To Which Family Do I/you Belong

To Which Family Do You Belong?


They didn't ask; "Where do you come from?" when one Pittendr(e)igh met another Pittendrigh. They usually asked, "Which family do you belong to?"


Before we go on to ask what family we belong to, it is important to read the articles about NOTES ON THE PLACE NAME PITTENDRIECH AND ITS VARIATIONS in first two issues of the Pittendrigh Post by Jim Pittendrigh, Geneva. Or better yet read the account of this adventure on his webpage;

Jim, along with his wife and sister, spent a summer motoring around Scotland to discover each and every place named with some derivation of Pittendrigh. They interviewed the occupier if there was one and took pictures if possible. He has done a magnificent job of research. It will be a valuable reference tool for later generations doing research on place names in Scotland.


My fathers oldest brother, another Robert Pittendrigh, showed me several letters written to his father by James Pittendrigh MacGillivray. MacGillivray had puzzled over the various families and wondered how and if they were related. He put some of them in categories of their own. His own family he called the (Cairns of) Methlick family because that was the parish in Aberdeenshire where his mothers' family had lived for generations. My family he named the Tyrie family for the same reason. Largely due to the efforts of Jim Pittendrigh in Victoria, several other unrelated families have been contacted. Jim found them in Australia, Africa and USA. They all can trace their origins to the North East of Scotland. Jim Pittendrigh in Geneva found more families. Without going into more details we have decided to put the various families in categories that reflect the original progenitors and perhaps the parish of origin. Until someone comes forward with a better system, here are the categories we use in my P(itt)endr(e)igh database.


(1) ADAIR . The family the above-mentioned Jim Pittendrigh of Victoria BC, Canada belongs to this family. The original progenitor couple has not been identified; just George whom we believe came from the parish of Cruden and went to England. A descendant Captain George Pittendrigh survived the Battle of Balaklava and came to Canada with his second wife and a large family. His Bible stated his ancestor came from Adair in Scotland - a place we have not been able to identify. Numerous descendants now scattered through out Canada

(2) BANFF family: Or GeorgeBRUCE family. I named this family the Banff family because the first person I met from this family told me they originated in Banffshire, Scotland. The OP couple was found to be George Pittendreigh and Isabella Bruce. A very large family now mostly in various parts of Canada.

(3) ENGLAND: A database created to house all the information about Pittendrighs that appeared in English or Welsh records.

(4) JamesBURR family. The original progenitors were James Pittendrigh and his wife Margaret Burr. Jim Pittendrigh in Geneva belongs to this family.

(5) NEW YORK or WilliamGORDON family because the first contact I had was with Linda Ferraro in New York State, USA. The OP couple is William Pittendrigh and Margaret Gordon.

(6) JamesBURR . The original progenitor couple is James Pittendrigh and Margaret Burr. James George Pittendrigh (in Geneva) claims this family.

(7) JamesSHIRER. The original progenitors were James Pittendrigh and his wife Janet Shirer. Campell Provan, Ann Patricia Mair costume designer, the late Margaret & Bertram Pittendrigh of Australia provided a great deal of information to this family as did Elva Blair our PitPost correspondent in Australia.

(8) JohnHUME The original progenitor couple is John Pittendreigh and Jane Hume. We now believe that Johns parents were James Pittendrigh and Isobel Louper. Descendants are found in South Africa where we find Dr. Alan Pittendrigh our PitPost correspondent and frequent contributor to the PitPost. Another member of the family is Betty Fieldus in Australia, also a keen family historian.

(9) JohnPRATT The original progenitors were John Pittendrigh and Agnes Pratt. I only have 28 people in this database.

(10) MONTANA or the InnesGALLOWAY. The original progenitors were Innes Pittendrigh and his wife Hellen Galloway. The first contact I had with this family was Sandy Pittendrigh in Bozeman, Montana, hence the Montana family. Sandys mother as well as his sister Robin Rourk was a great help in sharing family stories. Their father was the well-known American scientist Colin Pittendrigh.

(11) OKLAHOMA from an Albert Pittendrigh that lived in Indian Territory of Oklahoma. We look forward to some interesting stories from this family, which is scattered all over USA. Robert Pittenridge emails this - , it seems that my great grandfather's grandfather (John Pittenridge) appeared in Indian Territory, married a native Chicksaw tribes woman who gave birth to a son, and when the son was 2 years old, John was killed. His native wife was never ever to tell her son anything about his father other than he had a brother named James that lived in Texas, and that the brothers were from Scotland. That's as far as our history goes. I have never found any trace of James. I did find a court report of the execution of John's killer. The victim was listed as John Pittenrig, Chickasaw nation, Indian Territory.

(12) Pendreigh family seems to originate around the Edinburgh area of Scotland. My file on this family needs updating. Graham and Melinda Pendreigh, 593 E 1732 Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006 USA belongs to this family.

(13) TYRIE family named by James Pittendrigh MacGillivray in his correspondence with Robert Pittendrigh of this family. The original progenitors were Isabella Stevens and his wife Robert Pittendrigh. RobertSTEPHENS. The descendants were farmers in the parishes of Pitsligo and Tyrie. Alexander Henry Pittendrigh, a first cousin to Robert L Pittendrigh, still farms two of the ancestral farms at Tyrie.

(14) WilliamCATTO. William Pittendrigh and Helen Catto. The first contact I had was with Ian Pittendrigh who lived at London, Ontario. His parents lived at Fordwich, Ontario.

(15) WilliamFRASER. OP is William Pittendreigh and his wife Catherine Fraser. Most of the descendants are in Australia. Jennifer Pittendreigh and her husband Allison Wayne Brown live in Calgary, Alberta.


Any suggestions, changes, correction or additions will be happily accepted.

Robert L. Pittendrigh