THE DESCENDANCY OF THE LAST SIR NEIL OF LAINSHAW (SCOTLAND)

Compiled by Susan Montgomery Hoffman
August 2012

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After a careful investigation into the lineage of our Montgomery family and its close association with the Houston family, the genealogical research and the DNA test comparisons indicate the high probability that John Montgomery of the Scottish Lainshaw Montgomery Branch and his wife Helen Houston are the grandparents of our John Montgomery whose wife is Esther Houston.  Unfortunately, due to the lack of good genealogy data from the early periods of Europe, the children's names of John and Helen Montgomery are a "missing generation." However, past history of the naming patterns in our Montgomery family gives cause to believe the name of our John's father is also John. 

The Time-Line below illustrates the Neil of Lainshaw line of descent from the first Sir Neil Montgomery of Lainshaw (1531) to the last Sir Neil (1654).  It also identifies the place of our family's linkage--John and Helen (Houston) Montgomery-- the probable grandparents of our John Montgomery (wife, Esther Houston). Many dates are estimated but even they are derived from some other source so that they are reasonable.  It is correct to conclude that there is scientific proof (DNA) that our John Montgomery family is of the Neil of Lainshaw Montgomery branch.  Based upon the genealogical evidence presented in the Time Line below, there were multiple marriages between the Houston and Montgomery families in Scotland that occurred prior to our John Montgomery and Esther Houston's marriage in America in 1738.  With proof in Scotland and in America of the high degree of closeness between the Lainshaw Montgomery line and the Houston family, it is a sound conclusion that The Neil Montgomery of Lainshaw family in Scotland is from which we of the John and Esther Houston Montgomery family descend.

1531 Sir Neil Montgomery (b. 1485 in Eglinton Scotland) is the third son of  Hugh Montgomery (first Earl of Eglinton) and Helen Campbell. He was granted by his father the lands of Lainshaw in 1531.  Sir Neil married Margaret the heiress of Sir Quentin Mure July 1525. Sir Neil was assassinated by Robert Lord Boyd 1 June 1547 (3, P.63).

1547 Sir Neil Montgomery II (b. about 1528 in Lainshaw, Scotland) was successor to his father 1547.  He married Jean, heiress of Lord Lyle.  They had sons Neil (the successor) and two other unnamed sons (1 P.130; 3 pp.63, 67). It is claimed by later researchers that one son, named Alexander, went to Ireland where he had a family (3 P.154), and the other son named Robert went to Sweden where he also had a family. It is Robert from whom the Swedish Montgomerys descend  (2 pp. 23,24).

1559 Sir Neil Montgomery III resigned in 1559 all claims to the estate of his mother (Jean Lyle) for a certain sum of money. He married Elizabeth (Margaret) Cunningham.  He died about 1621. Their sons were: Neil the successor (born about 1567 at Lainshaw), William of Brigend (born about 1569), James of Dunlop (died 1613) and John of Cockilbie (born about 1572) (3 P.68; 1 P. 131).

Abt. 1625 Sir Neil Montgomery IV succeeded his father prior to 1621. He married Marion (Maria) Mure about 1601 and left 2 sons and 4 daughters when he died about 1625.  Their son Neil (b. abt. 1602) was the successor. (3P.69;4 P.133). Their son John died before 1632 and before then was listed as acting procurator and attorney to his brother, Sir Neil.  A daughter named Agnes married George Houston of Park (3 P. 69).                                   

1625 Sir Neil Montgomery V in 1625 succeeded his father Neil IV.  He married Margaretta Lockhart about 1627.  They had 4 sons and 4 daughters.  The son's names were: John (the oldest and the successor), Hugh, William and Neil. John's estimated birth year is about 1628/29.

Abt. 1653 John Montgomery, successor to his father Sir Neil V, married (about 1653) Helen, the daughter of Sir Ludovick Houstoun.  Neil, brother to John, married Elizabeth Kirkwood (3 pp 69-70).

