Patrick Udny, of that Ilk - Finnish patronymicon removed

Started by Pontus Kyander on Monday, July 22, 2013


Profiles Mentioned:

Showing 31-60 of 90 posts
7/25/2013 at 11:00 PM

All the profiles that i linked in my previous message are Master Profiles.
Hopefully the curators of those profiles have the knowledge between them to sort out the mess.

7/25/2013 at 11:05 PM

Up until now i've only been looking at the digitised version of the book because it is searchable but swapping to the scanned version makes it easier to comprehend (slower going tho).
Scanned version:

7/25/2013 at 11:20 PM

LOL page 73 makes more sense now!

"Declaration : John Myle in Petcapill. : Says in the open court that he has nothing to say to William Udny of that Ilk"

That's a lot of effort to go to to tell someone you don't want to talk to them, must be some kind of story hidden in there :)

7/25/2013 at 11:56 PM

I get the feeling that Ranald wasn't very nice to his mother Janet.
On 29 11 1510 she appoints Alexander Setone (Vicar of Bothelny) as her procuratory. Which i'm guessing is similiar to giving him Power of Attorney.

10 Nov 1509 Ranald is listed as a juror "Ranald Oudny of that Ilk" so that confirms my previous assumption that he would also use "of that Ilk".

7/26/2013 at 12:11 AM

5 April 1559 a "William Oudny of that Ilk" is listed as an arbiter(?).
If the term "of that Ilk" can only be used by the head of the family then this William must refer to Ranald's son, William Udny of that Ilk.

7/26/2013 at 6:15 AM

Just want to express my appreciation for all these efforts to get these parts of the tree in order. From a Finnish perspective, family lines of Udny, Tait/Teit and Forbes/Forbus are of great interest, as they arrived very early, often as officers in the Swedish army or occasionally as tradesmen, they kept their coats of arms and were immediately absorbed among the local gentry. All these three families were ennobled again, but I suspect they were considered, and considered themselves, all the time as nobility. In the 16th and 17th centuries, they seem to have married only into local nobility and clergy, and thus these families have become just as important from a Finnish genealogical perspective as ever from a Scottish/Anglo-Saxon. Descendants we are all.

7/27/2013 at 8:35 AM

Regarding Peter Udnie (in Finland) and his ancestry.
According to the still most comprehensive and trusted Swedish publication on the officially introduced nobility (Elgenstierna, Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor. 1925-36.), Peter Udnie's father was not a William but Robert Udnie, a citizen/freeman in the then Swedish city Narva, active as tradesman also in Vyborg. He settled in Reval and was buried 16 October 1635 in the Nicolai Church of Reval.
Peter Udnie, his son according to these sources, was acknowledged as nobility in Sweden due to a document affirming this from the magistrate of Edinburg dated 16 January 1636.

7/27/2013 at 9:06 AM

Peter Udnie was also acknowledged as a baron in the Swedish house of nobles, based on this same letter from the magistrate in Edinburgh. A baron is one step up from the general, lower nobility, and may adorn they coats of arms with two helmets.

7/27/2013 at 12:37 PM

Pontus - raise me up when exploring Forbes. That's a more related line for me than Udny.

Is this a movement of the military, with rewards for service by land?

7/28/2013 at 4:56 AM

Dear Erica,
Mostly these scotsmen arrived to Sweden/Finland (Finland did not become an independent country until 1916, and Swedish was the language used into the 1900 century for all administration etc) as mercenaries, and in regards of the aristocratic Scots, they were officers. Seems also some entered the Swedish scene as tradesmen (trading outside the cities was as I understand yet another privilege of nobility). The Swedish "House of nobles" (Riddarhuset) is quite full of Scottish names, like Hamilton, Ramsay, Sinclair, Montgomery etc. They came to Sweden because this continuously warfaring country with a small population was in constant need of troops.
The Forbes came to Sweden/Finland via Mecklenburg. They were descendants of Alexander Forbes of Corsindae, dead 1448. You can see the names and years, and maybe get a general understanding of what these individuals were up to in the eastern part of Sweden, that is Finland, where I come from. They mostly made military careers, but also went into civil service - some mayors, some customs officials, and some were given substantial properties and manors. The names Forbus, Teet/Teetgren and Udnie died rather quickly, but through their daughters they relate to quite a substantial amount of Finns. This explains the high activity of Finns along these family lines.

Below some links to Swedish/Finnish sources (all in Swedish, unfortunately).

