Category Archives: Clan Research

The Y-DNA Study Needs Your Help

There are many known spellings of the name Leask (Leisk, Liesk, Lisk, Lesk, Lesh, Laesk, Lask, Leysk, Laysk, and Lusk). So far we only have participants in the study who spell their name Leask, Leisk (a Shetland spelling), Lisk and Lusk (Irish). Leasks of all spellings are eligible to join the Y-DNA study.  We need to increase the numbers of participants to make the results more meaningful and the study needs to include some members of the Clan Chief’s line.  Your help is needed!

Current status of Leask Y-DNA Surname Study:

Surnames tested in the Leask Surname Y-DNA Study so far are: Leask, Lisk, Leisk, Lusk. Three distinct lines have been discovered up to this point for Clan Leask. Two of them though different are more closely related (both having the L48 SNP) and are likely to have a similar geographic origin and a common ancestor. The third line (group #3) does not have the L48 SNP and appears to have a different geographic origin. Lusk was tested at their request because oral family history for some, not all of the Lusks claimed Lusk was an Irish spelling of Leask.  Leask Group #1 and Leask Group #2 are both U106+. This haplogroup is also known as R1b-S21 (a.k.a U-106) on Eupedia. Leask Group #3 is not U-106 but is U-152. Group #3’s haplogroup is known as R1b-S28 (U152) on Eupedia.

Leask Group #1 STRs test R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48 using FTDNA terminology.  Nat Geno 2.0 tests report this group has Z28 as its terminal SNP and it is classed a Z9*.  Leask Group #2’s STRs test R1b1a2a1a1a4a; also tests R-L48 using the FTDNA terminology.  However, Nat Geno 2.0 tests report this group also has the downstream L47 SNP and has as its terminal SNP Z159.  The STR Tests can be used to measure the genetic distance between the two groups.  STR Tests of Y-DNA show significant genetic distance between groups #1 & #2.  Leask Group #3 Tests R1b1a2a1a1b4 and exhibits an even more significant genetic distance from Leask Group #1 and Leask Group #2

 The articles found on Eupedia.com are interesting.  Groups #1 & #2 are likely from Friesland or Central Jutland according to the experts on Eupedia. (See http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml#S21-U106).  According to Eupedia its presence in other parts of Europe can be attributed to the 5th- and 6th-century Germanic migrations. The Frisians and Saxons spread this haplogroup: to the British Isles, to the Franks and France, to Belgium, and through the Lombards to Austria and Northern Italy.  W. F. Skene pointed to evidence of Frisian settlements in Scotland in his article “On the Early Frisian Settlements in Scotland.”  He speculated that the Frisians left their name on the parish in Aberdeenshire known as Foveran. Because the third group is R1b1a2a1a1b4 and is R-L21+ and is not R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48 like groups #1 & #2; I conclude they are of a different geographic  origin.  Group #3 is thought to have come north from Iberia to England and Ireland (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml#L21).

 

Summary of the Study so far:

To summarize: In the Leask Surname Study there are three distinct lines discovered so far.  Two of the lines of Clan Leask are R1b1a2a1a1a4.  They are L48+ and both are U106+.  Though Groups #1 and Groups #2 are both L48, they have different terminal SNPs.  STR Tests can be used to measure the genetic distance between the two groups. The STR Tests of Y-DNA show significant genetic distance between groups #1 & #2. Leask Group #3 exhibits even more significant genetic distance from Leask Group #1 and Leask Group number 2. ISOGG currently classifies Group #3 as R1b1a2a1a1b.

Detailed Results:

  1. Group #1 tests: R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48 using FTDNA terminology;  Nat Geno 2.0 tests report this group has Z28 as its terminal SNP and it is classed a Z9*. ISOGG currently classifies Z9 as R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48; SNPS Test: L1-, L2-, L20-, L21-, L23+, L4-, L48+, L49+, M126-, M153-, M160-, M173+, M18-, M207+, M222-, M269+, M343+, M37-, M65-, M73-, P107-, P25+, P310+, P311+, P312-, P66-, SRY2627-, U106+, U152-, U198-. I am part of this branch and I therefore expect my expanded tests to continue to agree with his. So far my FTDNA tests show: R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48; and based on Nat Geno 2.0 and FTDNA tests my Terminal SNP is Z28 (R1b>U106>L48>Z9>Z28>Z348 and I am classed as Z9*. Group #1 members consist of the surnames: Leask, Lisk, Leisk, Lusk
  2. Group#2 also tests: R1b1a2a1a1a4; R-L48; using FTDNA terminology.  Nat Geno 2.0 tests report this group has the downstream SNP: L47 and its terminal SNP is Z159. ISOGG currently classifies Z159 as R1b1a2a1a1c2b1b. The most tested member of that group tests:  R1b1a2a1a1a4a; R-L47; SNPS; L1-, L48+, M126-, M153-, M160-, M173+, M18-, M207+, M222-, M269+, M343+, M37-, M65-, M73-, P107-, P25+, P310+, P311+, P312-, P66-, SRY2627-, U106+, U152-, U198-, Z8-. One of its members who tested with Nat Geno 2.0 had a terminal SNP L48>L47>Z159 and is classed as Z159 Group #2 members consist of the surnames: Leask, Lisk, Lusk
  3. Group #3 appears to be of a different origin. The most tested member of that group tests: R1b1a2a1a1b4 using FTDNA terminology; R-L21; SNPS Test: L144-, L159.2-, L176.2-, L193-, L21+, L226-, L23+, L96-, M222-, M37-, P312+, P314.2-, P66-, U106-, U152-, U198-. Group #3 consists of the surname: Lusk only.  Leask Group #3 is not R-L48 like groups #1 & #2; I conclude they are of a different geographic origin. ISOGG currently classifies Group #3 as R1b1a2a1a2b PF6570/S28/U152 Group #3 is thought by many experts to have come north from Iberia to England and Ireland1.

 

 2009 Report of Dr. David Faux:

Dr. David Faux concluded in 2009 that there were two distinct Leask lineages found in both the mainland of Scotland and in Shetland and Orkney. Subsequent testing has not challenged the conclusions of Dr. Faux. He concluded the following after reviewing the Y-DNA Testing:

  • Group #1: Leasks from Group #1 include 2 members who have been classified as R1b1c9 and classified as S21 positive (+); S28 negative (-). This finding supports the likelihood that this branch of Leasks is of Scandinavian origin from central Jutland or Anglo-Saxon if from Friesland. Two Shetland Leasks are part of Leask Group 1 which includes members from Shetland and the Mainland who spell their name Leask, Leisk or Lisk.
  • Group #2: This second, distinctly different strain of Y-DNA (“Group 2”) has emerged among those who spell their name Leask, Lisk or Lusk. The participants in the study who fall in this group have been classified R1b by Dr. Faulk. On his Shetland Y-DNA Study website((www.davidkfaux.org/shetlandislandsYdataKtoM.html)) Dr. Faulk states the Y-DNA of Leask Group 2 is an extremely rare R1b haplotype. Whereas there are many people with Y-DNA similar to the Leask Group 1, Dr David Faulk states Leask Group 2 has: “An extremely rare haplotype…..No Exact matches anywhere…..Few and very scattered 11/12 matches in Recent Ethnic Origins Database; It appears that there are two entirely unrelated Leask lineages, found both on the Scottish Mainland and in Shetland.”

In evaluating the 2006 test of two Shetland Leasks, Dr. Faulk wrote in an email dated June 14, 2006: “S21 is Scandinavian or North German. Due to migrations, however, after the fall of the Roman Empire this marker can be found wherever North Germans (those residing close to the North Sea) and Scandinavians (e.g. Ostrogoths) settled and that includes Italy. In Britain they are likely to be Anglo-Saxon . In Lowland Scotland and England. Over ¾ are from Friesland (A model of ancient Anglo-Saxon) are S21+, the rest do not have this marker. It could also be Danish Viking if the family was originally from Danelaw in England (the east coast) or from Denmark directly. Furthermore some Normans would be S21+ such as the Sinclairs of Orkney (Earls of Orkney) – as we have seen with specific testing in this family. In Norway S21 makes up about 2/3 of the R1b population – In other words it predominates here.”

Dr. Faulk concluded the discussion by saying: “S21 predominates in both Norway and Friesland so the probability is Anglo-Saxon, Norwegian or Danish. This is where knowing place of origin is important since if lowland Scot then likely Anglo-Saxon. If from Caithness, then likely Norwegian.”

These comments from Dr. Faulk demonstrate why better documented knowledge of Leask Family and Clan history is so important to the study. For the sake of Clan historians and to encourage further study and testing of Leask history and documents, all available historical documents and information should be published on a website like this one.

 

The Y-DNA Study Needs Your Help:

Because it is impossible at this time to distinguish between Danish Vikings and Anglo-Saxons from Northern Germany it becomes important to comb through Leask known history to determine if there is hard evidence of Norwegian, Danish, Anglo-Saxon, or even Norman origin. Any hard evidence would be very helpful in distinguishing between the Scandinavian or North German origin of the Group 1 Leasks.

In her booklet, The Leasks, Madam Leask of Leask stated on page 1:“Eric Laesk in Orkney was by repute Crown Chamberlain to his kinsman, the King of Denmark, when Orkney belonged to that country.” Laesk (found in Denmark is a spelling of Leask. Madam Leask pointed out this connection required more research.

Sir Brian Chalmers Leask of Australia, in his book LEASK’S Genealogical Guide to some AUSTRALIAN Families their Antecedents and GENEALOGIES, on page 332 wrote: “The earliest evidences of the name are in Papa Westray, in the Orkney Islands, c.1084 and in the Slains district of Buchan, Co. Aberdeen, 1290, the lands at Leskgaronne were granted in 1341 and the charter signed by King David II in 1370, and in 1391 Thomas de Laysk witnessed at Kirkwall, Orkney Is., a charter by Henry St. Clair, Earl of Orkney, from then on the names are too numerous to mention with the exception that from 1460 – 1470 William de Lask acts as Crown Chamberlain for the King of Denmark in Papa Westray and is stated as a descendant of the Danish Royal line.”

Based on what we have learned we believe Sir Brian Chalmers Leask appears to have been wrong in concluding that the Leasks were in Papa Westray, in the Orkney Islands around 1084. The document he cites was written much later than he assumed. To date we have found no evidence that supports this claim.

To date we have found no support for claims that the Leasks were kinsmen of the Kings of Denmark. It is important that any Leask who has information substantiating these claims or who lives where they can do research on these claims should forward what they know or find out to Mac Leask at Mac@LeaskBV.Com.

So far we only have participants in the study who spell their name Leask, Leisk (a Shetland spelling), Lisk and Lusk (Irish). There are no participants from those Leasks closely related to the Leask Clan Chief’s family. More participants are certainly needed before we can come to any definitive conclusions. With more participants we may even find a third Leask Group. This would by no means be unusual. Certainly we need more participants from different branches of the Leasks and of those with any of the many spellings of the name Leask. To be successful we especially need the participation of Leasks related to the Clan-Chief’s family to determine which group is the main Leask line.

If you wish to join the study go to FamilyTreeDNA.com and under groups go to the Leask Study, join and select the tests you wish to take or contact Mac Leask at Mac@LeaskBV.Com.


  1. http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml#L21 

The Challenge

We are challenged to do a better job researching key parts of the history of the Clan Leask.  The documents as listed in the section of this website entitled “Known & Documented Historical Evidence of Clan Leask” give us some evidence of the history of the Leasks, especially when reviewed in the context of the history of the locations where Leasks have lived.  To make that easier we are adding a section to the website entitled “Related Events”

Our challenge is two fold.  First, we  must locate more documents to add to the historical evidence of the history of the Leasks prior to the 1800s.  Second, we must find ways to fill in the gaps in our knowledge with research of the several areas.

We want to learn much more about the origin of the Leasks, including all we can about:

  1. Exactly when did the Leasks first settle in Slains, Aberdeenshire in the areas that bear there name?
  2. Where did they live prior to there arrival in Slains, Aberdeenshire?
  3. What can we learn about the history of the relationships between the Leasks and other Clans that lived in and around the Leask homeland such as the Clans Comyn, Hays, Sinclair, Gordon, Frazier, and Forbes?
  4. Why did the Leasks go to Orkney during the reign of Earl Henry Sinclair and what was the nature and history of ties between Clan Leask, Clan Sinclair and Clan Gunn? (Niven Sinclair believed the Leasks like the Gunns had close ties to Earl Henry Sinclair and the other Sinclair Earls of Orkney)
  5. Exactly what was the role of the Leasks in Orkney and Shetland during the reign of the Sinclair Earls of Orkney?
  6. Were the Leasks in Orkney or Shetland prior to the reign of Earl Henry Sinclair?
  7. When did the Leasks acquire land on the Isle of Papa Westray, in Orkney? (Sir Brian Chalmers Leask claimed the Leasks were in Papa Westray as early as 1084 AD but we have found no evidence of a Leask presence in Orkney prior to the rein of Earl Henry Sinclair.)
  8. We want to determine if the claims of Madam Leask in her booklet on the Leasks and by Sir Brian Chalmers Leask in his writings that certain Leasks were at one time kinsmen of the King of Denmark? (“Eric Laesk in Orkney was by repute Crown Chamberlain to his kinsman, the King of Denmark, when Orkney belonged to that country.” according to Madam Leask as in her booklet on the history of the Leasks on page 1.) (…From 1460-1470 William de Lask acts as Crown Chamberlain for the King Denmark in Papa Westray and is stated as a descendant of the Danish Royal line.” as found in Sir Brian Chalmers Leask, book Leask’s Australian Genealogies on page 332.)     Today the names Leask, Lask and Laesk are names found in Denmark. However, we have seen no evidence to support the claims of a tie to the Danish Royal line.
  9. Some claim the Shetland Leasks are descended from Richard Lask, son of “Jamis of Lask” who reportedly emigrated to Orkney in 1446 AD.  Jamis of Lask (also known as Jamis of Orkney) was the second son of Thomas de Lask, the second known Clan Chief of the Leasks.  He is reputed to have married a grand daughter of Earl Henry Sinclair. Sir Brian Chalmers Leask claimed he was also be known as Jamis de Craigy.  We have seen no evidence of these claims.  It all needs to be researched.
  10. There is a claim that Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, made a trip to the Americas.  Niven Sinclair states he believes the Leask’s were part of that trip.  That such a trip actually took place is disputed by many experts and advocated for by others.  We are interested in any evidence regarding such a trip and any possible Leask involvement.
  11. There is a claim the Leasks were on the first or second crusade.  There is a claim that is the reason for the crescent on the Leask Clan badge.  We have seen no evidence of this claim.  These claims need to be researched.
  12. Earl Henry Sinclair is reputed to have been head of the Scottish Knights Templar.  Were any members of the Clan Leask involved in the Scottish Knights Templar?
  13. We need to find out more about the genetic origin of the clan Leask using Y-DNA studies of the Leask’s and studies of the migration of peoples using Y-DNA.
  14. We want to learn more about the land of Leask and any archeological studies done in the general area including but not limited to:The Tumulus located on the land of Leask, The ‘Battlefield of Leask’, The weapons and other archeological finds discovered on the land of Leask, The ‘Chapel of Leask’, The graveyard located around the Chapel of Leask, and Who lived and owned the Land of Leask prior to 1300?
  15. We would like to learn if de Lask, Leask, Slains, Ellon, or any term that includes or is variation of the name Leask, appear in the Chronicles of the Picts, Inquisito, or Black Book of the Exchequer.
  16. We would like to learn more about the original “Ragman Role” (“Statue of Rageman – de Ragemannis) as prepared by local Churches for a legate of Scotland, who compelled all clergy to give a true account of their benefices, that they might be taxed by Rome accordingly.  Subsequently it was applied to four great rolls of parchment recording acts of fealty and homage done by the Scottish nobility to Edward I in 1296.  Though the originals perished a record of them is preserved in the Rolls House, Chancery Lane.  The Leask’s may appear in King Edward’s August 28, 1296 ragman roll signed during the “parliament” held by Edward I at Berwick, as William de Lafkerefk  (del county fyf).  In the 13th Century f was used to represent s, and fyf = fife (hence William de Laskeresk of fife.  Is a Leask really a signer of the smaller Ragmen Role signed in 1291, which nobles signed at Norham on Tweed in 1291. What implications does this have on Leask History? Was William de Lafkerefk really William de Lask as claimed and if so why the reference to Fife?

Background

The key Question: Is the Clan Leask of Pict, Frisian, Briton, Saxon, Danish, Orcadian, Norman, Viking or some other origin.  The Y-DNA study indicates the answer for the most of the Leask’s tested so far is that the family’s origin is either Frisian, Anglo-Saxon or Danish and the tested Leasks are likely to have originated in either Friesland or Jutland.  Therefore information about the claimed ties to the Danes would be very useful.

  • According to Madam Leask, Eric Laesk of Orkney was by repute Crown Chamberlain to his kinsman the King of Denmark.  According to Sir Brian Chalmers Leask during 1460 – 1470 William de Lask acted as Crown Chamberlain for the King of Denmark, and was the stated as a decedent of the Danish Royal Line.    Today Laesk, Lask and Leask are names found in Denmark.  When did Erick live?  How was Eric Laesk and how was William de Lask related to the Danish Royal line, if they really were?

Leask place names on maps of Slains Parish, Aberdeenshire include: Leask, Knapsleask, Byreleask, Nether Leask Mains of Leask, Moss Leask, Mill of Leask, Milton of Leask and Home Farm of Leask, now known as Home Farm of Pitlurg.  Other Leask place names appearing on documents but not now on maps we have seen are: Broganleask, Overleask, Inlaisk, Laskereske or Lafkerefk, Leaskgoroune.  Accepted Spellings of the name Leask are: Leysk, Laysk, Lask, Leisk, Leisk, Liesk, Lisk, Lesk Lesh and possibly: Laesk in Orkney and Denmark.  Y-DNA testing has shown those tested with the surname Leask, Leisk, Lisk and Lusk have a common ancestor. The surnames names de Laysk, de Lask and de Lesk have been used in documents referring to various members of the Clan Leask. David II, son of Robert the Bruce, granted a Charter of Confirmation for the lands of Leskgoroune (or Leskgaronne) to William Lesk, dated 1341×1346.(Note: This William Leask is believed to be the first known Clan Chief of the Leasks in Slains Parish, Aberdeenshire.)  When did the Leasks first arrive in Aberdeenshire Orkney and Shetland and where did they come from?

There is a town in Poland known as Lask in Polish and Lusk in Russian.  Lask is said to be connected to the famous Laski Family though there is no documentation to support the claim. This needs to be explored and the results documented.

In France, perhaps there is a connection to the Lesque Family, Counts of Boulogne-though that has not been explored and the results documented.

The Clan Leask has been linked to the history of the dominate Clans in the areas where they have lived. The clans include: Comyn, Sinclair, and Hay and possibly Buchan.  They seem to have been in conflict with the Clan Gordon.  The Leask’s are reputed to have lived in Aberdeen, Slains Parish-Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland.  Key to understanding the Leasks and their relationship with their neighbors the Celts, Dalriadan Scots, Picts, Saxons, Danish, Normans, Saxons and others is understanding: when and under what circumstances the Leasks first settled in the Parish of Slains, Aberdeenshire, Orkney, and Shetland. What was and the nature of the Leask relationship to these people and the Clans found where the Leasks lived?

In Kirkwall (Kirkwaw), Orkney on April 23, 1391 Thomas de Laysak (Lask), a knight (believed to be the second Leask clan chief), among others, witnessed a charter that transfers lands in Auchdale and Newberg to David Sinclair from Henry St. Clair, who became Earl of Orkney in 1379 when King Haakon VI granted the Orcadian Earldom to William Sinclair’s son Henry Sinclair (St. Clair).  (Note: In an email conversation Nevin Sinclair said he believes the reason so many people signed the 1391 document is that the gathering was to plan Prince Henry’s trip to America. Some claim Thomas joined Prince Henry on his voyage to the new world with about 300 of Prince Henry’s men in 12 ships. Nevin Sinclair claims he believes Thomas transferred from Aberdeen to Orkney to accompany Prince Henry to the new world. Sir Brian Chalmers Leask said he believes both Prince Henry and Sir Thomas de Lask were Knights Templar and they were both were on a crusade.)  Can any of this be documented? When and why did the Leasks go to Orkney and what was their relationship with Earl Henry Sinclair?  Did they go on a crusade together?  Were they Knights Templar?

In 1391 a Thomas de Lask (or Laysk), a knight, (believed by some to be the second known Leask Clan Chief) witnessed a charter by Henry St. Clair. Some claim a Thomas de Lask joined Prince Henry on his voyage to the new world with 200 of Prince Henry’s men in 12 ships.  Nevin Sinclair claims Thomas transferred from Aberdeen to Orkney to accompany Prince Henry to the new world.  Nevin believes the reason so many important people signed the document was because they had gathered to plan Prince Henry’s trip to the new world.  Others dispute the existence of such a trip.  That such a trip took place is disputed by others.  What evidence exists to determine the truth and if such a trip took place were the Leasks really involved?

The Leask’s in Shetland are believed to have descended from Richard de Lask.  Richard was the oldest son of William de Lask.  William was the oldest son James or Jamis de Lask known also as Jamis of Orkney.  Jamis of Lask (also referred to as James of Cragy by Sir Brian Chalmers Leask) may have married Prince Henry’s grand daughter according to Nevin Sinclair).  James of Orkney was the second son of Thomas of Leskgaronne, Aberdeenshire second known chief of the Clan Leask (also know as Thomas de Lask and Thomas de Laysk in various documents)

After the Union with England (1603 AD forward)

•     1608 AD        Earl Patrick’s outrageous behavior and many his alleged crimes as Earl of Orkney led made Bishop Law in 1608 to write the following to King James VI ‘Alas, dear and dreaded Sovereign, truly it is to be pitied that so many of your Majesty’s subjects are so manifoldly and grievously oppressed; some by ejection and banishment from their homes and native soil, others by contorting the laws and extorting their goods, the most part being so impoverished that some of them neither dare nor may complain, but in silent and forced patience groan under their grievance.’ (11-page 29-30)

•     1609 AD        Earl Patrick is arrested and accused of many things including forced labor, but in the end he was indited on seven counts of treason. (11-page 30)

•     1615 AD        Earl Patrick Stewart of Orkney was beheaded and his son Patrick was hanged within a few weeks of each other in 1615, in Edinburg. (10-page 155) (11-page 30) The Stewart Earls were followed by years of absentee tacksmen. As a result of continued abuse and famine the people of Orkney continued to suffer (11-page 31)

•     March 27, 1625 AD        James VI of Scotland and James I of England dies of a massive stroke. (4-page 415)

•     1631-33 AD        During the famine years of 1631 and 1633 some 3000 to 4000 people are believed to have perished (11-page 31)

•     May 13, 1639 AD        (A) The Trot of Turriff: Royalist troops representing King Charles, led by Gordon, Marquis of Huntly routed the Covenanters who were garrisoned at Turriff. (1-page 146-149)

•     June 15, 1639 AD        At Megray Hill, Montrose and the Earl Marischal who led the Covenanters routed James Gordon, Viscount Aboyne who led the Royalists. (1-page 149-153)

•     June 18, 1639 AD        (A) Brig of Dee: Royalists led by James Gordon, Viscount Aboyne, successively defended Aberdeen against an army of covenanters led by James Graham, Earl of Montrose. (1-page 150-54)

•     August 28, 1640 AD        Newburn: An English army led by the Earl of Northumberland defeated a Scottish army Led by Sir Alexander Leslie of Balgonie and Montrose. (2-page 113-116)

•     1643 AD        Orkney’s long association with the Earls of Morton begin as when William Douglas was granted the earldom lands by Charles I in exchange for loans of large sums of money.

•     September 13, 1644 AD        Justice Mills: James Graham, Earl of Montrose, now leading Royalist troops, successfully captured Aberdeen city from covenanters. (1-page 155-165 )

•     October 28, 1644 AD        Fyvie: Graham, Earl of Montrose, leading Royalist troops, engaged covenanter troops led by Archibald Campbell, marquis of Argyll. The result was a stalemate. (1-page 167-172)

•     July 2, 1645 AD        (A) Alford: The Royalists, under the Earl of Montrose, decisively defeated the covenanters. (1-page 173-182)

•     August 15, 1645 AD        Kilsyth: Montrose, leading the Royalists defeats General Baillie, the Scottish Parliament Commander and his covenanter army. (2-page 117-119)

•     September 13, 1645 AD        Philiphaugh (South of Selkirk): Major General Sir David Leslie leading a covenanter army defeated Montrose’s army of Royalists. (2-page 121-123)

•     September 3, 1650 AD        Dunbar: Cromwell and the English defeated General Leslie and the Scots. (2-page 125-128)

•     July 27, 1689 AD        Killiecrankie: Colonel John Graham, Viscount of Dundee, was defeated by General Hugh MacKay and Lord Murray in support of King William III ending hope of a Jacobie revival. (2-page 129-135)

•     February 12, 1692 AD        Glencoe: The Macdonalds of Glencoe are massacred. (2-page 137-139)

•     June 1698 AD        The Leasks lost their remaining lands in Aberdeen as a result of investing borrowed money in the ill-fated Darien Scheme in June 1698 that was secured by their land. (bi)

•     September 20, 1745 AD      Prestonpans: Scots supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause defeated a small English army. (2-page 141-147)

•     December 23, 1745 AD       (A) Inveruie: A Jacobite force, led by Lord Lewis Gordon, defeated a government force led by Lord Louden and Duncan Forbes of Culloden. (1-page 183-193)

•     April 18, 1746 AD        Culloden: The Jacobite cause is defeated with his Highland supporters . (2-page 149-156)

•     1750 AD        Aberdeen: Start of the dispersal of Farm Tourns into single farmsteads and new planned villages.

Mary Queen of Scots and James VI Rule as the Clan Gordon and the Clan Hay Dominate the Northeast of Scotland (1543 AD to 1603 AD)

•     September 9, 1543 AD        The nine month old infant, Mary, was crowned Queen of the Scots (4-page 319)

•     February 12, 1545 AD        Ancrum Moor: Henry VIII’s army under Sir Ralph Evers was defeated by the Scots (2-page 99-103)

•     1551 AD        William Leask appears in a cognition, dated 1551 regarding the marches between the lands of Nether Ardlethin, belonging to Alexander Chalmers of Balnacraig, Arthur Forbes, and Alexander Hay, portioners thereof, and the Ald mil of Essilmonth, belonging to Thomas Cheyne, fiar of Esselmont, parish of Ellon, co Aberdeen. (bd)

•     1557 AD        The English fleet lands at Kirkwell. The town is bombarded and partly burned. Local defenses drive the English off (10-page 154)

•     1559 AD        Adam Bothwell was appoint was appointed Bishop of Orkney in 1559. He was the last Vatican appointed Bishop of Orkney. As he was the only bishop who stood in apostolic succession from pre-reformation to post-reformation church, he was invited to crown the infant King James VI. It is to Adam Bothwell’s credit that the Cathedral did not share the fate of churches and abbeys in mainland Scotland but survived intact. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by greedy clergy and predatory relatives. Within a short time, many of the old farms were taken over by incomers, tradesmen had settled in Kirkwell and Scottish names had spread throughout the islands. Local customs and speech appear to have been adopted by the newcomers (11-page 28)

•     October 28, 1562 AD        Corricchie: George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly was defeated by the supporters of Mary, Queen of Scotts. (1-page 106-117)

•     1564 AD        Lord Robert Stewart (1533-1593), King James V’s illegitimate brother receives the crown lands from his sister, Mary Queen of Scots. He soon became Sheriff Principal in the Islands. He acquired almost absolute power in the Islands. (11-page 28) Under the Stewart Earls, life for ordinary farmers and merchants became difficult, lands were frequently appropriated and hurdles and restrictions caused them problems. Trade could only occur under Stewart licenses, forced labor was introduced and all ferry traffic was under strict control (10-page 152-53)

•     June 19, 1566 AD        Charles James, the future James VI, is born to Mary, Queen of the Scots and her husband Henry Stewart, lord Darnley. (4-page 383)

•     December 17, 1566 AD        Charles James, the future James VI, is baptized as a Catholic in a lavish ceremony in Sterling Castle. (4-page 383)

•     July 24, 1567 AD        Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate under a threat of death. (4-page 365)

•     July 29, 1567 AD        James VI is crowned as an 13 month old infant King after his mother, Mary Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate in a austere Protestant ceremony. (4-page 382)

•     1567 AD        Incoming families such as the Balfours and the Belldendens dethrone the Sinclair Family as leaders of Orkney society. Despite the fact that the old Norse laws were ratified by the Scottish Parliament under Mary Queen of Scots, and that promises were made to maintain the independence of the laws of Orkney, Scots law and land tenure gradually crept in. Bishop Boswell was suspended for some time and never returned to the Islands. (11-page 28)

•     October 10, 1571 AD        (A) Tillyangus: The Gordons led, by Adam Gordon defeated the Forbes, who were led by black Arthur’ (1-page 119-125)

•     November 20, 1571 AD        (A) Craibstane: The Gordons, led by Adam Gordon defeated the Forbes. (1-page 126-127)

•     September 2, 1574        William Lesk of that Ilk signed as one of the ‘Barons of the North and others’ the oath of allegiance to King James VI. (be)

•     September 10, 1574 AD       Pinkie Brook (near the Esk): The English under Somerset defeated the Scots. (2-page 105-111)

•     1581 AD        Lord Robert Stewart, despite having been arrested earlier for suspicion of treason in his negotiations and dealings with the King of Denmark, charms King James VI so much that in 1581 he was made ‘Earl of Orkney, Lord of Shetland, and Knight of Birsay.’ (11-page 28)

•     1584 AD        The year is described by Orkney Historian J Storer Clouston as Robert Stewart’s ‘vintage year’ of oppression in the islands, when land was confiscated on the flimsiest of pretexts. (11-page 29)

•     February 8, 1587 AD        Mary, Queen of the Scots is executed by Elizabeth of England. (4-page 380)

•     1589 AD        The Catholic Earls (Errol & Huntly) joined in rebellion, marched towards Edinburgh but the rebellion petered out. King James led an army north to Aberdeen to take punitive action. At first Huntly pondered resistence, but disbanded his forces at Brig o’ Dee and submitted to King James peacefully. (1-page 128-129)

•     February, 1592 AD        The Earl of Huntley’s men attacked Donibristle House on the Forth and murder James Stewart, The earl of Moray. (1-page 129)

•     1593 AD        Earl Patrick Stewart (1569-1615), succeeds his father as Earl of Orkney. He earned the name ‘Black Patie’ as he seems to have lacked his fathers ability to charm himself out of trouble. (11-page 29)

•     1594 AD        The Earl of Erroll joined in the Earl of Huntley’s rebellion against the King, James VI. He was later pardoned. (bf)

•     October 3, 1594 AD        Glenlivet: The Earl of Huntley, George Gordon, in rebellion against King James, defeats the Earl of Argyll (Campbell). (1-page 128-137)

•     1594 AD        Because the Earl of Erroll (George Hay) joined in the Earl of Huntley’s (George Gordon) in rebellion against the King, King James VI destroyed Erroll’s Slains Castle and Huntley’s Castle at Strathbogie. (1-page 135)

•     1595 AD        In 1595 “for good service of the said Wil L. [sic] younger, the said lands he (the king) gave to him again after the outcasting of the said Franc.” (Earl of Erroll) preserving the Leask lands. (bg)

•     1596 AD        Walter Leisk of that ilk, with a legitimate son James, is named in the ecclesiastical records as having studied at Marischal College in Aberdeen. (bh)

•     March 24, 1603 Elizabeth I of England dies. (4-Page 382)

•     July 25, 1603 AD        James VI of Scotland is crowned as James I of England uniting the crowns of England and Scotland. (4-page 400)

James V (1513 AD to 1542 AD)

•     September 21, 1513 AD        James V is crowned King of Scotland 12 days after his father died at Floden Field. James V was barely 17 months old. (4-page 298)

•     February 26 1514/1515 AD        William Leask, 7th of Leask, on February 26, 1514/1515, as Willame Lesk, Burgess of Abirdene, grants a letter of manrent in favour of William Hay, Earl of Erroll. (bb)

•     April 18, 1521 AD        A precept of sasine dated April 18, 1521 is granted by William Hay, Earl of Errol, in favor of his son, William Hay, brother and nearest heir of the late John Hay of ‘Neddir Leisk cum molendino’ (Neither Leask with its mill), in the barony of Slains, co Aberdeen. (bc)

•     1528 AD        A rebellion broke out in the islands that seems to have been a feud between various branches of the Sinclair Family. The rebellion was led by James Sinclair, a relative of the Sinclair Earls. He became Governor of Kirkwell Castle. One of the reasons for the revolt may have been that Lady Margaret was an absentee holder of the tack. The Earl of Caithness, a Sinclair set sail for Orkney with soldiers on board, ostensibly to keep law and order, as he had received a royal mandate. (11-page 27)

•     1529 AD        Battle of Sumerdale in the moorlands of south Stenness: Two Sinclair cousins battle. The cadet side (led by James Sinclair) comprised of Orcadians routed the invaiding army made up of Caithnessmen led by the Earl of Caithness, who was the senior branch. Subsequently James Sinclair was knighted by King James V (10-page 161) (11-page 27)

•     1540 AD        King James V visits Orkney with a fleet of 16 ships. (11-page 27) He changed the terms of the tact giving it to Oliver Sinclair of Pitcairns, despite Lady Margaret’s protests. The office of Lawman was replaced by that of Sheriff, and the roithmen (members of head court) of old became ‘suitors of court’. Oliver Sinclair was appointed Sheriff, Justice, Admiral and Baillie and had to hold courts for all of these four functions. (11-page 27-8)

•     December 8, 1542 AD        Mary, daughter of James V, the future Queen of the Scots is born. (4-page 319)

•     December 14, 1542 AD        James V dies at thirty, perhaps of cholera or dysentery at the palace in Falkland. (4-page 314)

James IV (1488 AD to 1513AD)

•     June 26, 1488 AD        James IV was crowned King of Scotland.

•     February 22, 1498/99 AD         As Willelmo Laysk de eodem, he is witness to a contract dated February 22, 1498/99 between Johannem Chaumer de Auchcorvy (John Chaumer of Auchcorvy) and Dauid Knox de Auchcorvy (David Knox of Auchcorvy) regarding a marriage between their children. (ao)

•     October 9, 1498 AD        Willelmo Lesk de eodem (William Leask) was witness to the precept of sasine, dated October 9, 1498, granted by William Hay, Earl of Erroll, in favor of his son, John Hay, of half the lands of Brogane Lesk, in the barony of Slains, co Aberdeen, on the resignation of Agnes Brogan and her son, Thomas Alexander. (an)

•     September 9, 1499 AD        “Witnessing me, Jhon Cheyne of Esselmont, till be bundyn and oblist, and to be be becumyn men and servand to my lord Erroll for all the days of my lyf, myne allegeans accebtit allenarly to our Soverane Lord and Kyng. Dated at the Chappel of Lasque, 9 September, 1499. Befor thir witnesses, Wilyam Hay of Ardendracht, Mastir Alexander Cabell, Parson of Banchory, and Gylbert Hay.” (ap)

•     1500 AD        “By 1500 the Earls of Erroll residing in Old Slains Castle, were a mighty power in the district, and from most of the barons around they held ‘Bands of Manrent,’ so common in Scottish history, and which came to be a source of great trouble to the crown.” (aq)

•     April 16, 1504 AD        Thomas of Laysk (perhaps another son of William the 5th Chief) had an action in the Court of Session in Newburg, parish of Foveran co Aberdeen, on April 16, 1504 against Alexander Bannerman in Knaven for relief of rent of the third part of the lands of Knaven. Said Thomas Leask undertook to warrend kape and defend Alexander Bannerman in Knaven skaithless and free of maile of the third part of Knavene taken up by him frae the said Alexander insofar as law wile. (ar)

•     August 1504 AD        As Willelmo Leisk de eodem, William Leask, 5th of Leask, appears in an instrument of sasine, dated in August 1504, granted by William Hay, Earl of Erroll, Constable of Scotland, with consent of his son, Sir William Hay of Capeth, in favour of another son, John Hay, of the lands of Craigiecroft with its mill, and the multures from said earl’s lands of Leysk, Mekil, Artrawchy, and Auchlethen in the barony of Slains, co Aberdeen. Alexander Leask, oldest son of William, appears in the document as Alexander Leisk de eodem, baillie (balivus) of William Hay, Earl of Erroll. (as)

•     1505/1506 AD        William Laysk, (second son of Wlliam Leask the fifth Clan Chief) is admitted a burgess of Aberdeen, co of Aberdeen, in 1505/06. (at)

•     1506 AD        Richard Leask, grandson of Jamis of Lask, son of William Leask is appointed Exor (executor) to Sir David Sinclair in 1506. (av) Richard Leask, (the grandson of Jamis, son of Thomas) was the progenitor of the Leasks of Shetland. (au) Richard was the oldest son of William. William was the oldest son James or Jamis de Lask.

•     November 29, 1507 AD        Andrew Gray brought an action against Thomas Leisk in Newburgh on November 29, 1507 for having a violent occupation. (aw)

•     February 17, 1509/10 AD        As Willelmum Laysk de eodem, William Leask is a member of an inquest, held at the court of Alexander Bannerman of Waterton, sheriff-depute of Aberdeen, at Aberdeen on February 17, 1509/10, to inquire into the lands pertaining to William Johnston on the death of his father, Alexander Johnstone of Johnstone. (ax)

•     September 9, 1513 AD        Flodden Field: James IV and over 50 Clan Chiefs were killed in one of Scotland’s worst losses to the English.

•     September 9, 1513 AD        On September 9, 1513 the Leask Clan Chief (William Lask and his son (Alexander Lask) were killed at Flodden Field with their feudal superior William Hay, Earl of Errol and King James IV.(ay) The Earl of Errol fought on King James IV left with the Earls of Crawford and Montrose, between the borders division led by the Earls of Huntly and Home on the extreme left and King James IV who fought in the center. (az)

•     1513 AD        Alexander Lask’s younger brother, William Lask, Burgess of Aberdeen, became the 6th Leask Clan Chief as a result of the death of William Lask and his son, Alexander at Flodden. (ba)

•     1513 AD        A tack was given to Lord Henry Sinclair’s widow after he died at Flodden Field. (11-page 27)

James IV (1488 AD to 1513AD)

To follow

James II & James III rule; the Leask Ties to the Clan Hay become important (1437 AD to 1488 AD)

•     March 25, 1437 AD        James II is crowned in Holyrood Abbey. (4-page 251)

•     November 13, 1440 AD Humphrey Leask (as Umfray Lask of yat ilk) is witness to a charter of confirmation dated November 13, 1440, by James III, King of Scotland, in favour of John Bannerman, burgess of Aberdeen, of the lands of Croffis, otherwise Cruives, previously held by the latter’s nephew, John Bannerman of Alesike. (ad)

•     1446 AD        According to Brian Chalmers, Leask Thomas Lask’s second son-James de Cragy in Orkney, also known as Jamis of Leask, married Prince Henry’s daughter Margaret St. Clair in 1446. Jamis was also known as Lord Huip or Lord Hupe. (ae)

•     1446 AD        James II invites the Earl of Douglas and his brother to dinner and executes them. (2-page 89)

•     1451-55 AD        James II and the Douglas Clan goes to war with each other, which James II wins by 1455. (2-page 89-91)

•     1452 AD        According to Clan Hay history, William de La Hay, the 5th Hereditary High Constable was named the first Earl of Erroll in 1452. (af) He received the title as a reward for his support of James II against the Douglases. November 4, 1456, By a deed at the churchyard in Slains, November 4, 1456, Ulfredus Lask de eodem (Humphry Leask of that ilk) personally resigns his lands of Lask (Leask) and Achlethen (Auchlethen, parish of Cruden) in the barony of Slains into the hands of his superior, Sir William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll, Constable of Scotland, for new infeftment in favor of his son and heir, Thomas Leask, the fourth Chief. (ah)

•     1456 AD        Wilfred Lask of that Ilk, in 1456 signed a Band of Manrent to William (Hays) Earl of Erroll and resigned the lands of Leask and Auchlethin in favor of his son Thomas Lask. In this deed Thomas is designated ‘armiger’ to superior, Sir William Hay. (ag)

•     1460 AD        James II dies attacks Roxburg Castle, stilled controlled by the English, when one of his prized cannons accidentally burst. His son, the future James III was nine years old. (4-page 259) (1-page 103)

•     March 22, 1460/61 AD        By a deed dated at Slains, co Aberdeen, March 22, 1460/61, Umfra Laysk of that ilk, with the consent of his eldest son and heir, Thomas Leask, disposes (sells) the land called Brinthous, lying in the town (toun) of Tawarty (now Tarty), co Aberdeen, to said Sir William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll. (ai)

•     1468 AD        A marriage agreement was affected between the daughter (Margaret) of King Christian I of Norway and Denmark and James III. Orkney (Shetland was included later) was pledged to provide a royal dowry. (10-Page 150)

•     July 10, 1469 AD        James III (age 18) marries Margaret (age 10). (4-page 260)

•     1471-2 AD        King James III of Scotland forces Earl William to exchange his earldom estates for land in central Scotland. Orkney is annexed to Scotland (11-page 26)

•      February 20, 1472 AD        Orkney and Shetland annexed from Norway to Scotland.

•     1472 AD        The bishopric was transferred from the see of Nidaros to that of St Andrew (11-page 26)

•     1480 AD        Lord Henry Sinclair is appointed the first tacksman leasing the land from the King of Scotland. Lord Henry stayed on as tacksman until 1513 when he was killed at Flodden Field. (11-page 27)

•     July 14, 1483 AD        Thoma Lesk de eodem (Thomas Leask of that ilk), is witness, with his second son Johanne Lesk filio dicti Thome (John Leask), and others, to the precept of sasine, dated July 14, 1483, granted by Thomas Erskine, lord of the barony of Kellie, in favor of Alexander Menzies, burgess of Aberdeen, and of his wife Elizabeth Leslie, of the lands of Laskguyeon, in said barony of Kellie, co Aberdeen, on the resignation of John Menzies. (aj)

•     August 4, 1484 AD        Willielmo Laisk de eodem (William of that Ilk) is designated baillie (ballivo meo) of Gilbert Hay of Carmuk (Son of Sir Gilbert Hay of Dronlaw (ak)), in a precept of sasine in favor of Walter Hay, son of Gilbert Hay of Caramuk, of his lands of Caramuk and Ardgeicht, in the parish of Ellon, co of Aberdeen, dated at Ellon August 4, 1484. (al) William is the 5th Clan Chief.

•     January 14, 1488/89 AD        Wilyame off Laysk (William of Leask) is a witness to a letter of manrent granted by Alexander Fraser of Fillorht (Philorth, parish of Fraserburgh, co Aberdeen) to William Hay, Earl of Erroll, dated at the Chanonry of Ross, January 14, 1488/89. (am)

•     June 11, 1488 AD        James III is killed south of Sterling between Sauchie and Bannock Burns as a result of encounter with Border rebels. It is unknown who killed him despite the offer of 100 merks of land for the identity of the killer. (4-page 271-272)

James I (1406 AD to 1437 AD)

•     March 22, 1406 AD        James, the young Stewart Prince of Scotland who was later to become James I, was captured by Norfolk pirates and then imprisoned in the Tower of London by King Henry IV, king of England for 18 years. (4-page 227)

•     June 1406 AD        With the heir to the throne (James I) a captive of the English, the Scottish parliament had no option but to confirm the dead Kings brother, the Duke of Albany, as governor and regent of Scotland. (4-page 228)

•     July 24, 1411 AD        (A) Reid Harlaw: (about ten miles from Aberdeen) Highlanders led by Donald of the Isles fought against lowlanders led by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar. A bloody, but indecisive battle, fought near Inverurie, with both sides retiring from the field at the end of the day. The Provost of Aberdeen was slain in the battle. As a result the Provosts were forbidden to fight in battles. (1 page 89-102)

•     1420 AD        Just before his death Henry II in 1420 AD, he appoints his brother-in-law Sir David Menzies of Weem as his representative in the Islands. David became so hated for his harsh regime that after only four (4) years a long list of complaints was sent to the King. It accused Menzies, among other things, of taking the seal of the country from the Lawman and using it as he pleased, and of having brought in a lot of foreigners who were a veritable pest to the people. (11-page 25)

•     1424 AD        James I returns to Scotland at 30 years old. (2 page 88)

•     1427 AD        James I calls a Parliament at Inverness where he arrests 40 clan chiefs and executes most of them. (2 page 88)

•     1434 AD        William Sinclair becomes the last Sinclair Earl. (11-page 25)

•     October 5, 1436 AD        Humphrey Leask, the 3rd Clan Chief, oldest son of Thomas, who as Wmfra Lask was a member of an assize, held October 5, 1436, “of the gentillys of the cuntre in ane testificatione of the lard of Ardendracht bailye of the baronry of Slanis that the lands of Brogan pertenit in property to the Earl of Erroll. (ac)

•     February 20, 1437 AD        James I is executed at Blackfriars Monastery. His son, the future James II is only six years old (4-page 249)