Crawford was a barony in the Upper Ward of Clydesdale. The name of Galfridus of Crawford is recorded around 1179, and he seems to have been a man of success.
In the time of William the Lion, Sir Reginald of Crawford was made Sheriff of Ayr. Accompanied by three sons he was witness to a grant in favour of Kelso Abbey (main image).
The Crawford name appears many times through this century on various charters. Sir John Crawford of that ilk died in 1248. His eldest daughter married Archibald of Douglas and the other daughter married David Lindsay of Wauchopedale, the ancestor of the Earls of Crawford.
The 1297 Sheriff of Ayr, Sir Archibald, had a sister Margaret. Their father had been murdered at a banquet by the English in a cowardly fashion and when she married Sir Malcolm Wallace she had a son, William, who would become Scotland’s greatest nationalist.
During these times the family developed three principal branches. A brother of Sir Archibald and Margaret obtained a grant of Auchinames from Robert the Bruce in 1320. The 21st of Auchinames, Hugh Crawfurd, sold his inherited property and died in Alberta, Canada in the 1980s.
Crawfurdland is another branch and this one sprang from the Sheriff’s younger son. His lands were given to him by Robert III in 1391. The third branch comes from Sir John of Crawford whose descendants gained the estates of Kilbirnie in 1499. From this house came Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill.
Being the sixth son of Lawrence of Kilbirnie in 1530, the family inheritance was spreading thin and so Thomas had to make his own money. He served under Henry II in France before returning to Scotland with Queen Mary in 1561. He eventually married the Queen and became part of the Darnley family. He identified the true murderers of Lord Darnley in 1569 but was ignored.
A baronetcy was placed upon the senior line of Kilbirnie in 1781.