John; Arrol Arrol.

The Arrol, Arroll and Arrell families online

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about 1930. It has now been demolished. The castle had been acquired after the
Grahams' family home at Montrose had been destroyed in 1640. (22)


When newcomers (or incomers as the newcomers were termed) in the eleventh through
the fourteenth centuries acquired land, whether by charter or by conquest, they took over
a good many people who were living on the land, and who, perhaps, were already formed
into a family or clan unit. Gradually the old clan would come to acknowledge the
protection of their new leader, and, over time, would build up a nominal kinship with
him. (23)

In addition to the identification of the "Arrals" with the place names in the account of the
Family of Drumikill, which includes the parish of Drymen, Easter Ballat, Wester Ballat
and Carbeth, there were also Arrol/Arroll/Arrell families living in Aberfoyle and Port of
Menteith and contiguous areas. All these areas were associated with the Grahams of

On 1 February 1878, Archibald Theodore Arrol, bom 29 September 1815, was the
recipient of a formal Arrol Coat of Arms by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, Edinburgh.
At the same time he was named to the Clan Graham of Montrose. Thus there is formal
recognition that the Arrol and Arroll families are a sept (under the protection oO of the
Clan Graham of Montrose.

Clan MacFarlane

In the wildest part of the western part of Loch Lomond lies the land of the MacFarlanes.
They are said to be descended from one called Parlane, a name still found in the district.

(24) The Clan MacFarlane also lists the name Arrol and Arrell as a sept of their Clan.

(25) The background for this listing is unknown However, there is logic for the
Arrol/Arroll/Arrells being a sept of the Clan MacFarlane. Geographically the MacFarlane
strongholds were first at Inveruglas and later at Eilean A' Bho (island of the cow).
Finally they lived at Claddach, Tarbet, near Arrochar, on the western shore of Loch
Lomond. (26) Arrochar was the principal seat of the MacFarlanes. The peak of the
MacFarlane power was from about 1270 to around 1493. (27) Immediately south of the
MacFarlanes, between the shores of Loch Long and Loch Lomond, was located the
Colquhoun Clan. (28) Early records show that there were Arrols, Arrolls and Arrells
located in these areas in the late 1400's and 1500's. The author of The Histor>' of the
Clan MacFarlane writes that, "Many of this name lived on the MacFarlane and
Colquhoun lands in Dumbartonshire, in the 16th and 17th centuries." (29) The
MacFarlanes, Colquhouns and Buchanans were all associated with the earldom of Lennox.
As has been observed, the Buchanans not only were in the same geographical area as the
Arrals, but they eventually obtained the lands of the Arrals.

It should be noted that there is no mention of the Arrols, or any variant spellings of the
name, in MacFarlanes's Genealogical Collections. (30)


It is the considered opinion of the author that the evidence available indicates that the
Arrol/Arroll/Arrells are a sept of the Clan Graham of Montrose. The Clan's home was


in the same area of Stirlingshire where the Arrol and ArroU family name is first found.
In addition, an Arrol was formerly named as being a member of that Clan Graham of
Montrose by the Court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, in 1898. Although there is the
mention of the name Arrol as a sept of the Clan McFarlane in The History of the
McFarlanes . and although the McFarlanes were in the same geographical area as the early
Arrol and ArroU families, there is no record of any Arrol actually belonging to the Clan

Clan Hay does not have a historical or genealogical relationship to the family name
Arrol/Arroll or Arrell or any variant spelling thereof If there ever was a geographical
tie, this relationship has been lost from the records. The only tie is an eytomological one,
i.e., the name of the nobility of the earldom of Errol is taken from the name of the town
Errol, which is also the origin of the name Arrol/Arroll/and Arrell. However, there is no
relationship between the Arrol/Arroll/and Arrells to the Hay family or to the hereditary
title of the Earls of Errol.

An additional comment should be made here in regard to the origin of surnames in
Scotland. Places were named before families. There are a great many family names in
Scotland that are from places and territories. It is not uncommon to find that families are
not confined to the district from which they originated. There are instances where certain
members of a clan wandered away from their original home and attached themselves to
the Chief of a place closer to where they settled. There are many families that have left
no trace of their native lands or of the province from which they originated. (31) Thus,
it is not impossible that at some time there were Arrol/Arroll/Arrells, or other variant
spellings of the name, in the same district or adjacent district as the town of Errol.
Although no evidence has been found by genealogists and others to connect the family
name Arrol/Arroll, and variant spellings, to the Hays, this does not mitigate the
possibility, however remote, that the family was in the district before written records
existed. According to tradition, this is sufficient enough reason for Arrol/Arrolls to
consider themselves a sept of the Clan Hay should they choose to do so. However, they
should also be aware that no tie has been established between the Arrol and ArroU
families to the Clan Hay.

