Landrum is believed to be a variant spelling of the Scottish family name Lendrum. The Lendrum family were originally named "Comyn" (or "Cummin" / "Cumming"), a Norman family descended from Charlemagne which lived in what is now France. Comyn is a typical Norman nickname, probably taken from the spice cummin. The three bundles of plants in the Cummin coat-of-arms, usually blazoned as garbs or wheat sheaves, were doubtless originally bundles of cummin.
The first Comyn came to Britain with William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest, and the family spread to Scotland. The first Comyn to settle in Scotland was powerful Anglo-Norman churchman, William Comyn, a close confidant of King David I, under whom he became Chancellor of Scotland. The Comyns acquired the title Earl of Buchan, one of only thirteen such titles in Scotland. Two other Comyns were also acquired earldoms. The Earls of Buchan were William Comyn (1210-1233); Alexander Comyn (1242-1289); and John Comyn (1289-1309).
The Comyns lost their family name in a struggle over succession to the Scottish throne. When King Alexander III died in 1291, his only direct descendant was the "little Maid of Norway," but when she died also, the throne was disputed by Alexander's distant relations, the heirs of David Earl of Huntington, John Balliol and Robert Bruce, known as the "Competitor." Balliol was the grandson of Margaret, David's eldest daughter while Bruce was the son of his daughter Isabel. John Comyn, known as "the Black Cummin," and brother-in-law of John Balliol, was also a claimant through his descendance from King Donald III.
Both Baliol and Bruce took up arms and gathered supporters. In order to prevent a civil war, King Edward of England, who had a claim of his own, was called to decide between the two. He chose Baliol, but he then deposed Baliol in 1296 and took the throne himself. This strengthened the claims of John's son, "the Red Cummin" to the throne. A struggle for the throne ensued between the Comyns and Robert Bruce, grandson of the Competitor, and Robert stabbed and killed "Red" Comyn at a conference in a church in 1306. The Comyns and their English allies were finally defeated by Robert Bruce in battle at Bannockburn in 1314, and "Red" Comyn's son was killed in the battle.
Bruce confiscated the lands of the Comyns and banned the name. A younger son of the Earl of Buchen took the surname "Lendrum" derived from the place where he lived in northeastern Aberdeenshire.
Lendrum is a Celtic word meaning "the moor of the ridge." A 250 acre farm in the parish of Monquhitter about four miles south of Turiff still bears that name. Since farms kept their names for centuries, this is likely the original Landrum home.
The Lendrum farm has had its present name since at least the eleventh century when the Battle of Lendrum was fought there. It was bloody battle that lasted three days between forces commanded by the mormaer of Buchan and the army of the usurper Donald Bane, brother of King Malcom Canmore. The decisive third day of the battle was fought in a six acre field which tradition covers with gore. The mormaer of Buchan prevailed, and Donald, after losing most of his force, was forced to flee. Down to at least 1793 it was firmly believed locally that "corn" grown on the "bloody butts of Lendrum" could not be reaped without strife and bloodshed among the reapers.
The site of the battle was marked by cairns and tumuli until some time in the first half of the nineteenth century when a tenant put the heath under plow in the course of which he removed the hillocks which had marked the graves of the slain and preserved the memory of the battle, in may of which he found corroded iron and other evidence of conflict. Thus, the tenant unknowlingly destroyed battle memorials which he regarded as merely encumbrances in his field.
Lendrum may have originally been considerably larger than its present size, as some of the battle relics were found on the adjoining farms of Brownfield and Kethan.
Most of the Landrums in America are probably descended from two brothers, John (1665- abt. 1707) and James Landrum (abt 1671-????) who emigrated from Scotland to Essex Co., Virginia in 1688. According to family tradition, the brothers emigrated directly from Scotland, and it is known that ships brought Scottish settlers to Rappahanock River ports during the 1680's. Other members of the family emigrated to Ulster at the same time. The entry and settlement patterns in Virginia support the idea of immigration directly from Scotland. Most Scots in Ulster were from the Lowlands of Scotland, and they arrived in Philadelphia and moved along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road into the unsettled areas in the Shenandoah Valley in far Western Virginia. Entry through the Chesapeake Bay ports and settlement along the east cast are characteristic of Highland Scots who came directly from Scotland.
