Laird's Origins in Caithness
earliest records we have for Lairds in
Caithness are church records, at
CANNESBAY SESSION RECORDS MAR 1652/FEB 1666
During the Ministry of William Davidson
09.53 bpt ISSOBELL : Dvd. McBEATH, Wm HARPAR in Dungasbey
10.56 bpt MARGARET: Jn DUNNETT, Wm McBEATH
06.59 bpt GILBERT: Jn ANDERSONE, MENDTHEPLAY
At that time Lairds were to be found in
Thurso, Canisbay, Duncansby, Watten and Wick (Hempriggs
In "Lest we Forget",
edited by Anne Houston, ISBN 0 9529167 0 3, 1996 p. 428, it is
two clever, well handed Laird brothers went from John
O'Groats to Clydeside and got a start in a sail and rope making
My Great Aunt Jean told me that before Caithness, we were from
Norway, and our ancestor was a sea captain. My father told me
that our surname originally had Norwegian spelling.
We know that Freswick in Caithness (spelt on old maps as
Fresweek) has connections with Fresvik in Sognefjord, but we
wonder if Lærdal in Sogn may have something to do with our
We are checking connections in Sognefjord with a local
Erling Bjørnetun. We have had some encouragement in seeing
that "Leir" comes up regularly in farm names in Sogn.
Notable "Leirdal". Laird is sometimes spelt "Leard"
in Caithness and Orkney.