The Buchanans obtained the former lands of the rebellious Arrals (Arrol/Arrolls) for their
part in putting them down. Certainly the Arrals were not going to look to the Buchanans
for protection. The Colquhouns and the MacFarlanes were enemies. (32) Thus, either
one or the other of these clans could have taken the Arrals under their protection - but
not both clans. However, the predominance of the evidence, given the geographical
location of the early Arrals, Arrols, and ArroUs, and the granting of a legal Coat of Arms
by the Lord Lyon, in the name of the Clan Graham of Montrose, would indicate that the
Arrols/ ArroUs are a sept of the Clan Graham of Montrose.


Following the mention of the Arrals' in the "Account of the Family of Drumikill" during
the reign of King David Bruce (1329-1370), written records of the name disappear for


over 100 years. When the name resurfaces it is in the same general area of Stirlingshire
near Loch Lomond.

Donald Tod, who conducted a genealogical search entitled The Arrol Family in 1930,
wrote ;

The Family of Arrol having had their lands forfeited in the early part of the 14th
Century, and in the absence of Records, are lost sight of for a period of three
centuries, still appear to have clung to their native district, for in the early portion
of the 17th Century when the Records of their district commence, we find the name
of Arrol as one of the earliest mentioned, and the first we have any trace of from
the time of Taus-na-Dunnach, before mentioned, is a Walter Arrol in Cardervan, in
whose grandson we still find the old Family name of Thomas existing. (33)

The search indicates that individuals with the name Arrol, Arroll, and Arrell were settled
in the Highland Glens of Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire at an early date, i.e., 1400's.
(34) Arrol, Arroll, Arrell, Errole, and Errol families are found in Stirlingshire and
Dumbartonshire in the 1 SCO's and early 1600's.

In the 1600's and 1700's records are more prevalent. The name Arrol, Arroll, and Arrell
is found in Cardervan, Parish of Buchanan, Cashell on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond,
and in Drymen, Easter Ballat, Arduill, Calziemoir, Tarbet, Avarchie-big, Blair, Auchmar,
Campsie, and Kilmamoch, all of which are located southeast of Loch Lomond, in
Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire, and nearby Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith, in

The earliest local charters of this region date from the first half of the thirteenth century
and from these records a picture of medieval life in the district is formed. The region at
that time was known as The Earldom of Lennox. The Earldom of Lennox was of much
greater extent than the modem Dumbartonshire. It included all the main or western
portion of the modem county and eight parishes in modem Stirlingshire - Drymen,
Balfron, Killeam, Buchanan, Fintry, Strathblane, Baldemock and Campsie. (35)

The earliest Arrol/Arrolls, and variant spellings thereof, were farmers. It is difficult for
us to realize how primitive fanning was in the 1500's until the middle of the eighteenth

There were no proper roads nor were there any wheeled carts; farmers used
"slides" to transport stones and horses to carry hay. There was no draining of fields
so that generally the fertile ground in the valleys was left uncultivated except for
a crop of meadow hay. The land was unenclosed - no hedges, no fences, few dykes
and few trees except in the Highland area - and the arable (land) was divided into
long strips or "rigs". ... The crops were generally just barley (for making beer, then
the only beverage for the ordinary man and his family) and oats (for porridge and
oatcakes) with sometimes a small area of peas or kail (for the broth) and fiax (for
linen-making). Potatoes.tumips, carrots were unknown except in a few gentlemen's


gardens, and clover was not sown. (36)

These early Arrols farmed in the parish of Drymen, Stirlingshire. Located in Drymen was
the estate of Drumikill, where we find the earliest mention of the family name Arral.
This mention is contained in "An Account of the Family of Drumikill", which covers the
period 1329-1370. Alexander Graham of Duchray wrote the following description of the
parish of Drymen:

The parish (of Drymen) gives name to the Drummond or Perth family. According
to tradition, the founder of that ancient and noble house was a Hungarian, named
Maurice, who came over from Hungary in the tram of Margaret, Queen of Malcolm
Canmore and obtained, in reward for his services, a grant of certain lands, and
among others, of Drymen in Stirlingshire It is not certamly known in what part
of the Parish the Drummonds had their residence. Mr. Nimmo, in his History of
Stirlingshire, says, that it was probably somewhere near the Endrick The northern
part of the parish, however still goes by the name of the barony of Drummond...
It is uncertain how or at what time, the Drummonds ceased to be connected with
Stirlingshire. In the year 1360, in consequence of a feud which had long subsisted
between them and the Earls of Menteith, a compact was entered into at a meeting
on the banks of of the Forth, in presence of the justiciaries of Scotland, by which
Sir John Drummond resigned certain lands in Lennox and obtained in lieu of them
others of greater value in Perthshire. Shortly after this, and probably in consequence
of it, their residence seems to have been transferred to Stobhall in Perthshire...
Previously to this change of residence, however, Annabella, daughter of Sir John
Drummond, married Robert, Earl of Carrick, High Stewart of Scotland, who attamed
to the throne by the title of Robert III. The fruit of this marriage was two sons, one
of whom afterwards became James I. Thus the parish may lay claim to the honour
of having produced a lady from whom descended the Royal House of Stuart... (37)

The character of the people of Drymen are described by a seventeenth century author:

It may be said of the people generally, that they are intelligent,industrious, and
frugal, exemplary in their habits, and with few exceptions, attentive to the public
ordinances of religion... They are generally well-lodged and well-fed; and at
marriages, burials, and in church on Sabbath, show, by their style of decent
dressing, that they are in comfortable circumstances. It cannot be concealed that the
prevailing vice is drunkeness; encouraged without doubt, by the too frequent
sign-boards in the country, announcing "porter, ale, and British Spirits." (Vide
Macneill's Scotland's Skaith.) About twenty-five years ago, smuggling was carried
on to a great extent in this parish. A seizure is now a very uncommon occurrence.
There is still occasionally some blazin (italics) in the bums; as much as it is
believed, for a winter-night's amusement, as for the spoil that is obtained. There is
in this country great temptation to poaching; the game being very plentiful. The
proprietors generally keep a strict look out after delinquents... Parochial Registers
- There are five volumes of session records, (In Drymen) the two oldest of which
are now in a very decayed and imperfect condition. The earliest date is 1676. The


record from 1677 to 1721 is wanting. After that period, with the exception of a
gap from 1740 to 1743, they seem fully and accurately kept. (38)

Another parish in Stirlingshire that was home to Arrol families was the parish of
Campsie. James Anderson/ Arrol, Robert Anderson/ Arrol and Walter Anderson/ Arrol were
bom at Kinkell, Campsie between 1857 and 1864. The descendents of the Robert
Anderson/ Arrol branch of this family in 1988 reside in the United States.

The Rev. Robert Lee, Minister, has left this account of life in the 1800's in this part of

The word Campsie in Gaelic may mean "a crooked strath," or "a church in the
bosom of a hill". The parish is bounded by the parish of Fintry on the north, by
Baldemock and Strathblane on the West, by Cadder and Kirkintilloch on the south...
The Campsie Glens are celebrated for their great beauty. Compared with the
surrounding country... the climate is evidently more moist, and... colder in winter and
hotter in summer... Fevers and inflammation prevail to a great extent, as well as
pulmonary diseases. Besides climate, other causes are:

1 . The cottages are almost, without exception, damp, being generally ill built, and

generally without drainage.

2. ...the people generally are too little impressed with the importance of cleanliness
in their ventilation as a means of preserving health.

3. the villages. ..the people are too much crowded in their dwellings. The Irish
labourers have importing their custom of piggin, - as many persons occupying
a room at night as can find space to lie in..

4 ...the practice of putting children to work at an early age; labouring in heated
rooms, attending furnaces, working amoung cold water; breathing a hot atmosphere
in which a great quantity of water vapour and other gases are suspended; mining,

etc on the other hand the inhabitants of Campsie are, for the most part better

employed, and better paid than in most surrounding parishes. There is a
considerable Roman Catholic population in Campsie, all Irish, and amounting to
between 600 and 1000 persons, (p. 260) (39)

V Dumbartonshire

The first migration of the Arrols from Stirlingshire was to the adjacent county of
Dumbartonshire The Arrols migrated first to the Parish of Row, and later to the Parish
of Kirkintilloch.

