Pitmenzies AMY S NO218137 1 362 160m

?   Pethwnegus 1210 x 1214 NLS Adv. MS. 34.4.2 fo 99v [printed as Arb. Lib. i no. 214]
    (John Shuilbraids in) Pitmunzeis 1596 x 1598 RMS vi no. 798 [Schuilbreiddis]
    peciam terre (in lie Pitmunzeis) 1596 x 1598 RMS vi no. 798 [‘a piece of land in the Pitmenzies’; it is not clear what the brackets in the printed version signify; the lands of Pitmedden ANY form one of the marches of this piece of land]
    Hugone Hog in Pitmunzeis 1596 x 1598 RMS vi no. 798 [w.; also ‘Alan Hog there’ (Allano Hog ibidem)]
    peciam terre lie Pitmunzeis nuncupat. 1604 RMS vi no. 1627 [‘a piece of land called the Pitmenzies’]
    (Hugh Hog in) Pitmunzeis 1604 RMS vi no. 1627
    lie Pitmunzeis 1616 RMS vii no. 1397 col. 4 [twice]
    lie Pitmunzeis 1616 RMS vii no. 1397 col. 8 [‘part of the Buist’s Pound-land called the Pitmenzies’ (partem de lie Buistis-pundland lie Pitmunzeis nuncupatam); four times with lie; once without]
    lie Pitmungzies 1622 RMS viii no. 406 [see Bondhalf # AMY, above]
    Pitmunzeis 1631 RMS viii no. 1702 [10 pound-lands of said Bondhalf ‘except part called Leys and Pitmenzies’ (excepta parte nuncupata Leyis et Pitmunzeis)]
    Pitmunzies 1661 Retours (Fife) no. 893 [‘in part of the field-land(s) called Pitmenzies’ (in parte terrarum agrestium lie feildland nuncupata Pitmunzies)]
    Pitmunzies 1661 Retours (Fife) no. 893 [2 eighths of parts of the Bondhalf # (lie Bondhalff) called Leys and Pitmenzies]
    Pitmidies 1663 RMS xi no. 476 [‘that part of the Outfeild land of the 1 pound-lands of Bondhalfe lying in that part called Pitmidies’]
?   in illa parte Outefeildlands uocata Pettinmyre 1664 Retours (Fife) no. 964 [Alexander Goodall heir of his mother Euphemia Shuilbraids (Schoolbraids) is seised ‘in that part of the Outfield-lands called Pettinmyre’ in territory of Auchtermuchty; see discussion]
    Pitmungies 1671 Retours (Fife) no. 1105 [Alexander Goodall (Guidaill) ‘in the portion (of) the Outfield called Pitmenzies in the territory of Auchtermuchty’ (in portione lie Outfeild vocata Pitmungies, in territorio de Auchtermuchtie)]
    Pitmenz...s 1783 Stobie [partly illegible at the join of two sheets]
    Pitmunzies 1787 Sasines no. 1801
    Pitmenzies 1828 SGF
    Pitmenzie 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn

G pett + ? pn Aonghas

‘Land-holding of Aonghas’? Aonghas, earlier Oengus, is the G name from which Scots and SSE Angus derives. The Pictish form of this name is Unu(i)st, Latinised as Hungus or Ungus,[58] which seems to show both Pictish and Gaelic influence. Similarly, the specific of Pethwnegus seems to contain this same Gaelic-Pictish hybrid form of the name. Until forms can be found which fill the almost 400-year gap between the one occurrence of Pethwnegus in the early thirteenth century and the appearance of the modern form of the name in the late sixteenth, the identification of Pethwnegus with Pitmenzies must remain hypothetical and somewhat problematical.

    To take Pethwnegus first, which can be analysed as above with some confidence: its only appearance in this form is in the early thirteenth century (Arb. Lib. i no. 214) as one of a group of lands around Abernethy whose teinds were in dispute between the abbot and monks of Arbroath on the one hand and the prior and Culdees (kelledeos) of Abernethy on the other. Arbroath claimed that the teinds of these lands belonged to their church of Abernethy ‘by parochial right’ (iure parochiali), a claim contested by the Culdees of Abernethy. Bp Abraham of Dunblane, in whose diocese the parish of Abernethy lay, was called in to give judgment in the matter, finding in favour of Arbroath, and imposing ‘a perpetual silence’ on the Culdees in the matter of the teinds. And indeed, we read nothing more of this dispute in the surviving records.

