Clan Kincaid

Clan Kincaid

Clan Kincaid is a modern Scottish clan.

Coat of arms of the Kincaid of Kincaid, chief of Clan Kincaid



Origins of the surname

The Kincaid surname is of territorial origin being taken from the former lands of Kincaid in the Parish of Campsie, Stirlingshire, Scotland. The lands are located just north of Kirkintilloch, in the north-west angle formed by the River Kelvin and its tributary the Glazert. The topography of the area is hilly, being on the northern edges of the Scottish Lowlands. Prominent hills in the area are called the Campsie Fells. The nearest city of some size is Glasgow.

It had been thought that the placename is Gaelic in origin with suggested meanings of ceann càidhe, meaning "at the head of the quagmire", ceann cadha, meaning "at the head of the pass," and ceann cath meaning "head of the battle." However, it is now believed that the placename is P Celtic in origin. It may have originally been Neo-Brittonic Pen ced. In 1238/9, it appeared in Latin charters in 1238/9 as Kyncaith and soon thereafter took on one of its current form.[1]

The origins of the family is obscure. Kincaids were in Scotland at the time of the Wars of Scottish Independence. In a 1646 birth brieve in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, it is recorded that the head of the Kincaid family, in the time of King Edward I of England, was made Constable of Edinburgh Castle for his valiant service in recovering of the Castle of Edinburgh from the English and his posterity carry the castle in their coat of arms in memory of this deed.[2] The family's coat of arms can be seen today, painted on one of the ceiling supports of Edinburgh Castle's armoury.

The earliest mention of a Kincaid is Robert of Kincade who served on an inquest held at Stirling on 2 October 1425 which found Sir John of Halden, knight, heir to the deceased Sir Bernard of Halden, knight, his father, in the 10 merk lands of Kepdowry and Ardas in the sheriffdom of Stirling and earldom of Lennox.[3] He is perhaps the Robert of Kincaide who was noted as squire to the powerful Patrick Lyon, Lord Glamis in a charter dated 12 April 1447.[4]

Fifteenth century

The family quickly obtained favourable positions about the royal family. John of Kyncade's wife, Jonet, received payments for nursing the Earl of March, the 2nd son of King James II, in 1456 and 1457. This John of Kyncade was likely the John of Kyncade who was keeper of Linlithgow Palace in 1461 and the John of Kincade who was receiver of Crown fermes near Linlithgowshire from 22 June 1464 to 3 July 1466.[5] Patrick Kincaid of that Ilk was a favoured squire to King James IV.[6]

The family estates grew in the 15th and 16th century. The Kincaids gained the estates of Craiglockhart, Coates and Warriston about Edinburgh; the lands of Inchbreck, Inchbelly and Auchenreoch near their ancestral lands; and lands about Falkirk and Linlithgow.

Sixteenth century

Thomas Kincaid of Coates was Constable of Edinburgh Castle from at least 1508 to 1 March 1512/1548 and was Master of Works for King James IV at least in 1511.[7] He oversaw preparations made at Edinburgh Castle for the invasion of England in 1513, including the casting of some of the great cannons used in the Battle of Flodden Field, and obtaining metal for the building of The Michael, the largest and most powerful ship of its day.[8] His son Thomas Kincaid of that Ilk, was a Deputy-Constable in Parliament on 11 December 1534, and a special sheriff of Dumbarton on 25 September 1549.[9] Edward Kincaid was Sheriff-Depute of Edinburgh in 1521, at the time of the battle there referred to as the "Cleansing of the Causeway," and likely the Edward Kincaid who was a Sheriff of Peebles shortly thereafter.[10]

No less than seven Kincaids accompanied King James V of Scotland to France on 1 September 1536 for the King's marriage to King Francis I's daughter Madeleine de Valois. Thomas Kincaid, Edward Kincaid, David Kincaid, James Kincaid, Robert Kincaid, Thomas Kincaid, and John Kincaid were all listed as being in Lord Fleming's entourage for this great occasion.[11] Patrick Kincaid of Leith, was Master Brewer to King James V in the 1530s and 1540s.[12] David Kincaid of Coates was Constable of Edinburgh Castle from as early as 1541.[13]

A number of the Kincaids adhered to the royal family and got caught up in the intrigues surrounding Mary, Queen of Scots. John Kincaid of Warriston was a relative and intended protégé of Bishop Bothwell while Alexander Kincaid, originally a servant to Adam Bothwell, was one of the Queen's half-brother's, Robert Stewart's, closest servants.[14] William Kincaid was one of the Queen's most trusted couriers and was sent to France with her letters and directions of the Queen's party.[15] Edward Kincaid, maltman, was a significant supplier of William Kirkcaldy of Grange's forces in the defense of Edinburgh Castle against the forces of Regent Morton in 1573.[16]

