Name: Andrew Culbertson
Birth: 31 MAY 1612 in Midlothian, Scotland
It has generally been supposed by the Culbertson's that their name was originally Cuthbertson and Cuthbert. William Arthur in his book on "Derivation of Family Names" says that Culbertson comes from the Gaelic word Culbheart, meaning crafty; and Culbertson, a son of Culbheart. In the same work he gives Cuthbert as a surname. He says that Cuthbert is from the Saxon and means "famous, bright, of clear skill or knowledge."
According to Camden, surnames began to be taken up in France about the year 1000 AD., and in England at time of the Conquest (1066). Before this date in England all documents etc., were signed thus, @ Ego Edmundus (I, Edmund) do affirm etc. The same author (Camden) says that in all old deed made by King Malcolm of Scotland and recorded in 1097, in which he deeds land for a church at Coldingham, one of the noblemen who witnessed the deed signed thus, S, @ Culuerti filii Doncani, etc., i.e. Culuert son of Duncan.
Culbert might have been derived from Culuert, as they are spelled almost alike. The Latin Culuertus would be pronounced Culwertus. The "w", may have been changed to "b" for sake of euphony. Or the "u" on the deed may have been intended for a "b," as it must have been difficult, in those days, for even a nobleman to write his own name. (The Latin for Cuthbert is Cuthbertus). The coasts of Scotland were infested by Norse sea-pirates about this time and the Northmen added "son" to their surnames in the Tenth Century. The Scotch may have taken up the Norse custom of adding "son" to their surnames shortly after this. One might safely say, if a name terminates in "son," that it originated either in Scotland or Norway.
There is but little doubt that Culuert, son of Duncan, was the first of the Culberts and from some of his descendants, perhaps his son, sprang the first Culbertson. This Culbert was one of the most prominent noblemen at that date.
The Duncan family (his fathers') was then, and has always been a prominent family in Scotland. King Duncan Mac Crinan (1034-40) was slain in a battle with the forces of Macbeth (Shakespeare says he was killed by Lady Macbeth) who reigned until 1057, when he was defeated and slain by Duncan McCrinan's eldest son Malcolm (Canmore) in 1057 who ascended the throne as Malcolm III and reigned until 1093. This Malcolm was a great and good king and greatly aided Scotland's welfare. It was he who made the deed to the church at Coldingham and he aided religion in every way possible. At his death he was succeeded by his brother Donald Bain, who was deposed in six months by Malcolm's son Edmund who had slain his half brother Duncan. Edmund was deposed three years later by Edgar Atheling, nephew of Donald. There is no doubt that Culuert, who witnessed the deed, was a nephew of Malcolm III (Canmore); and that Edmund who witnessed the same deed was the son of Malcolm III. It is probable that during the reign of Edgar of Scotland the nobleman Culuert was dispossessed of his titles, as I have not been able to find any trace of the name among the nobility after this date. The new dynasty, which reigned many years, would have done all in its power to crush them. There are many families that have been among the nobility centuries ago but were dispossessed of their titles for various reasons and sank from prominence.
We are undoubtedly of Celtic origin, as the features indicate, i.e. the high cheek bones, blue eyes, broad chin, height, muscular development, and red hair that was found among some of those that came over in the 18th Century, but very rarely seen now. The "pug" nose - a Celtic feature - is very rarely seen among the Culbertsons; nearly all have good-sized noses - another Scotch feature. Apropos of noses is a story: "In the early part of this century a lady was visiting in a Western town and while walking down street attracted the notice of a gentleman who said to his companion, "I'll bet that woman across the street is a Culbertson." "How do you know?" asked his companion. "By her big nose," was the correct answer."
The early, and perhaps the majority of the Culbertsons of the present time, had light hair and blue eyes. This would indicate that centuries ago they either married Saxons or Norse or were descended from one or both races. The Saxons and Norse overran Northumbria - in which Co. the Co. of Roxburgh was situated - in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries.
The Celts crossed over from Ireland to Scotland about the Fifth Century and overran the Highlands defeating the Scots. It is from these that the Scotch got their red hair, likewise the Mac in their names which signifies "son." I have never heard of, nor have I been able to find in history, a McCuthbert or a McCulbert and do not believe such families ever existed. This fact would tend to show that the family have always lived in the Lowlands.
If any of our name figured as chiefs of Highland Clans it must have been centuries past, as the name does not appear in Burke's Heraldry or in a work on The Scottish Clans.
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I will mention a peculiar fact, that the Culbertson features are the same wherever you may meet them. This peculiarity occurs in many other families. I might mention the most marked of these features are the prominent nose, broad chin, heavy eye brows, as a rule blue eyes, high forehead and large frame.
The earliest home of the Culbertsons that I have been able to find is in the County of Roxburg at a small village named Morebattle, eight miles south of Kelso, Scotland. Here the Culbertsons have lived continuously since the year 1400 AD. This is in the Lowlands and is about five miles from the Cheviot Hills, which form the boundary between Scotland and England, and is on a small stream, which empties in to the Tweed River. This was the most famous part of Scotland for battles. It was along this border that Earl Percy created such terror and likewise Claverhouse and Cromwell. Also where Wallace and Bruce defeated the English. The most dreadful cruelties were inflicted on these poor Borderers by the English.
This region abounds in beautiful scenery and historic relics. A few miles west of Kelso is Melrose Abbey where St. Cuthbert lived and preached in the Seventh Century. It was in this country that religion was first introduced to the Pagan Scots in the Dark Ages.