Approximately one-fourth of the Arrol and Arroll families today are descendents of Arrol
and Arrolls who resided in the Parish of Row. The Rev. John Laurie, Minister, wrote this
account of the parish for The New Statistical Account of Scotland in the 1830's:

...when armed men were the most prized produce of the soil, when military service
was the best payment of mail, and when the muster-roll occupied the place of the


rent-roll. In few parts of Scotland was this more the case than in Dumbartonshire
west of the river Leven. The three clans of Macfarlane, Macaulay, and Colquohoun,
plundered each other, or combined to sweep the low country of its flocks and herds.
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (which was prior to the arrival of the
Arrols in the mid eighteenth century), the annals of this district would present a
perpetual recurrence of raid and foray, in which rapine and sword united to embroil
and improvish the neighborhoods, (pp. 73-74)

In 1839 the population, "may amount to about 2600. Of this number the burgh of
Helensburgh contains 1400; the remainder are scattered over the landward part of
the parish, and can scarcely be said to be in any part of it, a village population,
unless indeed the few houses in the neighborhood of the church of Row, and the
increasing clump of cottages at Garelochhead, may be called villages."

The population, "is increased by more than a half, probably two-thirds of this
number during about five months in the year, from the number of families who
come for summer quarters and sea-bathing." (p. 77)

There, "is a considerable number of wealthy and independent families who have
residences in it, and remain either the whole or half of the year." (40)

The Rev. Adam Forman, Minister, is the author of these remarks about the Parish of
Kirkintilloch in 1839. There were a number of Arrols who resided in and were employed
in Kirkintilloch as cotton weavers and coal miners in the early 1800's.

The ancient name of the parish and district is Caerpen - tulach . which in the language
of the Cambro-Britons, signifies a "prt or stronghold at the head or end of a ridge."
(This) no doubt alludes to the Peel or ancient warlike fort on the line of Roman wall
near the present parish church. (41)

The author, the genealogists for Debrett Ancestry in Winchester, England, and other
genealogists have completed a number of searches in the early civil parish records for the
family name Arrol, Arroll and Arrell.

Their findings are included in this narrative and are made part of the appendicies. Some
of the difficulty in searching these early records are that the pages are ruined by
dampness, have been eaten by mice, or are faded. Nonetheless, it has been found that
there are a number of Arrol and Arroll births recorded in Buchanan Parish, Stirlingshire
in the years 1649 through 1697. The earliest recorded name upon which a number of
Arrol and Arroll families can trace their ancestry is to a Walter Arroll, bom circa
1600-1620 in Caldervan, Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire. This is the first generation
of many Arrol and Arrolls living today. (42)

There is a natural curiosity as to what life may have been like for the Arrols and Arrolls
living in Stirlingshire during the 1600's. A minister writing in the early 1800's for an


account of the parish in The Third Statistical Account of Scotland gives us some idea:

There is no village in the parish. The whole population may be called agricultural;
for though there are about ten families of tradesmen, none of them depends
exclusively on his trade.

The people are sober, industrious, and religious. As the parish is on the Highland
border, a part of the inhabitants still retain the Gaelic language. There are few,
however that do not understand English.

The population, though now only one-third of what it was a hundred years ago, is
still likely to decline. They have work enough in summer, during the time of
wood-cutting, but they are next to idle during the rest of the year.

There is a register kept of baptisms, marriages, and deaths; but the first is incorrect,
as many parents omit to register their children. (43)

Another near-by parish where Arrol, ArroU, and Arrell families resided in the 1600's and
1700's was Killeam, Stirlingshire. Included among these families was the family of
Mungo Arroll, b circa 1640/60 in Croy, Killeam. Mungo married Margaret Buchanan.
One of his children, John Arroll, who was baptized at Killeam 22 May 1709, became a
schoolmaster at Row, (now Rhu) Dumbartonshire. There are many Arroll and Arrol
descendents of this family living today. We can get some idea of what it was like to live
in Killearn during the 1600's and 1700's from this account of Killeam written by
Reverend John Graham:

Killeam seems to be compounded of three Celtic words, Kill-ear-rhin, signifying the
cell or church of west-point.

The character of the parishioners is decent and pious occasioned ainly by the
constant intercourse subsisting between householders and their domestics. Farmers,
as well as villagers, sit-in the same apartment with the inmates of their houses and
eat with them at the same table. Kindly feelings are thus generated between masters
and servants: while the latter are prompted to diligence, and presented from
irregularity, by the presence of the former.

