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Many of the Whytes listed in the Agnatic Ancestry here married into other Forfar burgess families, as was the custom.   


Margaret Dickesone (1600s) and Euphanie Binny (1640-c1716) brought strong Forfar Burgess and Town Council connections.


Elspet Sand and Margaret Robert (1763–1857) brought more Forfar merchant family connections.


Margaret Campbell Adam (c1802-1893) brought connections with the Adam and Ure Forfar merchant families, the (Aberdeen) Skinner clergy family, the Campbell ‘Forfarshire Sheriff’ family, and the family of the 9th Lord Elphinstone.    

Catherine Rose Steele (1833–1911) and Isabella Adamson (1864-1930) brought more Forfar merchant connections.



First Recorded Source

The earliest record of our family, found so far, is a pre-marriage contract dated 1637 when William Quhyt a Burgess of Forfar married Margaret Dickesone (daughter of another Forfar Burgess family).  


From this it is clear that William was already well established in his leather craft, a local land owner, and member of the Forfar ‘Burgess community’.  (Note: Our family lawyer in Forfar gave me a copy of this pre-marriage contract in 1980 – the original, which was in his possession is part of the national archives.  I had it transcribed into today’s English.)  The testament of the same William Whyt was recorded in the Commissariat Books of the Diocese of Brechin in 1657.


Agnatic Ancestry

The family tree that I have built (using Reunion 13 software) contains well over 600 names - a printed copy is part of this history.  In this there is a clear male line of descent to myself, as below:

  1. William Quhyt                                                         (1600 - 1657)

  2. David Whyt                                          eldest         (1640 - 1713)

  3. Thomas Whyt                                      eldest         (1667 - 1727)   

  4. Thomas Whyt                                      2nd son      (1708 - 1760)                  No son from elder brother, John

  5. Patrick Whyte                                      5th son       (1758 - 1847)                  No grandsons from elder brothers

  6. William Whyte                                     2nd son      (1793 - 1849)                  No son from elder brother

  7. John Adam Whyte                               2nd son      (1830 - 1906)                  Older brother emigrated

  8. Robert Thomas Whyte                        3rd son       (1863 - 1948)                  No issue from elder brothers

  9. John Sydney Whyte                            3rd son       (1899 - 1970)                  No issue from elder brothers

  10. John Robert Whyte                             only            (1942 - 

  11. Douglas John Sydney Whyte              2nd son      (1973 -                            No son from older brother

  12. William Whyte                                     only            (2019 -


Reformation & Jacobite period

As noted elsewhere in these papers, in the mid-1600’s Forfar stood against the National Covent, was loyal to the King, and later in 1715 loyal to the Jacobite cause.  Various retributions against Forfar for these royalist positions are certainly a reason for the poor Whyte records of the period.  The Scottish Episcopal Church became a church during this contentious period and the Whyte family may have been members from the beginning, and so not Protestants - another reason for discrimination against them. 

Australian branch

William Patrick Whyte (1828-1901) elder brother of John Adam Whyte (No 7 above) emigrated to Victoria, Australia in about 1855 during the time of the Victoria Gold Rush.  He settled, later in life, in the Numurkah area of northern Victoria with his wife (Annie Campbell) and their 4 children.  There is a line of descent from him to the present day in Australia that carries the Whyte or White name.  See History by Generation.


There are a surprising number of branches (male and female) of the family over the years that end in Unmarried or No Issue.  Many children probably also died in infancy, which was usually very poorly documented. 


It is also noticeable (particularly during the 19th century) that many of the young males chose to ‘escape’ from Forfar to Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Australia and even the Far East. Note: There was no US immigration in our family. 


The female family members were however unable to leave, and often had little hope of a decent local marriage – so there were many spinsters and some "late" marriages.

Other Whyte families

There were many other Whyte families in the area around Forfar, and notably in Kirriemuir, Tannadice and Glamis.  However, no connection has been found from our Whyte family to any of these other Whyte families, nor to the many other Whytes in Angus.

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