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NEVEN OF SCOUSBURGH AND WINDHOUSE in the Parishes of Dunrossness and Yell

  1. ADAM NEVEN came to Shetland in the year 1575. He appears to have soon afterwards acquired the lands of Scousburgh in the parish of Dunrossness. By his wife Barbara, daughter of Olave Sinclair of Havera, he had issue:
    1. John, his heir
    2. Ninian
    3. James
    4. Gilbert
    5. Katherine, married Alexander Leslie
    6. Barbara
  2. JOHN NEVEN of Scousburgh was a Notary Public in Zetland, and was a witness to a Charter by Adam Sinclair of Brew to Arthur Sinclair of Aith, on 1st August 1617. He died in 1619, having married Janet, daughter of Mr. Malcolm Sinclair of Quendale, vicar of Dunrossness, and had issue:
    1. James, his heir
    2. John of Luning, aftermentioned (see section at end of chapter)
    3. Malcolm
    4. Katherine
    5. Ninian
  3. JAMES NEVEN of Scousburgh, was like his father, also a Notary Public. Under the designation of “fiar of Scousburgh” he is a witness to a Disposition by Magnus Polsone to Laurence Sinclair of Burray of 11/2 merks of land in Setter in Weisdale on 17th September 1616 - the other witness being Mr. Gilbert Mouat, minister of Northmaven, James Mouat of Ure, and William Hay, archdeacon of Zetland. He died 1638, having married Martha, daughter of Mr. James Pitcairn, minister of Northmaven, and had issue:
    1. Ninian, his heir
    2. James
    3. Adam
    4. Ursilla
  4. NINIAN NEVEN of Scousburgh, also followed the profession of a Notary Public, in which capacity he is frequently met with in the records at that time. Among the papers preserved in the records of the Privy Council is one head, “Oppressions Tyrannies and Falseties and Cruelties done and committed by Ninian Nevin upon the poor Inhabitants of the Country of Zetland”. The document alleges no less than nine acts of oppression of forging false sasines and of coming “bodin in fere of weir accompanied with some broken men to the lands of Hugoland and there masterfully would have taken away with them from Arthur Robesone tenant there the number of xij Ky which the said Arthur have and made some stope there intill, the said Ninian Nevin struck him with a great baton on the head and shoulder and other parts of his body to the effusion of his blood in great quantity”. By it he is alleged to have acquired the lands of Windhouse in Yell in the following manner: By udal law a man's heritage was divided equally among his children, and overriding this custom, he, it is said, instigated the eldest son of the eldest son of one called Swannie Jonsoun, who was the eleventh man that had succeeded and possessed the 40 merks land of Windhouse, to give him a charter and sasine of the said lands. Armed with these documents and accompanied by a band of men he proceeded in the year 1613, to the house of Windhouse and there by force ejected the other sons of Swannie Jonsoun, with their wives and children, and installed himself therein. The complaint before narrated, drawn up apparently by Mr. John Edmonston, late minister of Yell, and James Sinclair of Scalloway, appears to have reference to a petition against these persons by James Mouat of Ollaberrie, and Ninian Neven. The matters in dispute between these parties were remitted by Parliament to the Privy Council, and in 20th July 1644, by Judicial Act of Submission, the whole disputes were referred to William, Earl of Morton.