1654 In 1653 Sir Neil V and his son John, "gave an obligation to Hugh Montgomery" (borrowed money from Hugh Montgomery) of Brigend, for 500 merks. Sir Neil joined with his son, John, in 1654 "in parting with" (sold) his lands to David Montgomery of Cockilbie (3 P. 69). It is highly likely, after having sold the land of their father, John and his brothers emigrated to Ireland or to America(1 P. 132 ).

1669 In 1669 John and Neil were the only consenting parties to the marriage of their younger sister Jeane to Hugh Montgomery of Longfurd, Scotland. Other sisters, Anna married Thomas Orr, a sister in 1687 married Mr. Watson, Provost of Dumbarton, and a sister married Mr. Ramsay in Ireland.  (3 P. 70) The estimated age of John in 1669 is about 40.  This date (1669) is the last known accounting of John and Neil Montgomery's location. John and Helen Montgomery's children (names unknown) would be teenagers or younger.                                      

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Bo Gabriel de Montgomery of reference (1, P. 132), is a descendant of Robert, the son of Sir Neil II of Lainshaw.  He wrote in his book "It seems likely that John Montgomery, who sold Lainshaw, emigrated to America, perhaps also his brothers Hugh, William, and Neil, of whom there is no trace either in Scotland or in Ireland."  Mr. Bo Gabriel Montgomery's statement indicates that there is no evidence of the death of John Montgomery of Lainshaw nor of his brothers in Scotland.

The belief of this author is that neither John nor his brothers, sons of Neil V of Lainshaw, died without issue after 1669 as suggested by Thomas H. Montgomery in his book (3 page 70). It is highly probable that John Montgomery of Lainshaw and his wife Helen Houston had issue, and their children are "the missing generation". One of their "unnamed" sons would be named John and is likely the father to our John Montgomery who was born between 1707-1717 in Ireland and married Esther Houston in Pennsylvania in 1738.

There were five Neil Montgomerys of  Lainshaw, beginning in the year 1531 and continuing until the last Neil and his son John Montgomery sold the Lainshaw lands in 1654. The dates coincide with the assumption that there is one generation missing which would be the children's names of John and Helen (Houston) Montgomery. Listed in the Rev. Johann Casper Stover's "Marriage Records" 1738 Pennsylvania are John Montgomery and Esther Houston and  Margaretta Mt. Gomery and Alexander Makintyr. Both couples were married in Earltown, Pennsylvania in the same year--one in July and the other in October.  John and Margaretta could be brother and sister.  Margaretta may be her great grandmother's name.

The close association of the Houstons with the Montgomerys of Lainshaw and the scientific DNA studies (2) that have been conducted by our Montgomery families in America and in Sweden are strong indicators that the John Montgomery (wife Helen Houstoun)) who sold the Lainshaw lands in Scotland is the point of connection of our John Montgomery (wife Esther Houston) to the Montgomery Lainshaw branch.

For a detailed explanation of our Lainshaw Montgomery family's genetic connection, see reference 2 below which is a description of how the Montgomery Benchmark Working Group proved the genealogical ancestry of the Swedish Montgomery family so that they could establish a bench mark for use in the verification of other Montgomery genealogical claims.  The author's brother is one of the sixteen known males who perfectly match with the Swedish Montgomery in the 67 marker DNA tests that were conducted in 2011 (2,P.9).  This perfect DNA match is further verification that the Swedish Montgomery and our participant, a proven descendant of John and Esther (Houston) Montgomery of Virginia, have a very close genetically proven relationship going back approximately 500 years. This genetically proven relationship further supports the claim by this author of our family's strong connection to the Neil Montgomery of Lainshaw Branch that originated in Scotland in 1531.
                       

 

REFERENCES

 

                                               
1.  B.G. de Montgomery, Origin and History of the Montgomerys. Higginson Book Co., Salem, MA

2.  MBWG, Verification of the Ancestry of Sven Jacob Montgomery. Lulu Publishers, USA,. 2012.

3.  Thomas H. Montgomery, Genealogical History of the Family of Montgomery, privately pubished, 1863, Philadelphia, PA.

4.  Rev. George Hill, Montgomery Manuscripts (1603-1708), Archer and Sons, Belfast,
Ireland, 1869.

5.  Rev. Johann Casper Stoever, Marriage Records, Online: www.pa-roots.com