This web site is dedicated to the “Erwin Family Story,” but the story of the Erwin family isn’t just about those with the “name.” Our extended family includes hundreds of recorded surnames, some dating back as far as the 900s. We welcome all who are interested in Erwin family research, as well as those who are just curious about our family roots.
Drum Castle is near the village of Drumoak, about ten miles from Aberdeen, Scotland. The place-name Drum is derived from the Gaelic word druim, meaning “ridge.” William de Irwyn was given the Tower of Drum and some 8000 acres of the Royal Forest by King Robert the Bruce in 1323. Drum was the seat of the chief of Clan Irvine and remained in the possession of the Irvine family until 1975. The original 13th-century tower of Drum Castle is believed to be the work of medieval architect Richard Cementarius, who also designed the Bridge of Don in Old Aberdeen. It is one of the three oldest tower houses remaining in Scotland. A large wing was added in 1619 by the ninth laird, and further alterations were made during the Victorian Era, such as the impressive library that was converted from the lower hall of the tower. The castle and the surrounding grounds are now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and are open to the public most days.
The Irvine Coat of Arms
The illustration on the left is a photo of a medieval sculpture, though very weathered, which is present on the exterior of Drum Castle. It can be assumed that it was chosen by one of the Lairds of Drum. There are many modern variations of the Irvine Coat of Arms. I have chosen one of the more imaginative ones for this web site. The three main devices (symbols) in the Irvine display are the holly, arrows (in this illustration the fist) and knight’s helmet. The three main colors are vert (green), argent (white or silver) and gules (red).
The Irvine Clan Tartan
There is no clearer symbol of Scottish identity today than the tartan, especially when worn in the form of a kilt. To quote the Scottish Tartan Society, “It is the tartan that distinguishes the Scot in the eyes of the world.” A tartan is a plaid pattern, now primarily associated with Scotland, that has come to be regarded as a heraldic device or badge that designates a major Scottish clan, family, or district. The design, or sett, of a Scottish tartan consists of colored bands or lines of specific width and sequence crossing at right angles against a solid ground, and usually woven into woolen cloth or wool and silk. The early setts were recorded by marking the number and color of each thread on a pattern stick in order to reproduce the design.
William de Irwyn and some of his descendants. A hardback, with approximately 600 pages of genealogical statistics with general notes and an index. Beginning with William de Irwyn (1280-1333) in Scotland, and spanning some 800-plus years, with over 30,000 individual Irvine/Irvin/Irwin/Ervin/Erwin & extended family names and connections, it illustrates how William’s descendants have spread around the world.
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