This family takes its name from the estate of Sands in the parish of Culross, later transferred to the parish of Tulliallan. These two adjoining parishes on the northern shore of the Forth once formed an exclave of Perthshire, but in the nineteenth century became a part of the county of Fife.

In his historical account “Culross and Tulliallan …” (1885) David Beveridge writes:-

The property of Sands, which for nearly a century and a half has belonged to the Johnston family, lies now chiefly in the parish of Tulliallan, but was formerly entirely in that of Culross, and seems to have given name to a clan, which, both as lairds and ordi nary individuals, were in bygone days very numerous around and in Culross. In the end of the sixteenth century we find a ‘Thomas Sands, portioner of that Ilk’; [Sands of Sands], and there also stand recorded William laird of Birkenhead, John Sands of Langside, and John Sands of Overton, besides many other individuals bearing the name, of lower degree. Some time apparently in the early part of the seventeenth century the estate of Sands came into the hands of a family of the name of Wilson, who held it for nearly a hundred years along with the lands of Kirkton – so called from its proximity to the West Kirk of Culross. The original acquirer of the property is said to have been private secretary to Anne of Denmark, queen of James VI. A descendant of his, doubtless, is a certain “ George Wilson of Sands,” who appears in the burgh records in the early years of last century as one of the bailies of Culross.
“The portion of Sands in the parish of Culross comprises a narrow strip extending along the sea-shore to the westward of Blair quarry, and known in former times as Kelliwood, or Sands Kelliwood. Altogether the property, though cumulatively large, is very much scattered. Its latest acquisition was the little lairdship of Lurg, lying near the mansion-house of Sands, and about the last of the ancient holdings to merge in the larger estates.”

Thomas Sands of that ilk (i.e., of Sands), 1494
Robert Sands of that ilk, tutor (i.e., guardian) of nephew Edward, son of late Henry Sands of Blinkeerie and Whitehills, 1546
Thomas Sands of that ilk, tenant of the quarter-lands of Lurg, 1587, probably the same as
Thomas Sands of that ilk, died pre-1599, wife’s name Bessie Reid
David Sands of Sands (?) married c.1587 Margaret Primrose; son of William Sands of Birkenhead
John Sands of that ilk, died pre-1633. Son John retoured heir of “John of Sands and Kelliwood”

Sands of Overton, parish of Culross –
John Sands of Overton, fl. 1584-6, (same as John Sands of Overton, died pre-1620?)
Robert Sands of Overton, son of John, died pre-1644
John son and heir of Robert, 1644
David Sands, second son of Robert, apprentice surgeon, 1631
Robert Sands, third son of Robert, apprenticed to merchant, 1633
Robert Sands of Overton, “son of deceased John of Overton” will 1715

Sands of Birkenhead, parish of Culross –
“William Sands of Birkenhead, which had belonged to his ancestors for several generations, died in 1675, and was succeeded by his sisters.” (Robert Riddle Stodart, “Scottish Arms”, 1881)
Also William Sands of Birkenhead, late 16th century, mentioned above.

Sands of Langside, parish of Culross:-
John Sands of Langsyde, died pre-1700 (testament)
“… which was in possession of John early in the seventeenth century. William Sands of Langside W.S.*, d.s.p. in 1783, leaving two sisters …” (Stodart, loc. cit.)
James Sands of Langside, disposed and assigned his lands to his younger brother, William Sands, maltman in Pierscroft, 1732 (Culross Deeds)

Sands of Woodhead, parish of Tulliallan:-
John Sands of Woodhead, Hearth Tax, 1694.
John Sands of Woodhead was married to Janet Sands; died 1713 aged 79. He was the son of John of Woodhead and Bessie Gray (Andrew S. Cunningham, “Culross Past and Present”, 1910)

Some other Sands:-
Patrick Sands, a regent in the University of Edinburgh, 1589: principal, 1620
Patrick Sands, burgess of Culross, 1629
John Sandis (sic) in Sands, appeared before Culross kirk session, accused of playing “at the goffe” in time of sermon, 1633
James Sands, tailor in Culross 1661
James Sands, tenant in Sands, 1683
Adam Sands, George Sands, John Sands, and William Sands, all living on the Sands estate in 1694 (Hearth Tax)
Robert Sands, one of seven representatives of the Perthshire United Scotsmen at the convention of the Friends of the People, Edinburgh, April-May 1793.

*W.S. = writer to the signet, a lawyer.


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