Ralston Clan

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1219 to 1819
Location: Scotlandmap
Surnames/tags: Ralston Scottish_Clans
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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Scottish Families > Ralston Clan


Welcome to Ralston Clan

Ralston Clan Team
Team Leader Scottish Families Team
Team Members

Ralston Clan Members

The goal of this project is to ... offer a focal point for all members interested in the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Ralston together with members bearing the name Ralston, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan Ralston.
Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.
  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Ralston on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Ralston.
Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

Ralston History

Last Clan Chief: Gavin Ralston of that Ilk (d. 1819)
Crest: Falcon
Motto: Fide Et Marte (With fidelity and bravery)
Region: Lowlands
Historic Seat: Renfrewshire

Clan leaders:

  • Ralph, of Paisely and Ralston
  • Jacobus de Raulyston, dominusejusdem
  • Nicholaius de Rauilston
  • Thomas de Ralfestone, Counte de Lanark
  • Jacobus de Rauliston
  • (unknown, possibly Sir John Stewart of Ralston)
  • (unknown, possibly Walter Stewart of Ralston)
  • John de Ralston, Bishop of Dunkeld and keeper of the Privy Seal.
  • John Ralston
  • Thomas Ralston fell at the battle of Flodden
  • Thomas Ralston
  • Hew Ralston fell at the battle of Pinkie Cleugh
  • Hew Ralston 1526-1613
  • William Ralston 1576-1625
  • William Ralston 1610-1691
  • Gavin Ralston 1671-1733
  • William Ralston 1697-1744
  • Gavin Ralston 1735-1819


Ralston (Baile Raghnaill in Scottish Gaelic) is a small settlement in Renfrewshire, Scotland, bordering onto the eastern edge of the town of Paisley. The modern settlement of Ralston takes its name from the ancient feudal estates of Ralphistoun (Ralph's settlement), named after the younger son of the Earl of Fife, to whom the lands were gifted in the early 12th century.

Wood House Castle

In 1551 Hugh Ralston acquired land in Beith. He built Wood House Castle. It was in the Ralston family for 200 years. The last clan chief, Galvin sold it in 1771 to pay off debt.


The first mention of this family is Jacobus de Rauliston, dominis ejusden, who appears as witness to "de creatine abbotis" of Paisley in 1219.

There is a knowledge gap in the family line from 1346 to 1426. It is possible the family died out and another family took over the name or name was adopted from an heiress of Ralston. [1]

In 1426 Robert Stewart of Ralston passed his lands in Ayrshire to John de Ralston who may have been a grandson.

He was succeeded as Lord of Ralston by his nephew John Ralston of that Ilk. He passed the lands of Ralston near Paisley to his eldest son and heir Thomas Ralston of Rossholm. He exchanged some Ralston land for land in Ayrshire.

Thomas was killed at Flodden and was succeeded by his son, Thomas. Thomas had no children and was succeeded by his brother Hew, who died at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. His son Hew acquired land in Beith. He outlived his eldest son Gavin so the his grandson William became chief.

His son William is the first to be recorded as having armorial bearings, being registered in 1672 with the Court of the Lord Lyon. They are described as: “Argent, on a bend, azure: three acorns in the seed. Crest, a falcon proper. Supporters, dexter, a man in armour, sinister, a horse rampant. Motto, Fide et Marte.

William given lands in Kintrye for his loyalty and in 1666 settled near Saddell. He is buried at Kilcolmkill Chapel Churchyard in Southend, Argyll.

William outlived his son and was succeeded by his grandson Gavin. Due to excessive debt he sold most of the family lands. His son William had an unsavory reputation and was killed in a drunken altercation with his wife in 1744.

His son Gavin became chief at the age of nine. He died in 1819 without any living heirs.


  1. James Paterson : History Of The Counties Of Ayr And Wigton, Volume 3,;Part 1 : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive". 2021. Internet Archive.>Ralston of Woodside, Vol III, pps 129-138.

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