Auchtermairnie KWY S NO342030 1 80m
Uchtirmerny 1511 RMS ii no. 3579 [to Alexander Gourlay of Kincraig (Kincrag) ELI, three eighths of the lands of Auchtermairnie along with two acres in the town and territory of Kennoway (in villa et territorio de Kennochy)]
Ochtirmerny 1517 RMS iii no. 148 [to George Leslie earl of Rothes; part of the barony of Ballinbreich FLK]
Outermarny 1525 RMS iii no. 315
Ale ander Gourlay in Auchtirmarny 1531 RMS iii no. 1015 [in footnote: one of an assise for land-valuation]
Auchtirmarny 1538 RMS iii no. 1829
Ochtermarny 1543 RMS iii no. 2911 [to the Archibald family one eighth of Auchtermairnie in the barony of Leslie (Leslie)]
Auchtermerny 1556 NAS RH2/1/23/3 no. 48 [Alexander Gourlay there]
Auchtermorny c.1560 s Purves 154 [?4]
Ouchtermerny 1587 Assumption 15 [St Andrews Priory, teind sheaves]
Auchtermerny 1594 RMS vi no. 117 [2 acres of arable of the lands of Kennoway (Kennoquhy) belonging to the lands of Auchtermairnie lying ‘nearby (or contiguously) below the parish kirk of Kennoway’ (contigue sub ecclesia parochiali de Kennoquhy)]
Auchtermairne 1603 Retours (Fife) no. 128 [David Lundie, ‘Auchternairn (vel Auchtermairne)’]
Auchtermairny 1603 Retours (Fife) no. 128
W. Ochtermairny 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Ochtermarny 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife [W. Ochtermarny to north-west]
Achtermairnie 1654 Lamont’s Diary 82
Auchterme< >ie 1684 Adair/East Fife [letter(s) illegible within < >]
Aucksmairny 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Auchtermarnie 1775 Ainslie/Fife [Lundie Esqr.; c.NO334039; also shows Auchtermarnie Mill]
Auchtermairnie 1795 RHP2580 [‘Capt. Lundin’s property’]
Auchtermarnie 1827 Ainslie/East Fife
Auchtermarnie 1828 SGF [at NO334039, now OS Pathf. North Mains (ruin); also shows Auchtermarnie Mill at OS Pathf. Auchtermairnie Farm]
Auchtermairnie Mill 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn [‘Corn and Barley’; shown at NO341030]
G uachdar + en *Maoirne?
‘Upland or upper part of *Maoirne’? The first element is straightforward, and is found in important names elsewhere in Fife, such as Auchtertool (PNF 1), and Auchtermuchty and (Auchter)Moonzie (PNF 4). The specific element is more problematic, however. One possibility is that it is an existing name which derives from OG *maoirne ‘stewartry’, that is land administered by a steward (OG maer, G maor) with authority delegated by the king or other superior. The Old Irish equivalent of this term is maeraigecht (DIL s.v.) while the modern Gaelic equivalent is maorsachd (also maorsainneachd) (both in Dwelly). The term *maoirne seems also to have existed in medieval Gaelic, as it is found in the (late tenth-century?) ‘Pictish Chronicle’ in the phrase ‘viri na Maerne’ (men of the Mearns i.e. Kincardineshire) (Chron. Picts-Scots, 10). The same word seems to have been employed to form the name of Mearns RNF, which appears in 1161 as ‘le Muerne’ (RRS i no. 184; date from David I Chrs. p. 35). In this latter case, a charter of Malcolm IV, it is significant that it is a grant of several lands to the king’s steward (dapifer), Walter Fitz Alan, and that it adds to the grant of lands ‘my stewardship, to be held by him and his heirs from me and my heirs’ (senescaliam meam tenendam sibi et heredibus suis de me et heredibus meis). The king, Malcolm IV, states that all this is to be held by Walter just as he had held it under David I, who had granted it to him. It may also be significant that Mearns RNF is adjacent to the parish of Stewarton AYR.
It is possible that places which contain *maoirne are not Old Gaelic but Pictish (north of the Firth of Forth) or British (south of the Firth of Clyde). The word is not attested as a lexical item in Gaelic sources, while the medieval Scottish occurrences of Maerne and Muerne are reminiscent of Welsh maeroni ‘the office or work of the Steward (in the Welsh Laws); stewardship; the land or district under a steward’s care’ (GPC s.v.). In this case we must assume either that *maoirne was borrowed into Gaelic from a P-Celtic language, or that it survived only in British or Pictish place-names.
Whatever the precise linguistic route travelled by the word *maoirne, if the above suggestion is correct, it indicates that there was a territory in this part of Fife which was at one time administered by a maor and referred to as *Maoirne: quite possibly a territory co-extensive with Kennowayshire. Auchtermairnie would therefore originally have been the term applied to the upland part of this whole territory, in the same way that Auchterforfar ANG refers to the upland part of the parish (territory or shire) of Forfar and Auchter Alyth PER of Alyth.
On OS Pathf. the name occurs only in Auchtermairnie Farm and Auchtermairnie Cottage. Auchtermairnie Farm is at the site of the old mill of Auchtermairnie (Auchtermarnie Mill on SGF, Auchtermairnie Mill on OS 6 inch 1st edn, beside Teuchat Head). It is clear from maps such as Ainslie/Fife and SGF that Auchtermairnie itself lay c.1 km to the north-west, with OS Pathf. North Mains ‘(ruin)’ at NO334039 (q.v.) being part of the lands. Mr Meldrum senior of Auchtermairnie Mill, when interviewed in 1992, stated that the original Auchtermairnie farm had been at North Mains. Such an identification of the original site of Auchtermairnie (at an elevation of 135 m) makes more sense, given the first element of the name, G uachdar ‘upland’.
On Ainslie/East Fife (1827) the name Auchtermarnie is attached to what looks like a manor house north-west of SGF Auchtermarnie, which has possibly disappeared beneath one of the two small reservoirs called Carriston and Donald Rose.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 2