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More about the Widney-Udny Connection
Posted by: Loretta Layman (ID *****8343) Date: February 12, 2011 at 19:36:01
  of 44

I belong to an Ayrshire genealogy e-mail list, and another member of the list sent out a link today to an e-book version of "Papers Illustrating the History of the Scots Brigade in the Service of the United Netherlands 1572-1782", Vol. I 1572-1697, appearing in Vol. 32 of "Publications of the Scottish History Society", Edinburgh (1899). While this volume covers the period from 1572 until 7 years after the Battle of the Boyne, the only mentions of the Boyne are two brief notes about an officer named Colyear [Collier]. You would think there’d be something somewhere more substantive about men who served at the Battle of the Boyne. However, this book, in my view, nails down the question of Widney vs. Udny and Dutch vs. Scottish. There can be no doubt that Scottish men fought for the Dutch or that Widney/Udny was among them. In this volume, I find the following ...

... Oliver Udny took oath in 1607 as captain of a company in the Scots Brigade referenced in the above title. In 1608, Oliver Wodney, whom the editor further identifies as Oliver Udny and “[p]robably a member of the ancient family of Udny of Udny in Aberdeenshire”, was paid £1290 as captain of a company of 94 men. In 1609, Oliver Wodney was paid £1059 as captain of a company of 70 men. In 1610, Oliuver [sic] Wodney was paid £1,059 as captain of a company of 70 men. On 23 Oct 1610, he was succeeded by an officer named George Ramsay.

It was ten years earlier that Oliver Udney appeared in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and eleven years later in County Cavan, Ulster, Ireland. Specifically: (1) in 1593, Olipher Udny was named in an Aberdeen complaint; (2) in both 1595 and 1596, Oliver Udnie served as a burgess of Aberdeen; and (3) in 1621, Oliver Udny leased the townland of Cran in County Cavan.

I wonder if Sarah (Widney) Linn’s ancestor was a captain and not a colonel and if, instead of being granted an estate in about 1690, he acquired land in the Ulster plantation about 1621 with the money he was paid in service of the Netherlands. However, it is also possible that a son or grandson of Oliver was the Col. Widney reported to have fought at the Boyne.

All that being said, I believe there can be no doubt that the Widneys were Scots whose name was first written Udny. For more about how Widney came from Udny, see my previous post.


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