by John William Lockhart
updated 17 Sep 2012
The journey began in 1972 after a conversation at dinner, when I asked my father, Swanson Banner Lockhart, if he knew anything about our ancestry. He told me he could recall the names of about four generations. He repeated a verbal history that said three brothers came to America together. From there he began a quest to trace our lineage. He wrote two books and expended thousands of hours looking for his roots. For him it was a journey of joy and celebration as he found one ancestor after another.
In 1986, when Swanson died, he believed that the direct lineage of our family went to Captain James Lockhart of Nansemond County, Virginia, who was first granted land there in 1682. My father died believing that James Lockhart was a sea Captain. Before his death, I promised him that I would find out who Captain James Lockhart was, and document his lineage.
My father successfully documented nine generations from himself to Jacob Lockhart of Augusta County, Virginia, who acquired lands in Beverly Manor in the year 1742. Jacob was referred to as an “Orange County planter.”
My father’s research, however, never established a link between James Lockhart of Augusta County, Virginia, the father of Jacob, and the descendants of Captain James Lockhart of Nansemond County, Virginia. Many genealogists have searched for a link with no substantive proof.
The name Lockhart is associated with Scotland, where it originated eight centuries ago. We know the history of the name and that history is shared here at Lockharts.com.
In the course of our research, we soon learned that there were many Lockhart families who lived in Scotland. Further, the very first recorded Stephanus/Stephen who founded the town of Stevenston, in Scotland, also owned land in Ulster, Ireland. Records have also revealed that Osbert/Albert Locard/Lochard lived in Ireland in the 1100’s and had a son named Jordan. So, while most researchers of the Lockhart family assume the name is unique to Scotland, the truth is, it is also associated with Ireland from a very early time.
The various branches of the Lockhart family in Scotland and Ireland contribute to the puzzle we are attempting to unravel. This is why we continue to document the lineage of each separate sept, if you will, one at a time. Thus, at our website, one will find documentation for many Lockhart families, such as the Lockharts of Lee, Lockharts of Barr, Lockharts of Cleghorn, Lockharts of Waygateshaw, Lockharts of Carstairs, Lockharts of Castlehill, and Lockhart-Ross family of Balnagown, etc. These families are listed in chronological order, corresponding to the first to be recognized of that family.
The ultimate goal is to find my true bloodline, the link between my American family and my Scottish family. Thus our research is focused on the following:
1. James Lockhart of Augusta County, Virginia. Where did he originate: Nansemond County, Virginia, or Scotland, or Ireland?
2. Captain James Lockhart of Nansemond County, Virginia. Where did he originate, and who were his descendants?
3. Through the documentation of Lockhart family septs, we hope to find possible individuals in Scotland and/or Ireland, who might have been the progenitors of James Lockhart of Augusta County, Virginia and Captain James Lockhart of Nansemond County, Virginia.
Since the dinner conversation in 1972, I have stood on our ancestor’s bones at Symington Parish Church and have held the Lee Penny in my hand; I have shed tears while staring at Luce Bay and the Irish Sea beyond at Barlockhart Loch knowing that the spirit of my father was with me; I have prayed at Arbroath, along with my ancestors who stood with others in endorsement of that great declaration of freedom; I have stood at Flodden Field amid the ghosts of 10,000 Scotsmen who died there in one battle; and, I have touched the spirit of my ancestors there and in dozens of other places in Scotland where the Lockhart family began and flourished through the centuries.
I know too the valleys of Virginia, the rolling hills of Tennessee, the vast plains of Texas, and the rugged mountains of North Carolina where the Lockhart family found land and helped build a nation where freedom and religious expression were foremost.
The Internet did not exist when my journey began, yet its power has given me great insight into my family’s history and has acquainted me with my brothers and sisters. This Internet site is my portal to the past. Here we tell the story of the Lockharts, a family of warriors who became farmers, and lawyers, and poets, and preachers. Please join with us in this journey.
Be patient with us, we have much to relate about our journey and it will take time to present the sojourn with wit and facts as we have found them. We have learned that each time we think we have found truth what we really found was much more complex and stranger than we ever imagined possible. Full of myth and mystery, a story that too often has been mistold.
It is an endless Journey.