top of page

A Brief History of the Logan Clan Chiefs

The purpose of this, my first Blog is to introduce you to our former Chiefs of the Logan Family/Clan.

Image 1 - Seals from the Ragman's Roll

The first person on record utilizing the Logan arms is Walter Logan who in 1296 put his seal to the Ragman's Roll. For those that are not familiar this was a document in which Scottish nobles were forced to pay homage to King Edward the First of England (AKA Edward Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots). All leading families signed this, including Robert the Bruce. After securing homage (at the point of a sword) King Edward returned to England feeling like all was settled. However, on 11 Sept 1297, a large English force was defeated by a much smaller Scottish Army led by William Wallace starting the conflict that would result with Edward dead and Robert the Bruce crowned as the King of the Scots.

Walter Logan's seal is not included in image one so we need to turn to the "History of the Logan Family", Major G J N Logan Home who describes the seal as follows: "On a shield or, 3 piles sable in point between the antlers of a stag's head cabossed." You may be wondering where the heart is, well, at that time it was still safely within Robert the Bruce's chest.

After 1296 we have no records of other Logans who were "Chief in Name and Arms", until 1516 when Patrick Logane asked his father Alexander Logane of that Ilk for a precept of the king. While I don't know what was in the precept, this does tell us that Alexander Logane was Chief in Name and Arms. What his relation is to Walter Logan is impossible to show using available evidence, though it may indicate that he is a direct ancestor with say 6-8 generations in-between.

Worthy of note, in 1516, Sir Robert Logan was the Fifth Baron of Restalrig. It is not believed that these two Logan families, i.e. the "Logan of that Ilk" and the "Restalrig Logans" are closely related. This of course will be a subject of further research.

In 1558 Patrick Logan is now listed as "of that Ilk" in a document naming him a member of a panel to determine the right of inheritance of an estate about 16 miles from the Lands of Logan. This document also names "his son and Heir Apparent", William Logan. This gives us a line of succession as follows, Alexander to Patrick to William.

Things go very quiet until 1604 when we find a prenuptial agreement put in place by George Logan of that Ilk, likely the son of William Logan of that Ilk. This agreement was drawn up by George and his wife Bessie for their son (another) William Logan and future daughter-in-law Jonet Campbell. In 1628 the said William Logan is now listed as William Logan of that Ilk in a "testament dative" due to the death of his daughter. He was alive until 1647 when we find his "testament dative".

As an aside, for those that don't know, a testament dative is a settlement of an estate upon someone's passing. It was not common at that time to have wills. We know that William had at least two sons, George Logan and James Logan. George Logan very well pre-deceased his father as by June 1647, his brother, James Logan, became the legal guardian of his son, also George Logan. This younger George Logan is the one that was granted arms by the newly formed Court of the Lord Lyon. This occurred in 1672 and the document reads as follows:"Mr. George Logan of that Ilk Bears Or three passion naills the twa outmost bendwayes & the midlemost paleways all meeting at the points & pearcing throug a mans heart placed in the [base} all gules: On ane helmet befitting his degree with a mantle gules doubled argent And [torse] of [his collours] is set for his cret a passion naill pearcing a heart proper The motto in ane escroll Hoc majorum virtus." For those who are not aware, the heart is supposed to represent Robert the Bruce's heart, whom two Logans tried to deliver to the Holy Land (they did not make it).

At the time of registering arms, George Logan of that Ilk was living in Old Cumnock which is part of Ayrshire Scotland. He was a lawyer by trade and had three sons, William, Allan and Hugh.

Image 5 - Allan Logan of that Ilk

We know that George passed prior to 1710 when his oldest son, William, was referred to as William Logan of that Ilk on a marriage document for his cousin. Unfortunately, in 1727 William Logan of that Ilk passed "Sine Prole" which means without heir. The title passed onto his "brother German" the reverend Allan Logan now "of that Ilk" who also, sadly died Sine Prole in 1733. As an aside, he is listed on a Burial Monument at the Culross Abbey Churchyard where he was a minister. On it he is recognized for leaving 1000 "Merks" to the poor of that parish.

Upon the passing of Allan Logan, his younger brother, Hugh Logan, became "of that Ilk". Fortunately, he did have legal heirs as he with Agnes Mitchell had at least four children before he passed around 1750 (we don't have an exact date). They are George, Janet, William and Hugh.

In an interesting twist of fate, Hugh Logan the elder's two oldest sons, George and William died Sine Prole and prior to Hugh's passing. This made Hugh Logan the younger "Hugh Logan of that Ilk". This is a rather cruel twist of fate as this Hugh (AKA Hugh the Witty) had no interest in continuing the line. He never married nor had a lawful child, though he did have several "natural children" which means out of wedlock and therefore not heirs. He also was a very poor manager of the property and ended up passing both Sine Prole and in debt. His burden was passed onto his sister Janet Logan who became the heir to the lands of Logan. As she was married to James Campbell the lands no longer remained in Logan hands. If you are interested you can find a book on this Hugh on Google Books, it is titled "The Laird of Logan; on, Anecdotes and Tales Illustrative of the Wit and Humour of Scotland." I have skimmed it (I intend to read shortly) and warn that there is at least one error when the book states he was "lineally descended from the ancient and once powerful Barons of Restlarig".

Where does that leave us? In short without a chief. John Logan Majoribanks spent decades looking for a living heir and despite lifting every stone available we cannot identify one. You can read more about his search using the link below. I highly recommend it and would like to take one last chance to recognize some amazing genealogical word done by John. He is why I was able to provide this information to you.

50 views0 comments


bottom of page