7/28/2013 at 6:05 AM

By the way, career wise, it might have been quite a move up, being a younger son of a landed (or only ennobled) family from Scotland to move over to Sweden, where aristocracy meant tremendously much in regards of privileges. I believe they capitalised on their coats of arms when coming over to Sweden. The 16th and 17th centuries were ages of very strong social mobility in Sweden - I assume much more than in Scotland and England. And nobility was on the way up still; hundreds of individuals were ennobled in this period, mostly to facilitate their military careers. Likewise clerical and administrative careers lay open, if you were prepared to move to a peripheral part of Europe, wintertime bitterly cold (but then, not that much more uncomfortable than Scotland).

7/28/2013 at 6:03 PM

If Peter's father was named Robert why do so many people list his fater as William?
There is a profile for a Robert Udny i Reval (a second cousin of the current Peter, on a lesser branch of the family) who is described as a "Köpman i Narva och Reval". This would look like a good match for this Robert, so the decision to make is which source is correct on his parentage.

7/28/2013 at 6:50 PM

There is a juror in 1535 named "Henry Oldeny (Udny) of Mynnes", i think this may be a match for Henry Udny of Minnes.
Can you translate the "till" in the profile's name? I think it is Swedish for "of"?

7/28/2013 at 7:03 PM

Interestingly (although not helpful) there is a "Robert Oudny the Younger" who is apponted Sherriff's Deputy in 1557.
He is probably about the right age to be Peter's father but why would a Sherriff's deputy leave Scotland to be a trader in Sweden?
Also "the Younger" implies that there is another (older) Robert Udny living in the area who we have no other evidence for.

Also mentioned in the 1570s are "Gilbert Udny in Auchloun" and "Richard Udny in Mynnes". With the "in Mynnes" Richard is not neccessarily related to Henry Udny OF Mynnes.

7/28/2013 at 10:31 PM

You're doing great with analyzing names, Alex. Nice to pick up on the distinction between IN and OF.

I don't know how important (or lucrative) a Sheriff's Deputy assignment (time limited?) was compared to being a Swedish trader, and couldn't the same person do both?


"The 16th and 17th centuries were ages of very strong social mobility in Sweden - I assume much more than in Scotland and England ..."

It's a fascinating era all over the world, perhaps. The birth of the Modern Age. Some say "Scotland invented it."

7/29/2013 at 1:49 AM

Alex, regarding the preference for William instead of Henry - I have no idea, and as you now show a better match, it would certainly be a good time to make the necessary alterations. The sources I quoted are the most well known, and if not flawless and new, at least they still carry authority (the Swedish webpage is based on Elgenstierna, Svenska ättartavlor).

"Till" is certainly "of". A lot of the work along these branches has been done in best intent but without considering the wider international community.

I hope some clarity can be reached in regards of these lines. There is occasionally a bit of wishful thinking on this site, little by little we might get away from that.

Erica, social mobility in Sweden, I was mostly thinking of careers for redundant Scottish aristocracy, they obviously emigrated to all the war zones of Europe at this time. Finland and the Baltic area were developing very fast from the end of the 16th century and on, as Sweden was expanding and building an empire on all sides of the Baltic Sea. Aristocracy was created en masse to fill the army with higher officers, and a whole new class of clerics was established in the wake of the reformation. Hundreds of clerical "families" start from here, like my own, with latinized names and the authority of government officials.
So the mobility in this part of the world was not about new productive methods and the start of industrialization, but of much simpler territorial warfare and expansion, and administrating these (through the church, for instance).
In fact, I imagine at least these people we talk about here did very well (Udnies, Forbes). They were accepted at the top of the society, were buried in the cathedrals of the cities, and some of them were landed with very extensive properties. With a Scottish coat of arms, they could access Swedish nobility, which (as I understand) was more exclusive than the Scottish, and thus could provide better opportunities for all these younger sons and lesser cousins.

7/29/2013 at 9:03 AM

I found the source for the confusion about the parentage of Peter Udnie here:

The text is in Swedish, and it uses Swedish and Finnish sources to support the assumption, that William Udny of Tillery was the father of Robert Udnie.
But also this assupmtion comes with some reservations.
I assume now as work from the Anglo-Saxon end meets Finnish endeavours, maybe step by step this could be straightened out. I don't know how far you get with this text without a proper translation, and I am curious on how this issue will develop forthcoming.

Private User
7/29/2013 at 9:19 AM

There are some very interesting books in English about Scots in Sweden. Here is one I particularly like:

This book is one of several. The others include Scots in Germany, and Scots in Eastern and Western Prussia.

Electric Scotland also has a modern work:

And, it also has at least one brief pdf document on the subject:

7/29/2013 at 12:30 PM

Thanks, Justin!
Regarding the Forbes/Forbus, the relevant pages are 120-128 in this.