    The lands involved appear in both the MS (NLS Adv. MS. 34.4.2 fo 99v) and the printed edition (Arb. Lib. i no. 214) as follows: Petkarry, Petyman, Malcarny, Petkorny, Pethwnegus and Galthanin (for Galthauin). Only the last one can be identified with certainty: it is now Gattaway, a farm a short distance south-east of Abernethy village (NO193161) (next appearing as Galtoquhy 1509 Fraser, Douglas iii no. 166). John Rogers wrongly identifies this as Gowlie ANY, making the following tentative identifications of the others (1992, 229): Petkarry he identifies as Pitcairlie NBH, ANY (q.v., below), although it is more likely to be Pitcarrick # ANY, which lay west of Abernethy village around modern Glenfoot. Petyman he identified as Pitmedden ANY (NO225141), on the boundary with AMY, and contiguous with Pitmenzies.[59] Even allowing for scribal error, it is difficult to see how Petyman could represent Pitmedden, the second element of which is probably G meadhan ‘middle’. There is no obvious solution to this, but Petyman may more plausibly represent what is now Pitendie ANY (NO194165 2), the name surviving only in Pitendie Hill near Gattaway.[60] Petkorny he identifies with Pitcurran ANY (Pitcuran 1601 RMS vii no.422). According to Ainslie/Fife (1775) the lands of Pitendie lay between Gattaway and Pitcurran, which would thus form a block of lands on the east side of Abernethy village. Rogers, wisely, does not even hazard a guess for Malcarny, which must remain unidentified. A tentative picture emerges, however, of the lands subject to this agreement as lying relatively close to the church of Abernethy, to the east and west of the modern village. If this picture is correct, then it makes the identification of Pethwnegus with Pitmenzies more problematical, lying as Pitmenzies does much further away from the others. Another objection to the identification of the two is that Pitmenzies is always recorded as lying unequivocally in AMY, with no suggestion of any tenurial or parochial connection with Abernethy. This is in itself surprising given the context in which Pethwnegus appears. Also, from a purely geophysical point of view, the Glassart Burn here forms a clear boundary both between FIF and PER, with the lands of Pitmenzies AMY to the south and Pitmedden ANY to the north.

    There are certainly some phonological features which connect Pethwnegus with the earliest of the early modern forms of Pitmenzies, such as the persistent presence of the rounded vowel, spelled w in Pethwnegus and u in Pitmunzeis etc; and the velar n /ŋ/, assuming that -neg- is for -ng- in the former, and that z is for yogh in the latter, seen for example in the 1622-form Pitmungzies. The biggest phonological obstacle to seeing the two as identical is the letter m. With special pleading, it could be argued that the specific was the name of a saint, which could appear both with and without the saintly marker mo, literally ‘my’ (see, for example, in Kilmaron CUP, q.v. below), which before a vowel has been reduced to m. However, saints’ names are rare if not unknown as specifics in Pit-names.

    Whatever the derivation of Pitmenzies, the second element seems to have become assimilated to the Anglo-Norman surname Menzies (/:mIŋIs/), though this is not reflected in the modern local pronunciation (see below).

    When Pitmenzies does unequivocally enter the record (in the late sixteenth century) it referred not to a farm but to an area of land (mainly sloping steeply towards the north-east) in which various portionars or small-holders of Auchtermuchty had stakes: see for example the 1616 charter, in which the name occurs at least seven times in connection with different portionars, and chiefly with the definite article (the Pitmenzies). This impression is confirmed both by the OS 6 inch 1st edn map itself (1856), which shows Pitmenzie covering an area almost 1 km in breadth, with no obvious central place, and by the OS Name Book informing that map, which describes it as ‘the local name of a small district, consisting of about six detached dwelling houses with some offices, and a few acres of land attached to each, and situated in the north side of the Parish along the County Boundary. The houses are of an inferior description & all thatched – and is the property of various persons’ (50, 25). While the OS Name Book records both Pitmenzies and Pitmenzie, it decides on the latter since this was given by Alexander Elder, Pitmenzie, and Robert Elder, Reediehill, whereas Pitmenzies was the form found on Johnston’s County Map and the Voters’ Register (ibid.). It seems likely that the form without -s developed to refer to the individual holdings which made up the whole, the form with -s having been interpreted as a plural.

    There is one further problem to discuss in relation to Pitmenzies. It concerns the form which appears in the printed Retours of 1664 (no. 964) as Pettinmyre. This was spotted by the eagle-eye of W. J. Watson, who suggested that it represented pett an mhaoir pett of the maor or mair’ (1926, 413). Furthermore, there was a link through Alexander Goodall, whose name is linked to Pettinmyre, with Mairsland AMY, land which we know was attached to the office of mair, and which contains the Sc form of the word.[61] If all this was correct, then Pettinmyre could represent the remarkable survival of the G form of Mairsland, with important implications for our understanding of the place-name element pett, as well as of continuity of office and land-holding over many centuries. It is therefore especially sad to have to announce that Pettinmyre is almost certainly a ghost name. Immediately suspicious is the fact that the name occurs in the record only once. Secondly, if the tenurial context of the Pettinmyre-entry is compared with roughly contemporary ones concerning the same or related individuals, it is clear that it corresponds very closely with those concerning Pitmenzies. For example, in 1616 John Shuilbraids, a member of the family of Alexander Goodall’s mother, held ‘part of the Buist’s Pound-land called the Pitmenzies’, while Thomas Shuilbraids held part of Pitmenzies resigned by Robert Watson alias Millar (RMS vii no. 1397 col. 8). And in 1631 the Shuilbraids are again linked with Pitmenzies (RMS viii no. 1702 col. 5). The strongest indication that Watson’s Pettinmyre is Pitmenzies is furnished by Retours (Fife) no. 1105, dated 1671, concerning the same Alexander Goodall. This is worded in almost exactly the same way as the Pettinmyre-text, the only difference being that instead of Pettinmyre the later text reads Pitmungies i.e. Pitmenzies (see early forms, above, for full details).

    The name in the MS (NAS C22/28 fo 241v) is difficult to decipher, although the following points can be made: (1) it contains only one t; and (2) it is not Petinmyre, although neither is it a recognisable form of Pitmenzie(s). The most likely explanation of this ghost name is that it is the result of mis-reading, mis-copying (or even mis-hearing?) on the part of the scribe of NAS C22/28.

    OS 1:10,000 (2006) shows Western (sic) Pitmenzies at NO212139, the site of OS Pathf. and OS Explorer (2001) Newhill Cottage. It must have undergone this name change in the last few years.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 4