Carnegie Surname Genealogy

The surname Carnegie derived from the place-name Carnegie near
Carmyllie in Angus.  It probably came from the Gaelic cathair
an eige,
meaning “fort at the gap.”

Carnegie Resources on

Carnegie Ancestry

Carnegie in Scotland has generally been a name localized in and around
Angus in the northeast of Scotland.  The family who assumed this
name, however, was originally known under an earlier place name
of Balinhard, also in Angus.   John of Balinhard was the
first to take the name of Carnegie in 1358.  Early
first of this family and then of Kinnaird in
Brechin, adopted the title Carnegie of that Ilk.

Two brothers of that name, David and John, made reputations for
themselves by supporting the Royalist cause during the Civil War.
They were created the Earls of Southesk and Northesk respectively (the
names coming from the Esk river in Angus).  Both earldoms have
continued to the present day.  The
Earl of Southesk, commemorated in the song The
Piper o’ Dundee
, lost his lands following his support for the
Stuarts in
the 1715 Uprising, and died in France. 
The 12th
Earl assumed
through his mother the title of Duke of Fife and a connection with the
royal family.  The Southesk home has been Kinnaird castle near
since the 15th century.

There were other Carnegies in Angus.   George
Carnegie of Balnamoon (from the Northesk side of the family) had fought
Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in 1746.
After the defeat he fled with his brother James to Sweden where
prospered as a merchant in Gothenburg.  He
returned to Scotland as the Laird
of Pitarrow
a wealthy man. 
Another Carnegie line
traced back to Colin Carnegie who married Isabel Grieg in Brechin in

Meanwhile Andrew
, the son of a handloom weaver in
Dunfermline, Fife, left with his parents for America in 1848.
This Andrew Carnegie was to be the most famous bearer of the Carnegie

Sweden.  David
Carnegie, the son of George Carnegie of Balnamoon, arrived from
Montrose in
1803 and began the trading firm of D. Carnegie & Co. in Gothenburg.  It was his nephew David, coming as a young
man in 1830, who acquired a brewery for making porter and established
the Carnegie Porter brand.

  Andrew Carnegie had arrived in Pittsburgh at the
age of thirteen and immediately started working as a bobbin boy in a
cotton mill.  He was to earn most of his fortune in the steel
industry.  In the 1870’s, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company, a
step which cemented his name as one of America’s “captains of
industry.”  By the 1890’s the company had become the largest and
most profitable industrial enterprise in the world.  He sold it in
1901 to J.P. Morgan.  Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life
to large-scale
philanthropy.  In his The
Gospel of
of 1898 he wrote: “The man who dies rich dies

the author of How to Win Friends and
Influence People
, was born Dale Carnagey in 1888, a poor farmer’s
son in Missouri.

and New Zealand. 
Carnegie left Brechin with his family for New Zealand sometime
in the 1860’sHe died in
Waipukarau in 1882.  Some of his
descendants are in New Zealand,
other relatives are to be found in Australia and Canada.

David Carnegie, the youngest son of the 9th
Earl of Southesk, departed England for Australia in 1892.
At first he got caught up in the Western
Australian gold rush.  Finding no gold,
he led an expedition from Coolgardie through the Gibson and Great Sandy
to Halls Creek and back again.  Moving to Africa, he
in Nigeria at the early age of 29.

Carnegie Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Carnegie Names

the Carnegie Porter brand in Gothenburg,
Sweden in 1836. 

Andrew Carnegie, born in
Scotland, made his fortune as a steel-maker in America.
Dale Carnegie was the American
author of How to Win Friends and
Influence People
, a massive best-seller when it was published in

Select Carnegies Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Angus)
  • 1,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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