This book mentions the eagerness the scots showed to attain Swedish nobility, sometimes with more or less reliable letters of support for their proud ancestry. On page 121 are mentioned the "abstruse" claims of the Teet/Tait's to have arrived in Sweden already in the 13th century, a claim that was dismissed by the Royal Councellor in 1642, but members of the family were later officially ennobled in 1652. This hurts at the root of my own heart, as these are the scots that lead directly to my own family.

This above might be of relevance for the epistles from Peter Udnie where he is stating his paternal lineage. It could be that he simply lies or improves his story a bit, in the hopes of officially being ennobled, even becoming a baronet and receive royal donations. As I suspected, the definitions of nobility did not exactly match, and the Swedish authorities were from time to time easy to impress with foreign documents - and there might even have been a policy to be generous with foreigners who had served the country well at war, just as titles were generously spent with Swedish military men of common origin.

The other source gives brief outlines but mainly concerns itself with persons within the borders of today's Sweden, somewhat unhistorically excluding developments in Finland. Still interesting!

Private User
7/29/2013 at 1:42 PM

Pontus, I also have Scottish ancestors who settled in Sweden -- including perhaps my Svanström ancestors. It's a fascinating topic.

7/29/2013 at 4:27 PM

Dear Justin,
If you are from the Svanströms from Pernå, Finlandöm_nr_397

then we are related in a myriad of ways. Pernå was not only the place for the Teits, but also for a hecatomb of other old families. A lot of ties go to Vyborg from here, on reasonable traveling distance. Vyborg was the biggest city nearby, Helsinki basically only a village.

Private User
7/29/2013 at 4:46 PM

No, those are the noble Svanströms. Mine were plain soldiers and farmers.

7/29/2013 at 6:23 PM

I am not sure the Robert on the tree is a "better match", actually reading Peter's About Me it says:
"The family's patriarch here was Peter Udnie, the first time mentioned in 1627 in Viborg, was later citizens of Viborg. In a Scottish study of the House of Udny mentioned Peter, son of William Udny of Tillery, who emigrated to Sweden in 1634 and considered to be identical with Peter Udnie."

So there may actually be two Peters, one named Udnie in Vyborg in 1627 and one named Udny who emigrates in 1634? I notice that the daughter of Peter Udnie (Anna Udnie) is born in 1633, this doesn't make sense if Peter Udny did not emigrate until 1634.

Also Robert Undy's branch on Geni has no sources, i could be pure imagination, the only mention of a Minnas/Mynnes family in the Sherriff's records (i haven't check out your links yet) are Henry OF Mynnes in 1530s and Richard IN Mynnes in the 1570s. Henry's father (on Geni) is listed as Richard so it's possible Henry would name a son after his father, but why has the title changed from OF to IN indicating a drop in status? Who is this older Richard anyway? If he is a brother of Ranald then he must be a younger brother as Ranald inherits the "of that Ilk" but i haven't seen any mention anywhere of Ranald having a younger brother.

So is the Mynnes branch a mistake? Is Robert actually William's son making Peter Udnie = Peter Udny of Tillery? Or is Peter Udnie really the son of Robert of Mynnes but his letter to Sweden lied and connected him to a more important branch of the Udnys? If so why choose the Tillerys, why not attach himself to the Udnys of that Ilk?

I am further concerned by this profile: Johan Udny från Newburgh, currently a brother of Robert. His name looks like a Swedish version of John Udny of Udny, Belhelvie and Newburgh, oddly John has a son named Robert who quite possibly is 5 years older than his "father"! So are Robert and John actually BOTH sons of William? John (the older son inherits the family titles - Newburgh is about 10 km from Udny) and younger son Robert emigrates to Sweden and becomes a merchant in Vyborg. Robert has a son (Peter Udnie) and is doing so well in Sweden that his cousin Peter Udny of Tillery emigrates in 1634?

All guesses at this point just staring at the Geni tree and trying to see some logic in the mess. Sorry if i rambled a bit i was making it up as i was typing not working out a theory and then reporting it :)

Private User
7/29/2013 at 6:41 PM


I applaud you for picking up on the difference between OF and IN. As you clearly already know, OF indicates the landowner, while IN indicates a tenant and AT indicates a temporary resident.

The distinction is very important to Scottish genealogy. It would be rare for someone who is OF to become IN, because that would mean he lost ownership of the estate but continued to live there. But, fairly common for a grandson to live as tenant on lands that his grandfather once owned (and which perhaps a cousin still owns).

It might be important to know that tacksmen often used OF. Tacksmen held land on long leases, typically for life or for three generations. They were often near relatives of the laird. The system was often used to provide support for a younger son without actually alienating part of the estate. It can be confusing because when the tack expired, there would be a new tacksman, who might be only distantly related to the old. What looks at first like a long line of cadets can turn out to be three or four successive tacks.

