The Keith Family, incl the Earls Marischal.

12 March 2008


Sir William Keith, Marischal. Died before 1410. Married Margaret Fraser, dau of John Fraser of Touchfraser.
I. Sir Robert Keith, Marischal (died before 20 July 1430). Married the heiress of Troup.
A. William Keith, 1st Earl Marischal (d before 1476). Married Mary Hamilton, dau of Sir James Hamilton of Cadzow.
The identification of Earl William's wife is not certain. She may have been Marjorie Fraser, dau of Alexander Fraser of Kinnell and Lovat. She died before 11.1442.
a. William Keith, 2nd Earl Marischal. Died 1483. Married Mariota Erskine, dau of Thomas Erskine, 2nd Lord.
AA. William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal. Died before 2 May 1527. Married, 11 Jan 1481-82, Elizabeth Gordon, dau of George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly).
i. Robert Keith, Master of Marischal. Dvp after 1513 and by 22 April 1525. Married, 1505, Elizabeth Douglas, dau of John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton.
a. William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal. Died 7 October 1581. Married, before 30 June 1538, Margaret Keith, dau of Sir William Keith of Inverugie.
(I) William Keith, Master of Marischal. Dvp 10 Aug 1580. Married (contract 14 Jan 1543) Elizabeth Hay, dau of George Hay, 7th Earl of Erroll.
(A) George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal. Born 1553. Died 2 Apr 1623. Married first (contract Feb 1580-81) Margaret Home (died May 1588), dau of Alexander Home, 5th Lord.
(a) Lady Margaret Keith. Dsp. Married (contract 23 Dec 1615) Sir Robert Arbuthnot of Arrat, later 17th of Arbuthnot (died 15 March 1633).
(G) Mary Keith. Dsp 11 March 1619. Married (contract 29 June 1582) Robert Arbuthnot 16th of that Ilk (dsp Sept 1631).
c. Elizabeth Keith. Married (contract 27 March 1530) George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly, Earl of Moray (born 1514, died 28 Oct 1562).
e. Christian Keith. Married, after 1529, Robert Arbuthnot, 14th of Arbuthnot (born c.1508; died 15 Oct 1579).
vi. Lady Janet Keith. Died before 1547. Married first Thomas Stewart, 2nd Lord Innermeath (d.Flodden 9 Sept 1513. Married second Dec 1515 William Graham, 2nd Earl of Montrose (died 24 May 1571).
vii. Lady Elizabeth Keith. Married first Colin, Master of Oliphant (died Flodden 9 September 1513). Married second William Sinclair, 4th Lord (died 1570).
B. Margaret Keith. Died 1419. Married Hugh Arbuthnot, 9th of Arbuthnot (d 1446).
II. Janet Keith. Married Philip de Arbuthnot.
III. Elizabeth Keith, Lady of Aboyne. Died c.1436. Married first Sir Adam Gordon (d. Homildon Hill 14 Sept 1402). Married second Sir Nicholas Erskine of Kinnoull (d.before Dec 1406). Married third Thomas Somerville of Carnwarth.

Other sites are more comprehensive.   For early genealogy, click here.     For later genealogy, clickhere.

Clan Keith are one of the most powerful of the ancient Celtic families, and aresaid to descend from a great Chatti warrior. This mighty soldier fought beside Malcolm IIat the Battle of Barrie in 1010, and during the course of the battle slew the DanishGeneral Camus. In recognition of this act, the king dipped three fingers in the slainViking's blood and drew them down the sheild of the warrior whom he dubbed MarbhachairChamuis, or "Camus slayer". In reward for his allegiance to the king, CamusSlayer was granted the lands of Keth in East Lothian, from which his descendents tooktheir name. The leaders of the Clan Keith thereafter stayed in close alliance with theScottish Crown.

The Clan Chiefs held the hereditary title of Great Marischal of Scotland, one of the mostprestigious offices of state, from the early 12th Century. By the 12th Century reign ofDavid I, Harvey de Keith possessed half of the lands of Keith, with his great grandsonacquiring for the Clan Keith the other half by a careful marriage with a Fraser heiress. A14th Century marriage with an heiress in Ackergill led to the Keiths gaining the lands ofCaithness, but their settlement there earned them the enmity of the neighbouring ClanGunn, with whom they warred for many years. By the 16th century they owned land from theborders to the very north of Scotland.

Throughout the history of Scotland, the Keiths are renowned for their fealty to the Crownand their deeds truly reflect this loyal spirit. At the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, oneof the most glorious moments of Scotland's past, Sir Robert Keith, Great Marischal,commanded Robert the Bruce's cavalry with such skill and courage that the great kingrewarded him with the royal forest of Kintore. This tradition continued with Keithsfighting at the battle of Flodden in 1513, and the 4th Earl founding Marischal College inAberdeen.

Perhaps the most celebrated contribution of the Keiths to the cause of the Scottish Crowncame after the defeat of Charles II in the 17th century English Civil War. When OliverCromwell invaded Scotland, the Scottish regalia - the Crown, Sceptre and Sword, as well asthe state papers, were brought to the Keiths' Dunnotar Castle, which stands nearStonehaven in Kincardine. This mighty castle became the last stronghold to fly the RoyalStandard, and withstood eight months of siege before finally surrendering on 24 May 1652after prolonged cannon bombardment.

While the English ripped the castle apart in search of the regalia, the Keiths had loweredit all to an old woman gathering seaweed on the shore, who took them to Kineff Churchwhere they were concealed in the pulpit for 8 years until the monarchy was restored.

The crest of Clan Keith is a stag's head, and the motto is "Veritas Vincit"meaning "Truth Conquers". The Chief, the 13th Earl of Kintore, resides at KeithHall in Aberdeenshire.


This genealogy is not intended to be comprehensive. The mark (a),(1) or whatever does not necessarily indicate that the child is a first child.  Please send comments, corrections, additions and amendments to Sir William Arbuthnot, Bt

Last brought up to date  19:06  12 March 2008