John Landrum is believed to have been born in 1665 Turiff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is 38 miles northeast of Aberdeen. He emigrated in 1688 to Rappahannock County (later became Essex County), Virginia with his younger brother James. He married Sophronia Jane Evans, daughter of John Evans, after arriving in Virginia.
John Landrum owned 160 acres of land on the southeastern side of the Occupacia River, south of the Rappahanock River in Essex County. He sold the land in 1695. He was listed in the quit rents rolls of Essex County in 1704 as owning 300 acres. He died 1707 or 1708, in Essex County, Virginia.
John's children were as follows:
John Landrum, Jr. was born about 1700 in Essex County, Virginia. He married Mary _____ (perhaps Johnson). In 1720 John sold land in Essex County that had been left to Jane Landrum under the will of Martin Johnson. In 1722 John purchased 595 acres of land in Spotsylvania County from Larkin and Hannah Chew. In 1729 he sold this land.
In 1734 the western part of Spotsylvania County became part of Orange County. In that year John was listed in Orange County as "Surveyor of Roads." In the same year he also patented 250 acres back of "Great Mountain," (which refers to the Blue Ridge Mountains) at the mouth of the south fork of the Shenandoah River. In 1736 he was granted a patent to 650 acres in the Great Fork of the Rappahanock River. In 1738 he executed a deed of lease and release to Peter Refnough conveying land in Orange County. The Ray Research Collection refers to a grant to John in 1746. He was involved in lawsuits with William Catlett in 1738, 1739, and 1740.
John moved with six of his sons (Thomas stayed in Virginia but later moved to Oglethorpe Co., Georgia) to Orange (later Chatham County), North Carolina where he received a land grant acres from Lord Granville in 1754. He was listed as a taxpayer in Chatham County in 1755. He returned to England, outfitted ships, and brought settlers by way of Cape Fear to the interior where he sold them plots from the grant.
As the Revolutionary War approached and a radical spirit took hold, the settlers became dissatisfied that they had been required to pay John Landrum, Jr., for the land, which they decided should have been free. In 1774 at the height of the controversy, John, Jr. died. His son John Landrum III, who was a Tory, took charge and was murdered by Ephriam Alexander during a riot of settlers. Alexander was briefly jailed but then released without trial by the Revolutionary state legislature, which was apparently not too concerned about the death of a Tory. John's son Thomas meted out his own justice by seeking out his father's murderer and killed him. Thomas fled to Georgia to his uncle Joseph Landrum of St. Paul's Parish when he was released on bond, but he was captured and brought back to Hillsborough for trial. In the trial that followed, Thomas was acquitted for the murder, but he was convicted on a charge of horse stealing, which perhaps he committed during his escape, "condemned to death as a Tory," and hanged.
The children of John Landrum, Jr. were as follows:
John Landrum's son Charles was born in 1731 in Orange (later Chatham) County, North Carolina. He died in 1793, Edgefield County, South Carolina. His children included:
Henry Landrum was born 1795, Edgefield Dist., South Carolina. His father was probably Thomas Landrum, son of Charles Landrum, although some researchers disagree. He married Rachel Jane _____, born in Georgia (or South Carolina) in 1800. In 1820 Henry lived in Perry Co., Mississippi which lies directly south of Jones County. By 1830 he had moved to Jones County, Mississippi and was still there in 1840. He seems to have died by 1850 since he disappeared from the census, although another report says he died in 1870 in Jones County.