This means that it's important to try to find the nature of estate. If it was a tack rather than a feu, the genealogical analysis will be very different.

7/29/2013 at 6:55 PM

Thanks but i can't take any credit for it, the explanation regarding OF, IN and AT was in the first (?) article you referenced in this discussion.

I was curious that the Udny of Tillery line starts immediately with a younger son of Ranald's as your linked article stated that it normally took 3 or 4 generations to qualify for the OF, perhaps the Udnys of Tillery/Tullery were Tackmen to their relatives the Udnys of that Ilk?

This might also explain the Udnys OF Mynnes, though not Richard Udny IN Mynnes (he is listed twice so the name is unlikely to be a "typo").

Private User
7/29/2013 at 7:58 PM


The three generations is something a little different. The Lyon Court, which is the heraldic authority in Scotland, has said that a family cannot sell the land and still retain the territorial surname unless it owned the land for three generations.

If you'll forgive a little digression, this is one of the fascinating byways of modern genealogy, heraldry, and nobility.

Many people today want to get a Scottish coat of arms. One reason is that Scottish heraldry is highly regulated, and is considered to be more purely medieval than many other countries. Another reason is that a Scottish grant of arms explicitly says that the grantee is accepted into the nobility of Scotland.

If you're not a Scot, one way to qualify for a Scottish grant is to buy land in Scotland. And, many old estates are technically feudal baronies, which makes the owner a Scottish feudal baron (but not a Lord of Parliament).

How tempting is that? Foreigners buy a little piece of land and suddenly John Smith becomes John Smith of Blackwater (or whatever). And, if Mr. Smith is rich, he could become John Smith of Blackwater, Baron of the Barony of Blackwater. Spend a little extra, and you could apply for a coat of arms using those sonorous names and titles, and officially receiving you into the nobility.

Well, it's too tempting for some people. Lots of rich Americans and Australians running around preening as Scots nobles and making Scotland look pretty silly.

So, the Lyon Court has begun to crack down.

It's never been possible to take a territorial designation from "burgage" (a city lot), but now the Court has issued guidelines that it also has to be a parcel big enough that a house could be built even if there is no house there no. It can't be one square foot. And, more recently, the Court has said it has to be a parcel on which planning permission would be available to build a house.

Also recently the Court has said that it will no longer take cognizance of feudal baronies, except I think in some very specific circumstances.

One of the usual schemes was for someone to buy a parcel, get the territorial designation and the coat of arms, then sell the land. In other words, all you needed to be able to do was have the money to begin with and be able to live without it for a year or two, then you could get money back and still be have the arms and a document with your territorial surname (and barony, if applicable). t's always been the case that someone would lose the feudal barony if they sold it, but now Lyon Court is more strongly enforcing an old rule that if the family doesn't hold the land for three generations (about 81-100 years), they lose the territorial designation. They get to keep the coat of arms, though ;)

The document I linked above is primarily designed to help people who understand the older system (perhaps from reading Scots Heraldry by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney) understand the way the rules have changed.

7/29/2013 at 8:30 PM

Thanks Justin, that clears my confusion regarding the 3 generations question. Is it still reasonable that the Tillery and Mynnes branches would have been Tacksmen of the Udnys of Udny?

There was actually an article in the newspaper a week or two ago about people buying Scottish titles, apparently about the only use for them is upgrades in airport lounges. Australian govt wont permint "Lord" or "Lady" acquired in this manner on passports or drivers licenses but apparently credit card companies are more than happy to put the title on your Visa/Amex.

7/29/2013 at 8:30 PM

The document seems quite well researched and referenced, as you say it's quite hard to translate but my take on it so far is that it matches the Geni Tree.
Peter is son of William.
Robert has no children but is brother of John from(?) Newburgh and their parents may have been Arthur and Margaret.
This doesn't 100% answer my earlier question; was John Udnie from Newburgh the same person as John Udny of Udny, Belhelvie and Newburgh?

I don't understand their point regarding Peter's mother Catharine and whether she was alive or dead when the letter was issued in 1634?

The pedigree at the end of the page matches the Geni Tree also, but apparently was written in 1877 and the author makes no claim to it's accuracy. (As an aside: this must be the origin of the phrase "Lord of Owdeni", presumably a spelling variation of Udny, as Googling the word Owdeni produces no results other than family trees).

Private User
7/29/2013 at 8:40 PM

I'm better at the Sinclairs than the Uddnys, but yes, I think it is very likely that the Tillery and Mynnes branches were tacksmen of the main branch. If so, you will not be sure whether any two successive generations, say at Tillery, were father and son, or whether the "son" might have been a cousin -- a younger son of the main branch.

7/29/2013 at 8:56 PM


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