From the fact that St. Cuthbert lived there 500 years ago, some might believe we are descended from the Cuthberts, so we will make brief mention of St. Cuthbert. He was born in this Co., then a part of Northumberland Co., England. Lived at Melrose Abbey and Lindisfarne. He was Scotland's Patron Saint. The Scottish battle cry was to St. Cuthbert. Pilgrimages were made yearly, by Christians, to his tomb and this custom was continued for several centuries. I will add in connection with the Cuthberts, that one family belonged to the nobility and, until about seventy-five years ago, was quite a noted family and lived near Inverness. They are not among the nobility.
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Jean Baptiste Colbert of France claimed to be descended from a noble Scottish family. There is no doubt but what his statement was true. It is probable that his ancestor went to France with those Scottish soldiers of Lord Buchan and Douglas who assisted King Charles VII of France in opposing the English army of Henry V, about the year 1400, some of whom were made nobles of France. Jean Baptiste Colbert was born 1619 at Rheims, France. He began life as a woollen-draper, but soon after went to Paris where his talents attracted the notice of the great Cardinal Mazarin who made him Minister of Finance. He did more for the financial welfare of France than any Minister that country has ever had. It was under his ministry that France first took rank as a naval power. He founded Academies of Science, Architecture, etc., and instituted stupendous and beautiful public works. France never had but one man that did more for her welfare than Colbert. His was one of the greatest minds that the world has ever known.
Colbert's ancestors may have come from Scotland; some authors claim they did not.
It was Colbert who advised Cardinal Mazarin in everything and after the latter's death he was the "power behind the throne" of Louis XIV, of France. Mazarin on his deathbed said to Louis, "Sire, I owe everything to you; but I pay my debt to your majesty by giving you Colbert."
Col in French means neck and is applied to mountain passes.
Cul in the Gaelic means a neck of land, or isthmus.
But to return to my subject, I have gotten the names of all the Culbertsons in Scotland and find that they only live in Roxburgh Co. and Kintyre, a peninsula on the West Coast. Robert Culbertson of Kelso, Scotland, Co. Roxburg, informs me that his great-great-grandfather left Roxburgshire with his regiment, for Ireland about 1690, to quell a rebellion, and his regiment was stationed a long time in Ireland. His time expiring he settled in Mayo Co. and married. His great-grandson returned to Roxburgshire, Scotland, in 1845. [The Rebellion referred to was the war between the Prince of Orange and James II.] This man who went to Ireland in 1690, was not the ancestor of "Irish Row" family nor the Derry family. He might have been the ancestor of the Tyrone Co. family but think not.
The following memoir of Rev. Robt. Culbertson was written in 1826 by Alex. Duncan of Mid Calder, Scotland. In it are named two Culbertsons; two Duncans; one Simpson, which families have inter-married in the United States: "James Culbertson the father of the author, was a farmer and a Feuar (or Renter) in Morebattle, a village eight miles south of Kelso, Scotland. The mother of the author was named Janet, a cousin of James C., her husband. Robert, the author, was the eldest of seven children. He was b. Sept. 1765 - d. Dec. 1823. He entered the University of Edinburg in 1782. Licensed 1790, ordained 1791. He preached to the 'associate congregations' of St. Andrew and St. Leith. He married Elizabeth Richmond 1793. He is buried in the family vault at St. Leiths church-yard." He was the author of "Lectures on Book of Revelations" Ed. In 3 Vols. Pub. London 1826. Dedicated to Marchioness of Huntley. Rev. Culbertson also pub. "Hints in the Ordinance in the Gospel Ministry."
Walter Culbertson of Morebattle writes me that in the old cemetery at Morebattle there are buried many generations of Culbertsons, but all the tombstones are too much worn to be legible except those named above, the first of whom (James) died in Jan. 1826, aged 98 years. The tombstone also says that Rev. Robert was minister of U. P. Church, St. Andrews street, Leith; and founder of the U. P. Church in the Islands of Orkney, Scotland in 1796. He also says that his (Walter) great grandfather lived at Morebattle.
The Culbertsons of Kintyre date their ancestry thus: Lord Loudon of Ayrshire, Scotland, had a younger son James Campbell who went from Ayrshire to Argyleshire (Kintyre) Scotland about 1660 AD. This same James Campbell had a daughter, Jean Campbell, who married James Culbertson who lived on a farm five miles north of Campbelltown, Kintyre. His farm was called then, as now, Laggan Farm and Culbertsons still live on this farm. This James Culbertson had a son Robert from whom many Scotch families in the United States are descended. Lord Loudon was one of the five signers of the first "Solemn League and Covenant" in 1638 and was foremost in the cause of the persecuted Covenanters.
I have not been able to trace any relation between this James Culbertson and the Scotch Covenanter brothers who went from Scotland to Ireland between 1665-1685. A grandson of James Culbertson (first) named James lived on Skerbolin Farm near Campbelltown, Kintyre, and his descendants still live on this farm.
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I have had the following rare old works examined relative to obtaining the names or any information pertaining to the three Scotch brothers who went to Ireland 1665-1685: Bishop Wm. King's "State of the Protestants in Ireland;" "Baillies Letters and Journals" 1732-1737; Dodd's "Fifty Years Struggle"; Cotton's "Fasti Ecclesiae Hibernicae;" and others which give no reference to the names Culbertson or Cuthbertson. In Hetherington's "History of the Church of Scotland" is a list of fines imposed by Middleton in Parliament, 1622, some 875 names, and among these was a "Robert Cuthbertson, Covenanter, fined 360 pounds." In the same work is a list of Fugitives proscribed by King Charles II, issued May 5, 1684 and containing names of 2000 Covenanters, in which the name Culbertson does not appear, but we find "Archibald Cuthbertson, a cooper, haunting about Caldermuir in Linlithgowshire." The Robert Cuthbertson, before mentioned, also lived in Linlithgowshire.
--Source 1893--Dr. Lewis Culbertson Blue Book
26 APR 1644
in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland
- William Culbertson b: ABT. 1654 in Scotland