The Early American Napiers who came to Virginia are descendants of the Kilmahew Napiers. Dr. Patrick Napier,
born in England, came to Virginia and married Elisabeth Booth. They are my ancestors.
The Merchiston Napiers are progenitors of the family of John Napier, the noted alchemist and mathemetician.
Kilmahew castle was built upon the lands granted to the Napiers by Malcolm, the Earl of Lennox around the
year 1290. The castle itself was built sometime in the 16th century by the Napier family, who owned it for the next 18 generations.
The Napiers who owned Kilmahew are notable for being the progenitors of most of the Napiers in North America, as well as some
of their members who had notable contributions in the field of engineering, such as Robert Napier, the "Father of Clyde Shipbuilding,"
and David, James and Montague Napier, who owned the engineering company of Napier & Son.
The estate was inherited by George Maxwell of Newark and Tealing (1678-1744) in 1694, when he assumed the
name of his maternal grandfather, John Napier of Kilmahew. The estate was sold to Alexander Sharp in 1820 . In 1839, the estate
was acquired by James Burns.
The ruins were acquired by the Archdiocese of Glasgow, along with the surrounding estate, in 1948.
Another branch of the clan appeared in Merchiston, near Edinburgh. The first Laird of Merchiston, Alexander
Napier, obtained a charter to the lands of Merchiston in 1436. The Napiers of Merchiston would produce Provosts of Edinburgh,
numerous admirals and generals, as well as John Napier, the 8th Laird of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms. Merchiston Castle
in Edinburgh still stands, as centerpiece to Napier University’s Merchiston campus.
John Napier of Rusky, the 3rd Laird of Merchiston was killed, in service to the king, leading the Clan Napier
at the Battle of Sauchieburn on June 11, 1488.
More about John Napier, inventor of Logarithms
Merchiston Castle Tower as it appeared in the early 1800s, was home to John Napier, and is now at the center
of Napier University's Merchiston campus.
Video of Edinburgh
Back to my Homepage "Virginia Roots!"
|Classic Tartan of Clan Napier
|Blue, white with yellow stripe
Edinburgh Castle history has been familiar to generations
of Napiers including William Napier or Wrychtishousis who was the
castle’s governor four times between 1390 and 1402.
|Lauriston Tower Castle House
Lauriston Castle, a tower house built by Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston in 1590.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence John Napier showed great courage as one of the few defenders
of Stirling Castle which was taken over by the English led by King Edward I of England in 1304. It sits atop the
Castle Hill, a volcanic crag, surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs., and forms part of the Stirling Sill geological
I am told that John Napier's wife was a Stirling.
Outline of my Napier Family in Virginia
By Deborah Shelton Wood, Napiers of Kilmahew Descendant.
Sources: Files of Vava Knepp, Sharon Halliday, Wikipedia