Seventeenth century

John Kincaid of Warriston was murdered by his wife's lover, Robert Weir, on 1 July 1600. Convicted for instigating the murder his wife, Lady Jean Livingstoun of Dunipace, was quickly beheaded on the "Maiden" but the infamy of the murder was to live on in Scottish ballads.[17] Thomas Kincaid was appointed a surgeon in Alexander Leslie's Covenanter army invading England to support the Parliamentarians and he was given command of a brigade of two regiments prior to the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.[18] Thomas Kincaid of Warriston suffered heavily during the civil war as subsequent invading English armies, particularly by invasions in 1650 and 1651, inflicted damages to his estates of Warriston, Heuch and Overgoger amounting to 37,000 merks Scots.[19] It was at this time that some Kincaids immigrated to Ireland in support of the Royalist cause. Captain Alexander Kinked, Captain Robert Kinkead, Claud Kinkead and Alexander Kinkead were among the '49 officers who received grants in Ireland upon King Charles' return to power.[20] During the witch craft paranoia of the 17th century, John Kincaid of Tranent emerged in Scotland as a "pricker of witches" but was ultimately briefly imprisoned by the State for his excesses.[21]

Eighteenth century to today

James Kincaid of Dalgreen was a person of note accused of being active in supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Scottish rebellion of 1745.[22] Following Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat, one Dr. Kincade emerged as a notable Jacobite of concern to the government.[23] Following the Scottish rebellions, a number of Kincaids migrated to the United States leaving numerous posterity there today.

Sir John Kincaid gained international recognition for his personal accounts of battles fought during the Napoleon War and in particular for his vivid recollections of the historic Battle of Waterloo; published as Adventures in the Rifle Brigade and Random Shots from a Rifleman. As acting adjutant at Waterloo, his battalion stood almost in the centre of Wellington's line and was engaged in the most intensive fighting of the battle.[24]

John Henry Kinkead, of Somerville, Pennsylvania was the third Governor of the State of Nevada, USA and the first Governor of the then District of Alaska, USA.[25]

The 20th century saw several Kincaids develop significant inventions. John W. Kincaid is credited with being the inventor of the first automatic locomotive stoker at Hinton, West Virginia, USA.[26] Geoffrey R. Kinkead, of Providence, Rhode Island, USA, is credited with developing the percussion cap used in detonating hand grenades in World War I.[27] Captain Earl H. Kincaid, of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA, was credited with inventing the Navy Static recording machine, a forerunner of radar.[28]

Flight-Lieutenant Samuel Marcus Kinkead, D.S.O., D.S.C., D.F.C., was a World War I ace and high-speed aircraft pioneer. He died on 12 March 1928, attempting to break the air speed record of 297 miles per hour in a Supermarine Napier S5 airplane at Calshot Aerodrome, Great Britain and was greatly mourned by the nation.[29]

Thomas Harold "Doc" Kinkade, of Wyckoff, New Jersey, gained international attention for his role in the first transatlantic flights as service engineer for the Wright Aeronautical Corporation. He was most noted for preparing the Wright Whirlwind motors used in Charles Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" and Commander Richard E. Byrd's "America."[30]

Admiral Thomas Cassin Kinkaid led the United States Seventh Fleet through the major sea and island battles of World War II. His most notable achievement was at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid defeated a large Japanese fleet at the Surigao Strait, using only a makeshift fleet of PT boats, converted freighters, destroyers and carrier escort ships.[31]

John F. Kincaid, working at The National Defence Research Committee's Explosives Research Laboratory, invented a method of making large grains of rocket propellant.[32] This important advance allowed the manufacture of solid fuelled rockets that were pivotal in the American intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and space programs. Solid fuel helped put the first Americans in space and would come to propel America's nuclear ICBM arsenal.

Today the most identifiable Kincaid is Thomas Kinkade, 'Painter of Light.' He enjoys widespread commercial success for his artwork.

The modern Kincaids of Kincaid

On 2 June 1959, Alwyne Cecil Peareth Kincaid-Lennox petitioned the Lord Lyon King of Arms to succeed to the coat of arms of his great great grandfather, John Kincaid of Kincaid, who had matriculated his Arms and Supporters on 29 July 1808.[33] This John Kincaid of Kincaid married secondly Cecilia Lennox of Woodhead and their son, John Lennox Kincaid, became the legal representative of both the Kincaid and Lennox families upon the death of John Kincaid of Kincaid on 7 February 1832. John Lennox Kincaid Lennox had his coat of arms, the impaled arms of Lennox and Kincaid, matriculated on 12 June 1833.[34] John Lennox Kincaid Lennox died without male heirs and the Kincaid of Kincaid name and coat of arms became dormant. Alwyne Cecil Peareth Kincaid-Lennox's petition was granted and he was recognised as chief of the name of Kincaid by the Lord Lyon King of Arms on 1 July 1959.[35] He took on the name Alwyne Cecil Kincaid of Kincaid and began participating in activities to promote Kincaid as a new Scottish Clan.[36]

Alwyne Cecil Kincaid of Kincaid died on 3 September 1983, and was succeeded by his niece, Heather Veronica Peareth Kincaid Lennox who then became Heather Veronica Kincaid of Kincaid. She matriculated her coat of arms on 16 August 1988.[37] Madame Heather Veronica Kincaid of Kincaid was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 10 March 1918 and was the only child of William Mandeville Peareth Kincaid-Lennox and Eva St. Clair Donald. She was twice married; first to Lieutenant-Commander Denis Arthur Hawker Hornell and secondly to William Henry Allen (Hal) Edghill. Her only child, Denis Peareth Hornell, succeeded to the chiefship of Clan Lennox and became Denis Peareth Hornell Lennox of that Ilk. Madame Heather Veronica Kincaid of Kincaid died on 2 August 1999 in Shropshire, England.

