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The Pitcairn family appear in Shetland towards the end of the sixteenth century, when MR. JAMES PITCAIRN was Vicar of Northmaven, to which he was presented by King James VI, on 10th June and 19th November 1578. On 2nd July 1589, he was pursued before the Privy Council at the instance of John Mowat of Hugoland, underfowde of Northmaven, for avaricious and indecent behaviour, but his accuser failing to appear and prosecute the charge, he was acquitted. In 1606, he was nominated Constant Moderator of the Presbytery, who were charged by the Privy Council to receive him as such, after twenty four hours' notice, under pain of rebellion. He died in March 1612, having married Ursula Sinclair, who survived him, and left issue:

  1. Margaret, married Mr. John Swinton, minister of Fetlar
  2. Janet, married Mr. Gilbert Mowat, minister of Delting
  3. Martha, married James Neven of Scousburgh
  4. Christian
  5. Agnes, married James Mowat of Ure and Burrafirth.
To this family probably belonged:-
  1. DAVID PITCAIRN of Skerpo, who died in April 1627, leaving by Christian Sinclair, his spouse, who survived him, an only son
  2. ANDREW PITCAIRN of Skerpo married Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Bruce of Muness, who married after his death James Scott of Voesgarth. They had issue a daughter.
  3. JANET PITCAIRN of Skerpo, served heir to her grandfather on 13th September 1642, in 1951/2 merks land in Unst, 12 in Fetlar, and 251/2 in North Yell. She married in 1655, James Scott of Voesgarth.
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