The Burnett family is one of the most illustrious of Scottish families, with a history going back to before the Norman Conquest, an ancient coat of arms and a record of many distinguished members in the church, in letters, in the law and in the military. The Burnetts were originally an Anglo-Saxon family, first recorded in Arseley, Bedfordshire before 1066. (There is some speculation that the Burnetts were actually a Norman family who came to Britain prior to William the Conqueror, as there are records of persons bearing the name of Burnet in France during that time. If this proves accurate, it will change the etymology of the name, as well as a few other historical items regarding the family). The family first went to Scotland in the 12th century in the train of David I. They settled in the southern part of the country, having obtained a grant of lands at Faringdoun in the county and parish of Roxburgh. The family figured during the 13th century as benefactors of Melrose and other religious houses. After the mid 13th century, there are few records of the Burnetts (Burnards) of Faringdoun, but most scholars agree that the various branches of the family that developed in the 13th and the 14th centuries were offshoots of this stem.


Map courtesy of Hammond's New Contemporary World Atlas


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