Jim's Genie Jottings

A history of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and their forebears

Ballantyne

Ballantyne

Origin of the Ballantyne surname

Historians generally agree that the name Ballantyne was formed by combining two ancient Gaelic words: Belenus (the name of the sun god in Celtic mythology) and teine (fire). The combination means fire of Belenus which is a reference to the tradition of lighting bonfires in the sun god's honour at the start of Spring (when the sun starts to get stronger). This celebration was traditionally known as the Beltane festival and was held on 1 May. These traditions are the origins of the modern concepts of bonfire night and Mayday.

Perhaps a Ballantyne ancestor was born on the day of the Beltane festival; became known as Belinus-teine; and the name was retained by his descendants. Alternatively, the family may have derived its name from its ownership of the land on which the festival took place each year.

Some Scottish historians have suggested an alternative origin for the name. Their theory is that the name could derive from an old Gaelic phrase baile an deadhain which means the farmstead of the dean. However, these historians can't agree whether the name originates in Roxburghshire, Stirlingshire or Selkirkshire.

It is likely that the name had a single origin because it is quite rare; rarer even than surnames known to have had a single progenitor in the eleventh century (such as Bruce and Douglas). In the 1841 census, Ballantyne (including its spelling variations) accounted for just 56 in every 100,000 people in Scotland while Bruce accounted for 231 and Douglas 232. The most frequent surname was Smith (1393 in every 100,000). Since the single progenitors of the Bruce and Douglas families lived during the eleventh century, it seems reasonable to conclude that the single progenitor of the Ballantyne family lived at a later time; probably the twelfth or thirteenth century. We know that the surname was well established by the fifteenth century.

Earliest known Ballantyne people

Some of the earliest Ballantynes in recorded history include:

  • John Ballenden was archdeacon of Moray c1450
  • Sir Richard Bannochtine of the Corhouse (fl. 1460) and his son Sir John Bannatyne
  • Patrick Bellenden received a charter from the Earl of Morton in 1499 for lands in Auchinoul, Midlothian
  • George Bannatyne (1545 - 1608) was a reknowned collector of Scottish poems
  • Sir Alexander Balendin was provost of Methuen in 1563

In recent decades our family has adopted a standard spelling: Ballantyne. Previously the spelling varied wildly including Ballentine, Ballantine, Ballentyne, Ballintine, Bannentyne, Bannantyne, Bannatine, Ballanden, Ballenden, Ballendine, Ballendyne and many more. Other branches of the family have standardized on one of the alternative spellings.

Ballantyne Heraldry

 

Heraldry

There are two sets of heraldic arms associated with the Ballantyne family. Firstly (see left): gules a chevron argent between three mullets or. The other arms (see right) are argent on a cross between four mullets azure. Sometimes, as shown here, this latter crest has the addition of a sword proper pommeled and hilted or.

The Ballantyne motto is nec cito nec tarde - neither fast nor slow.

Two Ballantyne families

We have two families with the Ballantyne surname in our history. Margaret Scott Ballantyne's father was Thomas Ballantyne and her mother was Christina Ballantyne (nee Ballantyne). Both her paternal and maternal families came from East Kilbride in Lanarkshire.

Ballantyne migration to Australia

Margaret Scott Ballantyne migrated to Australia aboard the Eastern Monarch in 1883 with her husband Charles Fleming and son Charles Taylor Fleming. Her husband kept a diary for the journey that you can read here: Townsville or hell!

Ballantyne pedigree

Our Ballantyne ancestors include the following people. Click on any name to access a computer-generated page of information about that person and a list of the information sources.

Notable Ballantyne ancestors

Click on the name of any of the notable ancestors listed below to read a short biography that I have written about them.

Ballantyne Research Reports

The following Ballantyne research reports are published on this website.

  • My tangled Ballantynes – How I straightened out the tangle caused when people with the same surname marry
  • The Ballantyne Roadblock – I overcame this roadblock thanks to a DNA hint and good old-fashioned genealogical investigation

Ballantyne clan - Paternal side

The paternal Ballantyne clan descends from Thomas Ballantyne (1770-).

