Western USA Branch
The existence of the Gilchrist coat-of-arms, "a lion rampant within an engrailed border" as seen on the right of the MacLachlan coat-of-arms on the Kilmartin Cemetery memorial, raises a most interesting question. If the MacGilchrists/Gilchrists were in fact the descendants of the ancient Earls of Lennox, why would they have made use of the Dalriadic Lion (rampant lion) which was the symbol used by the descendants of Anrothan? In providing a possible understanding to the question Mr. Alastair Campbell of Airds, Unicorn Pursuivant to the Court of the Lord Lyon, has offered the following explanation: "There is a reference to the arms of Gilchrist being Gules, a Lion Rampant Argent, in Pont’s Mss. The normal practice is for Heralds to search and see whether arms for a particular name exist and to produce arms which have a relation to the former ones. That appears to be what has happened in this case and does not have any real significance as to the actual ancestry of the family of North Barr. The matter would have been different had they been ancient users of arms."
Found in the ancient cemetery of Kilmartin Parish, located between Lochgilphead and Oban in western Scotland, is the only known display of a "Gilchrist Coat-of-Arms." Two panels imbedded into a stone wall located on the left as one enters the gate commemorate the death of William MacLachlan and his wife, Grisella MacGilchrist. William MacLachlan became minister of the parish in 1669 and because of his continued allegiance to Episcopalianism he was ultimately denied his pastorate whereupon he and his family moved to Ireland.
The upper panel has displayed in two parts the MacLachlan coat-of-arms on the left and the MacGilchrist coat-of-arms on the right. The MacGilchrist arms are clearly seen as being "a lion rampant within an engrailed border", giving evidence that Grisella was very likely a daughter of Donald MacGilchrist of Northbarr (near Glasgow). Framing the shield which includes the two coats-of-arms are what appears to be clusters of fruit. On the lower panel in what is described as "thin incised letters" is the following inscription:
"Mr. William MacLachlan, rector of Kilmartin, desires that his mortal remains, and those of
his wife Grisella MacGilchrist and their children, should lie in this resting place as spoils of Death, 1686."