Simpson is a sept of Clan Fraser

The family of CLELAND is one of great antiquity in Scotland. The name is derived from the lands of that name in the parish of Dalziel, County of Lanark. The name was formally Kneilland, with the K pronounced. The Clelands of the Ilk were hereditary foresters of the Earls of Douglas.

The first of the family of whom there is any record was Alexander Cleland or Kneland, tempore Alexander III (1249 - 1286).

James Cleland 2nd of that Ilk was one of the patriots who joined his cousin Sir William Wallace and fought under his command against the English. He was present at Loudon Hill in 1296, the battle of Stirling 1297, and the battle of Falkirk 1298. He assisted Sir William Wallace in most of his exploits, particularly in taking prisoner Thomas de Longueville "The Red Rover".

After the death of Wallace he remained faithful to King Robert the Bruce and was present with his son John at the battle of Bannockburn 1314, where he was wounded. For his services the King gave him several lands within the Barony of Calder in West Lothian. In enumerating those who hastened to the standard of Wallace, Blink Harry (Dr Jamieson's edition of "The Wallace and Bruce") says: "Kneland was thar, ner cusying to Wallace Syne bald with him in mony peralous place." (See "Cleland" p.648 Vol1 of "The Scottish Nation") He was succeeded by his eldest son John Cleland, with whom he was taken prisoner at the battle of Durham, October 1346.

William Cleland, 7th of the Ilk, in the reign of James III, was one of the witnesses to a Charter to the lands of Walson in 1445 from James Hamilton to Sir William Baillie of Hoprigg.

Alexander, the 8th, was killed at Flodden , 9/9/1513.

James, the 9th, was an eminent man in the reign of James V whom he frequently attended when hunting.

Alexander, 10th, was eminent for his loyalty to Queen Mary. In 1603 Andrew Kneilland was Justice-Depute, and among the persons who were "delated for being art and part in the murder of Darnley was Kneilland of that Ilk."

The JARVEYS or JERVIES. The Reverend David Agnew says in "French Protestant Exiles" - 'It is remarkable that most families in Scotland who claim Huguenot ancestry descend, if their tradition is well founded, from the earlier refugees. The biographer of Sir James Young Simpson declares confidently that the maternal grandmother of that distinguished Professor belonged to the "Refugee Huguenot family of Jarvey".' The name was originally Jervay and looks like a corruption of the French Gervais but the first occurrence of that surname is evidently Scottish. In the Commissariat of Edinburgh of May 1577, Malie Bronster, widow, succeeds to her deceased husband James Jervay, farmer in Holenbuss (Holly Bush) on the estate of Lord Fleming.

If the Jervays came from France in 1669, their case is singular because they were farmers. Sir James Simpson's ancestor was Edward Jervay, farmer in Torwood in the parish of Duipace, whose testament is in the Edinburgh Commissariat records. The descendants of "Torwood" moved into the parish of Bathgate, leaving in the Dunipace register what seems to be a protest that they were of Huguenot descent: on 16th October 1748 the baptism of Alexander, son of William Gervy, who had been registered Jervy, and been erased and JERVIE in bold characters has been written over the erasure.

The Linlighgow family of SIMPSON had been settled to several generations at Winchburgh and its neighbourhood, whence Alexander Simpson moved to Blackend in the parish of Torpichen in 1764. Family tradition is that the Simpsons came originally from the Borders of Scotland and that an ancestor was a Moss-trooper. Some claim Highland descent as stated by Mr Gill of Savock, a well-known antiquarian; "The Highland Clan Fraser is headed by the Lovat branch of Invernesshire. Simon is the name of the first of them who settled in the Highlands and a common name of their chiefs. They adopted the Gaelic designation of MacShimsi, the sons of Simon. The Simons, Sympsons or Simpsons are supposed to be descended from them."

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Alexander Simpson,
1797 - 1877
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Janet Russell,
1800 - 1860
There is still a strong clan of Simpsons in Edinburgh. Many of them have been and are well-known doctors, lawyers, Writers to the Signet and Justices of the Peace. The most famous is Sir James Young Simpson whose work in pioneering the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic is well documented.
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Sir James Young Simpson,
1811 - 1870