  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1770, d. Bef 1851)
Jean Park
(b. 1772, d. 1867)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. 1799, d. 1887)
Margaret Scott
(b. 1803, d. 1887)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. 1826, d. 1873)
Christina Ballantyne
(b. 1826, d. 1867)
Christina Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1852, d. 1928)
George McFarlane
(b. 1854, d. 1909)
George McFarlane
(b. 1877, d. 1957)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1854)
Margaret S. Ballantyne
(b. 1855, d. 1930)
Charles Fleming
(b. 1854, d. 1928)
Charles T. Fleming
(b. 1878, d. 1937)
Ada G. Flowerdew
(b. 1881, d. Abt 1952)
Thomas B. Fleming
(b. Abt 1880, d. 1881)
William Fleming
(b. 1883, d. Aft 1937)
Angus Fleming
(b. Abt 1886, d. 1962)
Ellen J. Burrett
(b. 1890, d. 1964)
Christina Fleming
(b. Abt 1888, d. 1950)
John B. Paton
(b. Abt 1881, d. 1959)
William J. Hynes
(b. 1889, d. 1962)
Elizabeth T. Fleming
(b. 1892, d. Aft 1937)
George M. Mackie
(b. 1891, d. 1916)
Harold G. Rafferty
(b. 1889, d. 1952)
Helen Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1857)
Jean Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1863)
Elizabeth
(b. ca. 1826)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1850)
  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse

Ballantyne clan - Maternal side

The maternal Ballantyne clan descends from Andrew Ballantyne (1760-).

  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse
Andrew Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1760, d. Aft 1795)
Isabella Young
(b. ca. 1760, d. Aft 1795)
William Ballantyne
(b. 1789, d. 1842)
Christina Dow
(b. ca. 1801, d. 1877)
Andrew Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1821)
Ann Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1844)
Barbra Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1850)
Helen Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1825)
Christina Ballantyne
(b. 1826, d. 1867)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. 1826, d. 1873)
Christina Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1852, d. 1928)
George McFarlane
(b. 1854, d. 1909)
George McFarlane
(b. 1877, d. 1957)
Thomas Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1854)
Margaret S. Ballantyne
(b. 1855, d. 1930)
Charles Fleming
(b. 1854, d. 1928)
Charles T. Fleming
(b. 1878, d. 1937)
Ada G. Flowerdew
(b. 1881, d. Abt 1952)
Thomas B. Fleming
(b. Abt 1880, d. 1881)
William Fleming
(b. 1883, d. Aft 1937)
Angus Fleming
(b. Abt 1886, d. 1962)
Ellen J. Burrett
(b. 1890, d. 1964)
Christina Fleming
(b. Abt 1888, d. 1950)
John B. Paton
(b. Abt 1881, d. 1959)
William J. Hynes
(b. 1889, d. 1962)
Elizabeth T. Fleming
(b. 1892, d. Aft 1937)
George M. Mackie
(b. 1891, d. 1916)
Harold G. Rafferty
(b. 1889, d. 1952)
Helen Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1857)
Jean Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1863)
Isabella Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1827)
George Clelland
(b. ca. 1821)
George Clelland
(b. ca. 1850, d. Bef 1861)
Christina Clelland
(b. ca. 1852)
Elisabeth Clelland
(b. ca. 1854)
Isabella Clelland
(b. ca. 1856)
Janet Clelland
(b. ca. 1860)
William Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1829)
Katharin Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1830)
Janet Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1832)
John Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1834)
George Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1836)
Margaret Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1839)
Elizabeth Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1842, d. 1883)
James Bryson
(b. ca. 1840)
Andrew Ballantyne
(b. 1792, d. 1863)
Helen Craig
(b. 1807, d. Aft 1863)
Andrew Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1826)
James Ballantyne
(b. ca. 1831, d. Aft 1863)
  • Legend:
  • Subject
  • Daughter
  • Son
  • Spouse