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THE WILLIAMSONS OF BANNISKIRK

The farm of Banniskirk is in the parish of Halkirk.

The ancestor of this family appears to have been Andrew Williamson of Achorlie, who got a feu-charter of these lands from the Earl of Caithness in 1665. He is said to have fought at Aultimarloch, on the side of the Sinclairs, and to have been killed there, and his body carried for burial to Spittal, where the Gunns (from whom the Williamsons are reputed to be descended) had their burial-place.

I. DONALD WILLIAMSON, son of Andrew Williamson of Achorlie, was a merchant in Thurso, and in 1691 and 1692 he was a bailie of the town. He purchased Banniskirk in 1691, and the present estate of Banniskirk includes Achorlie. He married Katharine Rorison, sister of Bailie Rorison, merchant in Thurso, and had a son and a daughter: -

  1. Benjamin, his successor
  1. Janet, who, in 1713, married Malcolm Henderson, in Stemster, Reay. He had a son, Adam, who was in Stemster in 1753
II. BENJAMIN WILLIAMSON OF BANNISKIRK married Elizabeth Sutherland, daughter of Esther and Robert Sutherland of Langwell, and had a son and four daughters: -
  1. Donald, his successor
  1. Elizabeth, who married William Campbell, sometime in Upper Framside, and had several children, one of whom, the late Donald Campbell, sometime in Harland, entered the army as a volunteer during the Peninsular War, and attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He died at Creich, Sutherlandshire, unmarried
  2. Jane, married Lieut. William Rose, Thurso, and had a son, William Rose, a merchant in Glasgow, and three daughters, Elizabeth and Benjaminina, who died unmarried, and Jane, who married Dr. John Williamson
  3. Another daughter married John Dunnet, a shipmaster in Thurso, son of Bailie George Dunnet, merchant in Thurso. They had no issue
  4. Another daughter married, first, Donald Henderson, a merchant in Thurso, and had a son, Benjamin, a messenger-at-arms; and second, John Barnetson, tenant in Galshfield, by whom she had a son, the late Lieutenant Alexander Barnetson, sometime in Mains of Tister
III. DONALD WILLIAMSON OF BANNISKIRK married Isabell Ramsay, second daughter of James Ramsay of Chappletown of Meigle, merchant in Dundee, and had five sons and four daughters: -
  1. Benjamin
  2. Major James, who married Barbara Gibson, daughter of George Gibson, merchant in Thurso, and had issue, a son and two daughters
  3. Donald, who died in the West Indies
  4. John, a surgeon in the army, who married Jane Rose, his cousin, but of whom there is no surviving Issue
  5. Major George, married Catharine, daughter of James Sinclair of Harpsdale and his third wife, Katharine, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Lybster. He had three sons and three daughters. The sons were - Donald, who died unmarried; James of Banniskirk (which he purchased in 1862), who married Margaret, daughter of David Henderson of Stemster, and died in 1865, leaving two sons; and George
  1. Margaret, who married John Sutherland of Swiney
  2. Elizabeth, who married John Horne of Stirkoke, and had issue
  3. Isabella, who married Capt. William Manson, and had issue
  4. Jean, who married Alexander Paterson in Pennyland, agent for the Bank of Scotland, and had issue
IV. COLONEL BENJAMIN WILLIAMSON OF BANNISKIRK married Janet, daughter of James Sinclair of Harpsdale and his first wife, Marjory, daughter of David Sinclair of Southdun, through whom he got the lands of Scarmclett and Clayock, afterwards named "Marlefield". He had two sons and three daughters: -
  1. James, captain in the 94th Regiment. He was killed at the storming of Ciudad-Rodrigo, in Spain
  2. Donald, major in the 42d Regiment. He was killed at Burgos in 1812
  1. Marjory, who married David Henderson of Stemster
  2. Diana, who died unmarried in 1872
  3. Jessie, who married, first, John Macleay of Keiss, and, second, Alexander Henderson of Stemster. She had no issue by either marriage

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