    * He died in 1662, having married Ursilla Edmondston, who died 8th December 1646, and had issue:
    1. Gilbert, his heir
    2. James
    3. Rodger
    4. Andrew
    5. Barbara, married David Spence of Houlland
    6. Bessie
    * See, however, Paper by Mr. T W L Spence in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 13th March 1893
  5. GILBERT NEVEN of Scousburgh in 1687 wadsetted his property of Scousburgh to Stewart of Bigton, in the possession of whose heirs it remains to this day. He died 14th July 1694, aged -- having married Katherine, daughter of Mr. William Umphray, minister of Bressay, and had issue:
    1. William, of Windhouse, aftermentioned
    2. Ninian (see No. X)
    3. James, married Janet Edmondston, and had a daughter Katherine, who married Robert Gray
    4. Andrew
    5. Jean, married (first) 1689, Laurence Edmondston, of Hascosay, and (second) in 1697, John Scott, of Scarpoe
    6. Katherine, married James Scott, of Voesgarth
    7. Martha, married Henry Sinclair, of Swining
    8. Margaret, married Ninian Spence, of Houlland
  6. WILLIAM NEVEN, of Windhouse, a Commissioner of Supply for Zetland, in 1696, died 9th August 1700, having married (first) 1689 Barbara, daughter of John Kennedy of Kermuik, Aberdeenshire, who died 3rd December 1694, and had issue:
    1. Elizabeth, married John Sinclair
    He married (second) 1695 Katherine, daughter of
    John Mitchell of Berrie, and had issue:
    1. Charles, his heir
    2. William
    3. James, a shipmaster
    4. Gilbert, died 1730, married Ann, daughter of ---- Scott, of Voesgarth
    5. Anna, married Gilbert Scott
  7. CHARLES NEVEN, of Windhouse, succeeded his father in that estate, extending to 263 merks. He died in 1730, having married (first) Jean, second daughter of Sir John Mitchell of Westshore, Bart., but had no issue: and (second) in 1718, Margaret, daughter of John Bruce, of Symbister, and had issue:
    1. William John, his heir
    2. Margaret, born 21st November 1723, died 1st October 1807, married 7th April 1748, William Hay, ancestor of Hayfield
    3. Ann Barbara, born 23rd April 1726, died 1st October 1806, married 1747, Rev. Robert Anderson, minister of Mid and South Yell, 1746 till his death in 18th September 1777, and had issue:
      1. David, born 2nd March 1749
      2. Margaret, born 20th January 1750
      3. Ellison, born 12th April 1751
      4. Margaret, born 7th May 1752
      5. Charles, born 26th December 1753
      6. Barbara, born 3rd April 1755, married 21st April 1782, Patrick Mowat
      7. Elizabeth, born 3rd April 1755
      8. William, born 5th January 1757
      9. David, born 16th July 1760
    4. Charlotte, baptised 27th September 1727, died in infancy
    5. Charlotte, baptised 24th June 1729, married Thomas Ogilvy, ancestor of Seafield
    6. Robert Alexander (see No. IX)
    7. Catherine, (posthumous) born 13th October 1731, died 1810, unmarried
  8. WILLIAM JOHN NEVEN, of Windhouse, died at Bergen in 1751, having married Margaret, eldest daughter of Thomas Gifford, of Busta, and had issue:
    1. Elizabeth, born 1741, died 1750
    He was succeeded by his brother,
  9. ROBERT ALEXANDER NEVEN, of Windhouse, married 1758, Janet, daughter of Ninian Spence, of Vatster, and had issue:
    1. Janet, born 1st January 1761, married 1st March 1803, Lieut. David Spence of Gardie, and had no issue
    2. Elizabeth, died 1817, married John Ross of Scarpoe
    3. Margaret, born 1764, died 1843, unmarried
    4. Anne, born 7th May 1765, married August 1796, her cousin, Basil Spence of Cullivoe, died 1831, and had issue
    5. Charlotte, born 1767, married William Hoseason, and had issue: Sarah Charlotte; died unmarried
  10. NINIAN NEVEN of Scousburgh, the second son of Gilbert Neven, fifth of Scousburgh, was a witness to a sasine in favour of James Mitchell on 1st March 1699, in the Gifford's last of Melbie. He was drowned on 12th December 1712, having married (first) 16th December 1692, Helen, daughter of John Sinclair of Quendale; and (second) 4th October 1709, Katherine, daughter of James Graeme of Graemeshall, and had issue:
    1. Gilbert, his heir
    2. Robert, married 1743, Elizabeth, daughter Mr. James Buchan, minister of Northmaven, and had issue:
      1. James, baptised at Burravoe, 28th August 1744, died young
      2. Peter
      3. Jean
    3. William
    4. Andrew
    5. John
    6. Barbara, married in 1728, Laurence Sinclair of North Roe
    7. Ursula, married Patrick Umphray of Sand
    8. Mary, daughter by second marriage, died before 31st March 1748
  11. GILBERT NEVEN last of Scousburgh, died in 1743. He married in 1728, Barbara, daughter of William Dick of Fracafield, and had issue:
    1. James, baptised at Sound in Yell, 1st January 1742, died in infancy
    2. Helen, served heir to her father on 1st December 1746, married 1752, Robert Mitchell, shipmaster, Zetland, and died 1808
GILBERT NEVEN of Scousburgh. Bears Azure a fess betwixt an Increscent and Decrescent in chief, Argent and in base, a branch of palm slipped of the last.
Crest, a branch of palm vert.
Motto: “Vivis Sperandum”
Registered about 1690
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