Robert Fitzgerald, Sir Knight de Adair

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Robert Fitzgerald, Sir Knight de Adair

Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Death: 1445 (75-83)
Galloway, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Gerald fitz Maurice, 3rd Earl Desmond and Alianore Butler, Countess of Desmond
Husband of Arabella Campbell, de Adair
Father of Neigel de Adair and Robert Adair of Kinhilt
Brother of John FitzGerald, 4th Earl of Desmond; Joan FitzGerald; Catherine Butler; Ellice FitzGerald; James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond and 2 others

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About Robert Fitzgerald, Sir Knight de Adair

Notes for Robert Fitzgerald de Adair:

from "Deviation of Names" by Rev William Arthur (father of President Cester Arthur) :

"Robert, the son of Maurice returned to Ireland with the hope of regaining the title and estate of his grandfather, Thomas. He slew Gerald, The White Knight in single combat at Athdara (the Ford of the Oaks) hence he received the name, Anglicised Adair. He emberked for Scotland where he married Arabella Campbell, daughter of the Lord of Argyle."


The surname ADAIR emerged as a notable Scottish family name in the county of Desmond in southern Ireland. The outlawed Robert Desmond ADAIR settled in Moreton castle where he married Annabelle, daughter of John Campbell, lord of Argyle. Notable amongst the family at this time was Desmond ADAIR.


Morton Castle


Morton Castle consists of a ruined 15th century keep and triangular courtyard, built over a previous castle destroyed in 1357. Morton Castle's strategical location overlooks Loch Morton, south of Morton Mains in Dumfries and Galloway. The property originally belonged to the Adairs, but passed to Thomas Randolph early in the 14th century. The site then passed on to Cospatrick Earl of March who built the exisitng castle. In 1459 it was aquired by the Douglases, who were later made Earls of Morton.

photo in scrapbook is oil painting from


In Burke's Peerage & Baronetage 1881 edition it states:

"This family derives from Robert FitzGerald, traditionally of the house of Desmond, who passed over into Scotland during that emigration of the Fitz-Geralds, which laid the foundation of the several families of the MACKENZIE sept in that country.

"He is reported to have captured by storm the Castle of Dunskey, at Port-an-Righ, now Port Patrick, from "Walter de Currie, governor of the Castle of Wygetone, Kyrcudbricht, and Dumphries, for Edward I (King of England) circa 1292. Robert Fitzgerald received investiture from the King on producing the evidence of his conquest. Hence, the crest borne by his descendants."

This brings us to investigate the history of Portpatrick in the 1290's, whether it was the head of Walter de Currie which was presented to the King, and whether the King gave him lands in Wigtownshire on his success at conquering the Wigtownshire area


. Sir Robert Fitzgerald de ADAIR (Gerald , Maurice Fitzthomas ) was born about 1366 in Limerick, County Antrim, IRELAND. He died in Galloway, Galloway, SCOTLAND.

The ADAIRS came from the noble house of FITZ-GERALD, the Anglo-Norman Viceroys of Ireland, and Earls of Desmond and of Kildare in Ireland. The Fitz-Geralds trace their lineage back to the Dukes of Tuscany, and the Tuscans claim their origin in the plains of Troy. We know nothing beyond the Trojans but according to these claims, we trace the ancestry of our antecedents back to sometime in the ninth century. Robert Adair, the first of the name, and founder of the family was a scion, or younger son of the Noble House of Fitz-Gerald; Anglo-Norman Viceroys of Ireland, and Earls of Desmond and Kildare in Ireland. According to tradition, (which is mainly confirmed by history and Heraldry), he fough a duel with the White Knight at the town of Adair, which was located on the Desmond Estate in Limerick County in Ireland. Robert slew his antagonist in single combat. He then sailed for Scotland under the name of Robert FitzGerald de Adair; but after landing in Galloway he discarded his patronimic designation and wrote himself ADAIR. He first appeared in Galloway in 1388, according to the history of Potree and Dunsky. As a younger son with no important inheritance rights, he set out to seek a fortune on his own. A man named Currie had been entrusted with keeping of Wigton Castle in Galloway and for some reason, in 1388 had been declared a rebel by the King os England. There was a proclamation issued that whoever produced Currie, dead or alive, would be rewarded with his lands. Robert Adair, being an adventurer, waited for an opportunity and seized Currie. The land and castle became his.

According to FIVE HUNDRED FIRST FAMILIES OF AMERICA - Sixth Edition 1978-79 (Editor - Alexander Du Bin), the Adair family can be traced back to the sister of Julius Caesar through Charlemagne, William the Conquerer, Alfred the Great and Kings of Scotland. In the 14th century, the family name was Fitzgerald and one branch gave us in modern times, President John F. Kennedy. The first Adair was Robert Fitzgerald de Athdara - the later part of the name indicating that he lived near the oak tree (dara) at the ford (ath) of the river. He lived in Ireland in the 14th century. Though the name is Irish, he was of Norman origin. After killing the White Knight in a duel, he moved to Galloway, Scotland (around 1380) and changed his name to Robert Adair. Editor Williams explains the designation Kinhilt in his introduction. After Robert moved to Scotland, there was a proclamation that whoever could produce the incorrigible robber and pirate, Currie, dea or alive, should be rewarded by his lands. Robert proved to be the one to accomplish this, killing the robber with the hilt of his sword. After being awarded Currie's property, Robert built a castle on the spot where Currie was stuck down and called it Kinhilt.

From Adair's History and Genealogy, 1924, by Dr. James Barnett Adair. One of the Dukes of Tuscany migrated to Normandy in France and settled. Bye and bye when Prince William was making up his army of invasion these Tuscans took a prominent part. After the conquest of Britain in 1060 A. D. these Tuscans were honored by the King with Cabinet positions and other prominent places. About a century later or three generations, they were sent to Ireland by King Henry II.

Robert married Arabella CAMPBELL about 1380. Arabella was born about 1360 in SCOTLAND.

"She was from the illustrous Scottish House of Argyle - one of the most powerful in all the land".

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Robert Fitzgerald, Sir Knight de Adair's Timeline

Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Age 26
Kinhilt, Galloway, Scotland
Age 27
Age 79
Galloway, Scotland