Thomas and Rachel Jane Landrum had the following children:
The Landrum family was apparently against Secession as was much of Jones County because it was viewed by small farmers of the County as the slaveowners' war. Many Jones County men avoided the service until the draft was instituted, and many deserted. A large number deserted in disgust after the Confederacy released owners of 20 or more slaves to return to oversee their plantations. The pine woods of Jones County were filled with roving bands of deserters, and the Confederate army was sent in an unsuccessful attempt to capture them. Although apparently not literally true, legend states that Jones County seceded from the Confederacy and became the "Free State of Jones."
A "Captain Landrum" fought with Newt Knight's band of Union guerillas in Jones County. Linson Landrum and his brother Thomas deserted the Confederate Army and later went to New Orleans where some say they joined the Union Army. Linson's brother Henry Marshall Landrum even took the bold step of naming a son after Union General Ulysses S. Grant in 1864. After the Civil War, Jones Countians for a time changed the name of the County and the City of Ellisville to hide their shame.
Linson B. Landrum, son of Henry Landrum, was born in 1823 in either Perry or Jones County, Mississippi. Family legend remembers him as being nicknamed "Charlie." Linson married Elizabeth Ann Pitts, daughter of Daniel Pitts, Sr. and Margarette Walters Pitts in 1847, and they lived in Jones County, Mississippi in 1850 and 1860. Linson purchased land in Jones County in 1855, and in 1857 he contracted with J. G. Dunn to build a grist mill on his land on Tullahoma Creek. In 1861 Linson and Elizabeth sold land to Daniel Pitts. A Landrum community still exists southeast of Laurel, Mississippi near were Linson and other Landrums lived.
Linson served in the Civil War as a Private in Company A., 48th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, having enlisted on October 17, 1863 at Enterprise, Mississippi. In his army record Linson was listed as 6'1" tall, with dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes.
Based on the location of the 16th Mississippi Regiment, which was in the same brigade as the 48th (both the 16th and the 48th were part of Nathaniel Harris' Brigade), Linson was probably in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania fighting in the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbor, and the Seige of Petersburg.
He was probably also at the site of the Petersburg Mine explosion that occurred in the early morning hours of July 30, 1864. Regimental histories of the 48th place them there in the trenches at the time. The explosion scene and ensuing disaster for the Union Army is depicted in the movie "Cold Mountain" .
Linson seems to have shared the contrarian political sentiments of the rest of the family since he deserted to Union forces of the Army of the Potomac on December 24, 1864 and took the Oath of Allegiance on December 27 at City Point, Virginia. City Point was roughly 11 miles north of Petersburg, Virginia where Linson's regiment had been in the Petersburg Seige for the previous 10 months. City Point was Grant's headquarters during the Seige.
After his surrender Linson was sent to New Orleans along with his brother Thomas. Some say he and Thomas joined the 1st New Orleans Infantry, a Union home guard unit, although no record to prove that has yet been found.
Linson died on April 19, 1865 in new Orleans, reportedly in a yellow fever or cholera epidemic, which also killed brother Thomas' wife. Family legend that he died at Mt. Enterprise, Texas, after the Civil War are surely incorrect. Whether there is a political connection is unclear, but several Landrums moved to Angelina County, Texas, the only county outside of the German Hill Country to vote against secession, and later some moved to Van Zandt County, which was known as the "free state of Van Zandt." Others from Jones County who moved to Angelina County shortly before the Civil Ware are James Parker and Amos Spears.
Linson and Elizabeth Pitts landrum had the following children:
Linson's widow Elizabeth remained in Jones County for some time after his death and still lived there 1870. In 1878 Elizabeth Landrum and her children sold the "Linson Landrum deceased tract." Son Maston was already living in Texas at the time, and he returned to Mississippi to settle the estate.
Elizabeth later moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas, where she married Elijah Shoemake in 1882. They had two sons, Erastus (Rass) and Ransom.
The above information is based on the best sources currently available to the author and is subject to correction. If you have information that is different or additional to that shown above, I would like to receive it. Please contact me by e-mail and mention this web page in your message.
Return to Home Page