Madame Heather Veronica Kincaid of Kincaid was succeeded by her grand daughter, Arabella Jane Hornell Lennox. She matriculated her coat of arms on 26 January 2001 and assumed the name Arabella Jane Kincaid of Kincaid.[38] She is married to Giles Vivian Inglis-Jones and they have four children. Arabella Jane Kincaid of Kincaid is represented by the Clan Kincaid Organization based in the United States.[39][40]

Kincaid House & Lennox Castle

Kincaid House is located on the old Kincaid lands in what is now Milton of Campsie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It was the ancestral home of the Kincaids of that Ilk, with the oldest part of the house dating back to 1690. The current style of the house was designed by architect David Hamilton for John Kincaid of that Ilk in 1812. His son and heir, John Lennox Kincaid Lennox, had Hamilton design and build Lennox Castle on the ancient Lennox of Woodhead estate in the Parish of Campsie; about a mile and half west of Lennoxtown, between 1837 and 1841. The family moved there and Kincaid House was sold in 1921. It was eventually converted into a hotel and remains in use as such today. Lennox Castle was sold in 1927, and for some time after that was used as a mental hospital. The last patients left the hospital in 2002, and Lennox Castle remained empty until it was severely damaged by fire on 19 May 2008.
Part of the former castle grounds is now the site of Celtic Football Club's training facility.

Kincaid House and Lennox Castle are popular destinations for vacationing Kincaids. During one group tour organised by the U.S. based Clan Kincaid organization, a commemorative tree was planted outside the Kincaid House Hotel.


Kincaid (22 Black, (pivot) 34 Green, 6 Red (centre), 34 Green etc.) c. 1966.

The Kincaid tartan was created in 1959 at the request of Alwyne Cecil Kincaid of Kincaid.

From Scottish clan "The important point to remember is that until the 19th century, the Lowland or Border clans did not identify themselves by specific tartans, nor did they wear the kilt or play the Great Highland Pipes (although they would be familiar with the widely used Lowland or Border Pipes) but afterwards they adopted these characteristics of Highland culture as a form of clan identification, which they are happy to use to the present day."

Variations in spelling

Spelling variations include:

Kincade, Kincaide, Kinkaid, Kinkead, Kinkade, Kingcade, Kyncade, Kincaid and Kinket.

Kincaid surname DNA Project

On 4 June 2001, the Kincaid Surname DNA project was started by Peter A. Kincaid as a means of learning more about the origins of the Kincaid family and its various lines existing today. This is done mainly using male Y chromosome STR testing. This was the 22nd surname project with Family Tree DNA and the project has consistently ranked high in terms of number of participants.

As of 12 October 2011, the project has results returned for 160 participants. Like most surname DNA projects, there has emerged more than one group of genetically related individuals. So far, the individuals have been assigned into nine groups labelled A to I. However, the bulk of participants fall within Group A; accounting for 101 individuals or over 63% of the participants. Group C is the next largest group with 21 participants, followed by Group B with 6, Group D with 5, Group I with 3, and Groups E, F, G and H with 2 participants each. There are 16 participants that returned results that are not closely related to any of individuals in Groups A to I nor to each other.

The results to date suggest that the patriarch of Kincaids of Scottish descent was the ancestor of Group A participants. Y chromosome SNP testing shows that Group A participants are part of Haplogroup R1b which is dominant in western Europe. Furthermore, further testing shows that Group A participants belong to the subclade R-L48 (aka R1b1b2a1a1d and R1b1b2a1a4) subclade commonly found in the Netherland, Denmark, north Germany and southwest England.

While Y chromosome DNA testing has been a great tool for sorting various lines of Kincaid, it has not shed any further light on the origins of Kincaids in Scotland. There are many scenarios of when and how the Kincaid patriarch entered the Strathclyde area of Scotland.

Kincaid-L mailing list

The KINCAID-L list is a popular mailing list of persons actively researching their Kincaid (& spelling variants) ancestors. Members share information and assist other Kincaid descendants in locating their Kincaid ancestors. KINCAID-L is available through the support of Rootsweb.

Kyncades family association

Kyncades is a new family association which recognizes that the notion of Kincaid as a Scottish Clan is a modern creation and it undertakes to explore and preserve an accurate Kincaid family heritage. Kyncade was the spelling of the name common in the 15th century.


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  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^ Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. Edinburgh: Lord Lyon Office, 1677-. Volume 67: page 115.
  38. ^ Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. Edinburgh: Lord Lyon Office, 1677-. Volume 82: page 85.
  39. ^ [2] Retrieved on 2010-04-20
  40. ^ Membership Retrieved on 2010-04-20

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