs were in Lanarkshire as early as 1165, and all of them made donations to the abbots of Kelso as early as 1200s, and it was the abbots of Kelso who later conferred upon them the lands of Blackwood.  The Weirs/Veres of Stonebyres and Archtyfardle and Mossmynemion were branches of the Weirs of Blackwood; indeed, Stonebyres estate was once part of the Blackwood estate.  In the 1500s a century-old feud between the Weirs of Blackwood and their cousins the Veres of Stonebyres was ended when the Veres swore allegiance to Weir of Blackwood and acknowledged him their chief.

A good reference source for the Weirs is the book THE UPPER WARD OF LANARKSHIRE (1864, Glasgow) by G.V. Irving, 2 volumes.

Based on Maxwell’s A History of the House of Douglas: 1& 2,

Andrew Douglas of Hermiston (or Herdmanston), from whom the Douglases of Dalkeith are descended, was the younger son of Archibald I, Lord of Douglas and brother of William Douglas, the grandfather of William “le Hardi” Douglas.  Andrew was succeeded by his son William Douglas of Hermiston, who is listed on the Ragman Roll of 1296.  James, the son of William, had two sons: Sir William Douglas, known as the Knight of Liddesdale or the Flower of Chivalry and Sir John Douglas. Sir John Douglas of Hermiston was the father of Sir Henry Douglas, Laird of Lugton & Lochleven.  Sir Henry was succeeded by his son Sir William Douglas, Laird of Lochleven, who was succeeded by his son, Henry Douglas, Laird of Lochleven.  This Henry Douglas had a daughter, Helen Douglas, who married her cousin Walter Hamilton, Lord of Raploch, the son of Sir John Hamilton, 4th Lord of Cadzow and Janet Douglas, daughter of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith and Agnes Dunbar, the daughter of Patrick de Dunbar, 8th Earl of Dunbar.  The son of Walter Hamilton and Helen Douglas was James Hamilton, Lord of Raploch.

James Hamilton, Lord of Raploch, was succeeded by his son, William Hamilton, Lord of Raploch (b. abt 1450) who married Margaret Baillie, daughter of William VII Baillie, Laird of Lamington and Margaret Seton. William Hamilton was, in turn, succeeded by James Hamilton, Lord of

Raploch (b. abt 1475), who married Isabella Weir, daughter of James Weir, 5th Laird of Blackwood and Emphemia Hamilton.  Isabella Weir was born about 1500 in Blackwood, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

A second connection of Weir to Douglas is documented in a 1547 Bond of Manrent between Weir of Blackoud [Blackwood] and Archibald, sixth Earl of Angus. [The Douglas Book: 3, p 241]

201. Bond of Manrent by Thomas Weir of Blackwood to Archibald, SIXTH Earl of Angus. 2d November 1547.

Be it kend til al men be thir presentis lettres, me, Thomas Weir of Blakwod, for me, kyn, frendis and seruandis, and vderis that I can solest, to serff my Lord of Angus at his Lordschip plesour and command, quhen he commandis me, aganis al vder, and tak his afald and faithful part quhen he chargis me, to rid, gang or ony vder seruice that he charge me; and that for his Lordschip supple and help for me, my frendis, seruandis and part takaris, excepand my ourlord allanerlie. In witnes heirof I haif subscribit this vrit wytht my hand at Braxfeld, the secound day of Nouember, in the zer of God ane thousand fyff hundreth xlvii zeris, befoir Richard Watt, James Were and Master Jhone F , vitnes.

THOMASS VEIR of Blakuod. 

According to Wikipedia, Manrent

refers to a Scottish mid 15th century to the early 17th century type of contract, usually military in nature and involving Scottish clans. The bond of manrent was commonly an instrument in which a weaker man or clan pledged to serve, in return for protection, a stronger lord or clan—in effect becoming a vassal that renders service to a superior, often made in the form of a covenant. Manrents were a Promise by one person to serve another, such] that he shall be friend to all his friends, and foe to all his foes.

A third possible connection is through the Arms of Weir of Blackwood.  The arms of 1) WEIR OF BLACKWOOD, 2) WEIR OF THAT ILK, and 3) Sir George WEIR OF BLACKWOOD are all described as Argent on a fess Azure three mullets of the first.



Fraser, William. The Douglas Book: In Four Volumes. Burlington, Ont: TannerRitchie Pub. in collaboration with the Library and Information Services of the University of St. Andrews, 2005. Internet resource.  http://www.http://archive.org/details/douglasbook03fras


Irving, George Vere. The Upper Ward of Lanarkshire. T. Murray and son, 1864.


Maxwell, Herbert. A History of the House of Douglas: 1& 2. London: Freemantle, 1902. Print.


Nisbet, Alexander, and Robert Fleming. A System of Heraldry Speculative and Practical: With the True Art of Blazon, According to the Most Approved Heralds in Europe: Illustrated with Suitable Examples of Armorial Figures, and Achievements of the Most Considerable Sirnames and Families in Scotland, &c.... by Alexander Nisbet. Edinburgh: Printed for J. MackEuen. Anno Dom, 1722. Print.


Weirs in Scotland. http://donnagene53.tripod.com/weir/id1.html


The Weir History. http://www.lexter.freeservers.com/weir_genealogy.html


Weir Family Origins: The Ancestors of Alexander Nicholl Weirhttp://www.freewebs.com/weirfamilyorigins/