Ballantine – Stewart or Campbell?

Ballantine – Stewart or Campbell? I have done considerable research on the name Ballantine or Ballantyne and it’s various derivatives. First of all, there isn’t one spelling that’s more Scottish than others. There seems to be possibly 1 origin that split? Or 2 origins? The first is the common thought that we initially were from […]

Ballantine – Stewart or Campbell?

I have done considerable research on the name Ballantine or Ballantyne and it’s various derivatives. First of all, there isn’t one spelling that’s more Scottish than others. There seems to be possibly 1 origin that split? Or 2 origins? The first is the common thought that we initially were from Roxburghshire/ or Selkirkshire area of the borders region. This is the area that the traditional origin of the lighting of the fires to honour Bal stems from. The family crest/ coat of arms for that Ballantyne family is very distinct from its western Scotland equivalent. The Ayrshire Lanarkshire Ballantines are thought to have come from an origin of the Bannatynes of the Isle Of Bute. The coat of arms is different and the spelling is different.

This would put them in the Stuart of Bute clan as opposed to the Ballantynes being in the Campbell clanThis does not mean that at one time there wasn’t 1 big happy family whose name was spelled differently for various reasons such as the poll tax which encouraged people to change the spelling of there surname to avoid the tax or government officials spelling it badly or …heaven forbid… there were squabbles and one person decided to not be associated with THAT person any more by changing the spelling of the name slightly. All of these are possible. I have seen in my own family research that my surname was changed in government documents many times and sometimes on the same form. I have seen Ballantine, Ballantyne, Valentine, Balentine, Ballington, Blanton, Ballantini and the list goes on.So… I say hey! whatever you believe about your own spelling and if your happy then who’s to say that your not correct because it’s so convoluted that no one has a definitive answer.

According to Black* the name is probably of local origin from the lands of Bellenden in the parish of Roberton, Roxburghshire. Another possibility is Ballinton/Ballintoun/Ballintome mentioned in Stirling. If your ancestor was from Roxburghshire and his family had been well anchored there for many generations, I think it unlikely that he would be connected with any Stewart or Campbell branches. Bellenden was the ancient gathering place of the Scotts and Roxburgshire is associated with a number of major Border Clans including Kerr, Eliot, Maxwell, Scott, Douglas, Turnbull and Rutherford. In any event, the only way to be certain is extensive research.

Bannatynes are a sept of Campbells, affiliated with Stewarts, and no one will ever know. Once more, here is the definitive answer on the Bannatyne origins & affiliations. First, there is NO documentation or reliable oral history on the origins of the Bannatynes. Black, cited in a post above, speculates and offers no evidence or authority in support. A good bet — just as good as Bellenden in Selkirk — is the estate of Bannatyne Yards in the Parish of Ochiltree, Ayrshire.

A charter from the Crown dated 20 December 1475 included the 40 shilling lands of Bannatyne Yards as well as those of Camys (Kames), and these lands remained in the family’s hands until the seventeenth century. However, it is not clear whether the estate in Ochiltree was named after its owners or vice versa. It even appears that the famous “Bannatyne Mazer” first belonged to the Fitzgeralds, from whom the Bannatynes inherited Kames when the Fitzgerald male line died out (see Stevenson, J. H. ‘The Bannatyne or Bute Mazer’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol. 65, pp. 217–55 (Edinburgh, 1930–31)). Also, Sir Walter Scott’s assertions notwithstanding, there is no evidence or tradition that the Corehouse (Larnarkshire), and Newtyle (Forfarshire) Bannatynes are related to the Bannatynes of Bute.

We could try DNA testing to determine this point, but it wouldn’t get us very far on the origins of the Bannatynes since, in short, we simply don’t know where they originate.As I noted in an earlier post, the Bannatynes are a sept of the Campbells. Bannatyne of Kames concluded a bond of manrent in 1538 in which he bound himself and his family to the Earl of Argyll. He also signed a mutual bond with Stuart of Bute a few years later in 1547, in which each undertook to support the other against all comers with the exception of the King and the (Campbell) Earl of Argyll. From that point the Bannatynes are said to have been loyal to the Campbell chiefs, with Bannatyne of Kames acting as a Campbell chieftain in all but name. But they also intermarried a number of times with the Stuarts, since the two families were the most important families on Bute in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Hence the ties to both the Campbells and Stuarts. As for the spelling, for whatever reason, Bannatyne and Ballantyne (and variations) were long treated as equivalent spellings of the same name, so that some of my Bannatyne ancestors have Ballantine on their graves. Others don’t.

My father–James Ballantyne said that we were connected to the Stuarts of Bute. I have only been able to trace his line back to late 1700s and they all seemed to live in either Lanrkshire or Renfrewshire–all were in/around Glasgow. My father being born in Thornliebankl.

No need to fret over this whole “sept” dilema….the Ballantynes have their own tartan (and whisky too). You can see the Ballantyne tartan here Personally I like the whisky better. This helps with the confusion with where Blanton came from. I’ve read it’s Scottish, English, and even French, depending on where I look. There’s a Blanton whiskey too.