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Falconer/Faulkner

THE FALCONER/FALCONAR/FAULKNER SEPT OF CLAN KEITH

"All information in this article is taken from Falconer of Halkerton by Paul Gifford, published in 1997 by Heritage Books. IN this book he attempted to trace all the male lines from the lairds of Halkerton. The earliest ancestor from whom descendants can be proved is Alexander Falconer of Halkerton and of Lethen who died in 1499, although the family is said to descend from Ranulf le Falconer, who obtained a charter from William the Lion, King of Scotland, in 1211. The Falconers lived in Morayshire and Nairnshire in northern Scotland and in Kincardineshire in eastern Scotland. Although the Falconers were associated with Halkerton (in Kincardineshire, near Laurencekirk) by the 1400s, Sir Alexander (c. 159501671) was the first to hold the title of Lord of Halkerton. His brother John was Master of the scottish Mint and a cousin, John of Phesdo, also in Kincardineshire, was the Warden of the Mint. The Falconers were a religiously diverse family, some being Covenanters, others Roman Catholics who supported the Stuart cause and still others were Quakers. The Falconers are somewhat unusual in that no male lines of descent traceable to the senior line survived in Scotland as of 1997. In fact, by 1900 only three Falconer lines existed in Great Britain: the Keith-Falconers, the Falconer-Stewarts of Feddal in Perthshire, and the Falconers of Gloucestershire.

The Falconers and the Keiths have intermarried for centuries. The hyphenated Keith-Falconer name appears to date from Anthony Adrian Keith-Falconer, baptized 1742, died 1804 at Keith Hall, Kintore, Aberdeenshire. He was the seventh Lord Falconer of Halkerton and the fifth Earl of Kintore, and the first person to hold both titles. In 1966 Arthur George Keith-Falconer. 10th Earl of Kintore and 12th last Lord Falconer of Halkerton, died without any identifiable heirs-male. His sister inherited the Kintore title which passed to her son but the Halkerton title, which since 1778 had been lesser and almost forgotten title, became dormant.

According to Gifford, in America three family groups formed. Gilbert Falconer (1686-1736), son of merchant David Falconer of Edinburgh, came to Maryland. His descendants are described as merchants and slave-owning planters who raised tobacco and cotton and supported the Confederacy during the Civil War. Patrick Falconer (c. 1658-1692), son of John of Phesdo who was Warden of the Scottish Mint, came to New Jersey in 1684. His descendants are described as 'some merchants but mostly... yeoman, Yankee farmers in New York.' I am a ninth generation descendant of Patrick Falconer. Alexander (c. 1693-1758), brother of Gilbert and cousin to Patrick, also came to Maryland before 1719. His descendants who stayed east became Methodist carpenters and blacksmiths. If they went west, they tended to become Baptist of Methodist farmers and invariably supported the Union cause, many with their lives. Descendants of all these immigrants concentrated themselves in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, California, Oregon and Washington.

According to Gifford, 'Falconer' was the usual spelling until the middle of the 17th century when 'Falconar' became general. The three American branches adopted 'Faulkner,' two during the 18th century and one in the 19th.

When Falconer of Halkerton was published, Paul Gifford's address was listed for questions or corrections as 710 Avon St. Flint, MI, 48503. the book was published by Heritage Books in Bowie, Maryland, and is currently out of print. If enough people express an interest, it is possible that another edition might be printed. Heritage books can be reached at 800-398-7709." - Sheryl Buckley, M.D.

"The Falconer/Falconar/Faulkner Sept of Clan Keith" by Sheryl Buckley, M.D. Keith & Kin, Second Quarter 2002.

Here is a website with some further information for the Falconer families and their descendants: http://www.falconermuseum.co.uk/contact.html

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Books

Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia by George Way, 1998

Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland, Ed. by John Key and Julia Keay, 1994

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