In 1768, the last minister introduced the novelty of bringing lime, on a single horse
cart; prior to that time, lime was never thought of as manure, and coals were carried
on horses backs. (44)

Although the earliest records indicate the presence of Arrols, Arrolls and Arrells in
Stirlingshire, there were also a number of Arrols and Arrolls in Dumbartonshire
(MacFarlane Clan Territory) at an early date. Duncan Arrol was a minister in Luss about
1600 and Patrick Arrell was of Luss and Christ. (Christian?) Mcausland had three births
recorded. Jon Arrell of Cashill and Janet Buchanan had two births recorded in


Dumbartonshire. Two other Arrell families, one from Cashill and the other from Luss,
also had children whose births were recorded during this period. The names Arall, Aral,
Arrall, and Arrll are also recorded in Dumbartonshire during the years 1669 to 1697.
There are a number of baptisms of the Arrall, Arrell, Arrall, Arroll and Arrol families
recorded in Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire between 1677 and 1709. (45)

In addition to the above entries for the Arrols in Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire, in the
early 1700's a few Arrol and Arroll families are recorded in Aberfoyle and Logie in
Perthshire. In fact, Perth is the only county, other than the counties of Dumbarton,
Lanark, Renfrew, and Stirling, that has more than a family or two of Arrolls to appear
in the records of the 1700's. The districts where the family name Arrol is recorded are
geographically adjacent to the eastern parts of Drymen which is the district where the
earliest references to the name are found. In Perthshire, in the district of Aberfoyle,
Charles Arrol and Isobel Graham had children whose births were recorded in 1738 and
1741. William Arrol married Margaret Faichney on Christmas Day 1719 in Logie.
William Arrol and Margaret Colquhoun had five children christened in Aberfoyle between
1760 and 1772. David Arrol married Janet Cargill on 24 May 1777, in Dunkeld, and this
couple had the following three children christened in Perth: William Arrol, 10 October
1779; Robert Cargill An-ol, 23 May 1783; and Elizabeth Burden, 20 Mar 1789.

There are also entries in the civil parish records in various areas of Lanarkshire, including
the Barony of Caltown, Glasgow. Mungo Arrol and Jane Provan are shown as having
children christened in Glasgow between 1701-1708. Walter Arrol and Jean Dick are
recorded as being married on 30 Nov 1721 in Glasgow. Between the years 1722-1745
the records show that this couple had ten children bom in the Barony of Caltown. Also,
in Glasgow, William Arrol (or Arroll - both spellings are found in the records) and
Margory Mitchell had the births recorded of at least six children during the ten year
period 1731-1741.

Other references to Arrols and Arrolls in the 1600's and 1700's include those listed in the
Register of Marriages for the Parish of Edinburgh, 1595-1700. (See Appendix II, p. 531.)
Duncan Arroll, tailor, married Agnes Lightoun on 22 January 1629, and Duncan Arroll,
tailor, married Janet Hardie on 8 Mar 1649. Isobell Arroll married John Balfour on 12
April 1696. Nicolas Arrile, barber, married Margaret Mentith on 14 June 1653. John
Erroll, servitor to Commissary SmoUet, married Helen Currie, daughter of William Currie,
mariner at Dumbarton on 19 April 1698. In Alloa, Cathness, Clackmannan, John Arroll
and Helen Currie had a son, John Arroll, christened on 25 August 1710. In all
probability this is the same John Erroll who is mentioned in the previous sentence as
marrying Helen Currie. (However the name is now spelled Arroll.) The Register of
Interments in the Grey friars Burying Ground in Edinburgh 1658-1700 (See Appendix IV,
p. 531.) names three children of Nicolas Arroll (Arall, Arrell) who died in 1663. The
name is listed as being spelled Arrile when Nicolas was married in 1653 (assuming this
is the same individual.) The difficulty of transcribing the handwriting of the 1600's could
account for these different spellings.


In the Highland Glens the Arrol, Arroll, and Arrells were primarily farmers with a few
"souldier's". The Arrols, and the variant spellings thereof, from the late 1700's into the
1800's are found in the urban and industrial centers of Scotland in Glasgow, Paisley, and
the surrounding communities in the counties of Dumbarton, Lanark, and Renfrew. When

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