Clan JACK Society

"criochnaich clod a thoisich thu"



In an effort to understand the origin of our surname, I am currently studying articles from many 18th & 19th Century Scottish publications which show the name JACK or JAK. Some examples are laid out below, complete with transcription errors. Anyone able to get back further than the year 1473 please drop me a line via the contact page.

1) The Diocese and Presbytery of Dunkeld 1660-1689 volume 1 by Rev. John Hunter
page 117 - David Jack nominated as a leet for eldership june 1653
page 175 - David Jack craftsmen of the church agree to value of manse at 850 merks Scots 19 May 1656
page 337 - Robert Jacke tenant of Laird of Fullertone july 1660

2) The Diocese and Presbytery of Dunkeld 1660-1689 volume 2 by Rev. John Hunter
page 330 - Alexander Jack burgess of Linlithgow presbytery of Dunkeld to the Synod of April 1661
page 442 - Fasti of the Presbytery of Cowpar-Angus, Abernyte. David Jack Mason, 31 May 1665

3) Biographical dictionary eminent men of fife 1866
page 242 - John Jack St Monanee, private teacher died friday 2 dec 1859. Mr Jack had long been known as one of the literary celebrities of the east coast of fife of which he was a native

4) Epitaphs and Inscriptions from Burial Grounds & Old Buildings in the Nth East of Scotland Vol 2 1879
page 95 - Kettins. Kirk of Kelays. Flat slabs
In hope of a gloriovs resvrrectione here lyes a
wertvovs woman, Elspeth Jack, spovse to James
Fyfe at the Miln of Airdlar, wha depairted
March 4, 1684, of age 38. As also here are interred
sewen hopefvl children procreat betwixt
them :—
In tyme dispone, Death comes anon,
And nothing with him gets,
Bvt evn short sheet, ouer head and feet,
And all men him forgets.

page 329 - he sold Letham Grange to Mr. James Fletcher (formerly Jack) of Rosehaugh for about £121,800 sterling.

page 353 - Tarves.
Here resteth the remains of
George Moir,
Late blacksmith in Annat, who died the 12th
March, 1784, aged 82 years. And of
Jean Fife,
His spouse, who died, the 14th February, 1785,
aged 72. This stone is erected by their Sons in
testimony of their regard to the memory of their
deceased Parents.

Also Ann Jack, Spouse of their Son Geo.
Moir, in Annat, who died the 4th October 1786,
aged 36.
And Ann Mom, Spouse of Geo. Findlater, iu
Coulticicairn, who died the 24th Decemr. 1793,
aged 56.

The above, from the oldest of several tombstone relates to a family who have been blacksmiths in the district from before 1696, when James Moir, smith in Tarves, and his wife were charged poll. One of them still exercises the calling of his forefathers at Keithfield, in the same parish ; another in Ardo in Methlick, and a third at Federat in New Deer. The father of the first-mentioned, who lived at Annat (Audit) in Methlick, was also a skilful veterinary surgeon; and it is told of one of the family that as he was shoeing horses one day at Haddo House, the third Earl of Aberdeen (Us, as he was familiarly called, from his excessive use of that pronoun) found fault with him for something, when, without stopping his work, Moir said, " Please your lordship, I didn't come here to learn to shoe horses !
"The Earl turned away in silence, but when the blacksmith had finished his task, he returned and said, " Come up with us Moir, and I shall give you a glass of wine, for you have had a long tedious work."

5) Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland, Volume 2 (1871)
page 183 - Perth parochial churchyard exhibits a due proportion of metrical epitaphs ; one of the oldest tombstones is thus inscribed :
"Here lyes ane worthie man, John Conqueror, who died a Bailie of Perth, the first day of September, 1653.
"O'er death a conqueror he now lyes whose soule,
Freed from this dust, triumphes above the pole.
One less than twyce twelve children by one wife
He had, of which to everlasting life
Twyce ten he sent before him, and behynd
He left but three to propagate his kynd.
He ran ten lustres out, when rigid fate,
Eobbed him of life, Perth of a Magistrate.
"This trophee, Margaret Jack, his spouse, did raise
O'er her dear husband, to her lasting praise ;
Through his respectful care, his memory
Shall be deryved of posterity.

6) In Black's Surnames of Scotland; it says "the surname was not uncommon in Aberdeen in the seventeenth century". It does mention a few other folk of that name though, such as Robert Jack, merchant and burgess of Dundee who was "hangit and quarterit for false coin" in 1567; Gilbert Jack in Uddingston in 1498; a John Jack in Glasgow around the same time; and a Wil. Jak, tenant of the mill of "Kethek" in 1473.

Note: If you also look at the surname JACKSON in this early literature it was spelt JAKSOUNE. My assumption is that the surname JACK came from JAK originally. Although this does not dispel the surname JACQUE/S which first appeared in Scotland around 1700 and has almost disappeared today, I assume many having changed the spelling to JACK.
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MacIan Connection

According to family records Mr. J. Crichton Jack has a noble ancestry. He is a direct descendant on his father’s side of Ian Mac Ian, one of the Lords of the Scottish Isles, and Chief of the Macdonald Clan that suffered severely in the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692.

Rev. J. Crichton Jack

At the time of the massacre the Chief was killed, but his son Ian fled north-east to Braemar, which at that time was a small highland clachan in the wilds of the Grampian Mountains, but is now a well-known and celebrated summer resort patronized by Royalty. He had not been long in this quiet, secluded spot, when he heard that the Campbells were pursuing him and had got on his track. He therefore with all haste left Braemar, making his way south over the Cairnwell, the highest road across the Grampians, and reached Blairgowrie in the Valley of Strathmore. As he was then in the Lowlands he changed his name to John Jack, being the English of the Gaelic name Ian Mac Ian. He, however, did not remain long in Blairgowrie. He went east along the face of the southern range of the Grampians to the small town of Alyth, where he settled down, married, and built some property, forming three sides of a square, in what was known as the "West Quarter," which can still be seen, and is entered by a large iron gateway. On the house on the left-hand side of the square can be seen his initials "J. J.," cut in the stone lintel of the entrance door. From that stock does the Rev. J. Crichton Jack’s family come.

See the family history source at: