The Seton Family




King Malcolm Canmore "gaif to the predecessour and forebear of my Lord Seytoun the surename of Seytoun... appearandlie be ressoun that the gentilman... possessit the landis of Seytoun for the tyme... thay landis ar callit Seytoun for ane grit caus, becaus thay ly hard upon the Sey cost and the Toun thairof is neir to the Sey."

Meldrum House, early 20th century.
Meldrum House, early 20th century.
Touch House, from the estate grounds, 2003.
Touch House, from the estate grounds, 2003.


Olivestob or Bankton House, 2004.
Olivestob or Bankton House, 2004.
The Seton Collection © 2005
Mounie Castle, from the courtyard, 2000.
Mounie Castle, from the courtyard, 2000.
The Seton Collection © 2005


The transepts of Seton Collegiate ChurchThe Scottish Seton's of Seton, Knights of Seton, Lords Seton, Winton and Winchburgh, and Earls of Winton, etc.

One of the most common questions, when discussing the House of Seton is who is the Head of the Family?

The lineal bloodline representation of the House of Seton then, passes to the descent of Elizabeth Seton of the Viscount Kingston's family,  from her marriage to William Hay of Drummelzier. William Hay of Drummelzier was himself the son of Margaret Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander Seton, 6th Earl of Eglinton, and was already a daughters cadet of the House of Seton.  He was the son of John Hay, 1st Earl of Tweeddale from his second marriage to Margaret Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander Seton 6th Earl of Eglinton, where John Hay's first marriage was to Lady Jean Seton, daughter of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline who's only child John Hay became 1st Marquess of Tweeddale (William's half-brother).

Margaret Hay of the Hay's of Duns Castle, then was the oldest lineal surviving child to produce an heir, and the Seton-bloodline lineally follows her.  She married Sir Henry Seton, 4th Baronet of Abercorn in 1770, passing the lineal bloodline back into the House of Seton directly, and their son, Alexander Seton, 5th Baronet of Abercorn became then, the lineal heir of the House and Family of Seton.

The Seton Baronets of Abercorn are also the lineal heirs of the Seton's of Touch and representatives of that line, making them the rightful Hereditary Armour Bearers to the King (Queen).  And as the representatives of the Seton's of Touch, they are the heirs lineally of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly, and thus the de jure Lords Gordon, which Honour the Seton's of Touch never ceased to claim.

However, the representation of a family-line was and is only continued in the Male, bearing the name, unless in the case of failing male-heirs and where the heiress being female, the daughter's son took his mother's name and therefore the line continued unbroken.  If this was not the case, then the line would fall back to the nearest heir-male of line bearing the name.

As per the Royal Charter obtained by George Seton, 4th Earl of Winton dated 31 July 1688: It was granted to him of the Earldom of Wintoun, to him and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to whichever person he might nominate and the heirs male of their bodies, with remainder to his heirs male, and failing these to his nearest heirs and assignees whatsoever, the eldest daughter or her female succeeding without division, and marrying a gentleman of the surname of Seton, or who would assume that surname and carry the Wintoun Arms.

The Representation of the Male line of Seton bearing the Name then, falls to that of the Seton's of St. Germains, of the line of the Hon. Sir John Seton of St. Germains, 5th son of Robert, 1st Earl of Winton, which line has not been fully documented; or if failing to the Seton's of Barnes as descended from Sir John Seton of Barnes, Lord Barnes and Knight of the Order of St. Iago in Spain, and who's line are the Representatives and Heirs to the Earldom of Dunfermline.

While the Seton of Barnes and Hailes line is also still being actively researched, the senior female-line Seton-Coventry descent of Vice-Admiral James Seton, Governor of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Representative Earl of Dunfermline and of the Barnes and Hailes line, has now only the last male-heir without further male-heirs; the descent in the Male then falling to either the Vice-Admiral's other younger son's, or to the Seton's of Nova Scotia.

While this discussion remains for the time being ongoing, and the question unanswered, it is the preference of the Seton family to have the line continued in the correct, unbroken tradition.  It would therefore seem that in the event of a Seton of Barnes succession, that a grand-quartering of the Earldom's of Winton and Dunfermline arms' be enacted.

From left to right, the Arms of the senior Seton bloodlines in lineal order for succession:


  The Earldom of Winton

  Viscounts of Kingston

  Seton of St. Germains

  Baronets of Abercorn

  Seton Lord Barnes

  Seton of Barnes (later)


Arms of the Seton Earls of Dunfermline © The Seton Family 2005

The Seton Arms

Arms of the Seton Family © The Seton Family 2005
















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