Robertsons are of the Clan Donnachaidh
(Sons of Duncan / Duncanson) which descent from the Celtic Earls of Atholl
- the Royal line of the Kings of Dalriada whose lineage can be traced back
to Niall of the Nine Hostages who ruled Ireland about 400AD.
They became the hereditary
abbots of Dunkeld who specifically claimed to
descend from Saint Columba. One of these abbots married the daughter of Malcolm
II (ruled 1005 - 1034).
This long pedigree enables the Robertsons
to claim to be the oldest Scottish Clan.
The Duncan, from where the name Donnachaidh
is derived, is 'Stout Duncan' who fought with Robert I (the Bruce) at Bannockburn
in 1314. Supporters of Robert I were rewarded with land and position.
The Perthshire surname Robertson derives
from the descendants of Robert Donnachaidh who helped capture the assasins
of James I in 1437. He found some of the traitors hiding in a remote glen
in Atholl, captured them and handed them over to the loyal forces. In reward
James II consolidated the family's lands into the Barony of Struan.
Castles of the Robertsons in Perthshire
were Dunalastair near Kinloch Rannoch and Pitcastle SE of
The Robertsons remained faithful to
the Royal Stewarts for over 3 centurys. Donald, Tutor of Struan, fought with
Montrose for Charles I in 1644. Poet and clan chief Alexander joined Bonnie
Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. He was pardoned in 1703 by
Anne I. However, they fought in the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 & 1745
(with Bonnie Prince Charlie). Robertson lands were lost as a result of again
backing the losing Jacobite side.