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A History of the Nesbitt Clan of Scotland

Nesbitt Family Crest  Photo, Idaho, United States

My mother's maiden name is Nesbitt, an old Scottish name that dates from many hundreds of years ago. Our cousin Ed Campbell has done a lot of extensive research on the Nesbitt family via the Internet and travel to Scotland on a couple of occasions, and that research along with the information I found in a couple of books on Scottish clans and tartans at the Treasure Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games has given me a greater understanding of my Scottish ancestors. There are several spellings of the Nesbitt name that we have discovered. It is spelt Nisbet, Nesbyth, de Nesbit, and its most recent spelling, Nesbitt. The Nesbitt Clan of Scotland was a prominent border clan that settled in the Berwickshire area of Southeastern Scotland around the mid-12th century. The originally came from Normandy, France (see, my Viking ancestors were raping and pillaging all over Northern Europe for a long time!) and too the name De Nesbite shortly after settling down in Berwickshire. In 1160, William De Nesbite witnessed a charter from the Earl of Dunbar to the monks of Coldingham Priory and from 1219-1240, a Thomas Nisbet was the Prior of Coldingham Priory. In 1296, Edward I of England (also known as "Edward Longshanks") forced many Scottish nobles and clergymen to swear an oath of allegiance to the English crown, and two members of the Nesbitt clan, a De Nesbyth and Nisbet were among those swearing allegiance to Edward I. From 1306-1329, an Adam Nisbet of Nisbet Knockles was under charter from Robert the Bruce. The English Civil War of 1645-1660 was rough on the Nesbitt Clan. Most of the Nesbitt nobles sided with Charles I and the Royalist cause. An Alexander Nesbit was Sheriff of Berwickshire at this time and fought with two of his sons in battle against Oliver Cromwell's army. Philip Nesbit was a general under the command of the Marquis of Montrose and was captured by the Roundheads after the 1645 Battle of Philiphaugh. On 29 October 1645, Philip Nesbitt was executed along with another Scottish noble from the Oglivy clan, who was only 20 at the time of his execution. There is a Nisbet House in Berwickshire that dates from 1603 and is a bed and breakfast today. Ed thought of staying there when he visited Scotland, but the price of the hotel was enough for Ed to say, "I might be a Nesbitt, but I am not crazy!" In the early 18th century, there was a rift between the Nesbitt clan factions and my direct ancestor moved to England before immigrating to Quebec, Canada. In Quebec, the Nesbitt family was a prominent ship building family, and one of the offspring from this family came to Rhode Island in the mid-19th century. Today the Nesbitt clan is scattered in Rhode Island, Florida, Idaho, Alabama, and other parts of the USA. Our family crest is a red and white shield with boars and a knight's head on top. The family motto is I byde it, and our tartan is a red, green, and white plaid, but blue plaid h

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