In the year 1863 the Hunter name was explained, here is what was written:-
Page 1 of 2
Hunter, a surname obviously derived from the chase and from the great superiority of the Normans in the sports of the field, it is supposed on good grounds that the families of this surname in Scotland are of Norman extraction. They are accustomed to carry in their armorial bearings three dogs of chase with three hunting horns. "In the castles and domains", says Robertson, "of the great barons who were lords of entire bailiwicks appropriated frequently for the accommodation of the sovereign it appears that various offices exclusively belonging to the sports of the field existed Johne le Hunter de la Foreste de Paisley and Hugh and Richard the hunters of Stragrife Renfrewshire appear in the Rag Roll; as also does Ayhner de la Hunter of the county of Ayr".
The office whatever it was held by the original bearers of this name is supposed to have been similar to that of forester from the fact that the motto of the Foresters of Corstorphine (now represented by the earls of Verulam in England) was "Hunter blow your horn". In the remarks on the Ragman Roll the Ayhner de la Hunter above mentioned is said to be the ancestor, "for certain of the Hunters of Arneil designed of Hunterston and of that ilk".
Nisbet says "As for the antiquity of the name Gulielmus Venator (which I take for Hunter) is a witness in the charter of erection of the bishopric of Glasgow by David I when he was prince of Cumberland. In a charter of King Alexander II of the lands of Manners to William Baddeley upon the resignation of Nicol Corbat of these lands and others the lands of Norman Hunter are exempted as the charter bears 'Quas Nicolaus Corbat nobis reddidit excepta terra quondam Nonnani Ven atoris quam Malcolmus frater Regis VYillielmi ei dedit'.
The most ancient families of the name in Scotland were the Hunters of Polmood in Peebles-shire and the Hunters of Hunterston in Ayrshire With regard to the former which is now extinct, Dr Pennecuik, in his Description of Tweeddale has inserted a copy of a translation of a charter pretending to be from Malcolm Canmore to the ancestor of the family which says Robertson, if not a foolish translation of a genuine charter is certainly framed on the traditionary story of the origin of the family and even in that light possesses considerable interest.
It is in these words: "I Malcolm Kenmure king the first of my reign gives to thee Normand Hunter of Powmood the Hope up and down above the earth to heaven and below the earth to hell as free to thee and thine as ever God gave it to me and mine and that for a bow and a broad arrow when I come to hunt in Yarrow. And for the malr suith I byte the white wax with my tooth, Before there witnesses three, May, Mauld and Marjorie"
A subsequent writer says, "From the strictest inquiry no such charter exists though there is strong presumption William the Lyon did make a similar grant of lands to Norman Hunter, a refugee who having followed William Conqueror into England fled from the arbitrary oppression his successors to seek shelter in Scotland".
Thomas Hunter of Polmood who died 20th March 1765 had executed a disposition and deed of entail on the 28th the previous January in favour of Alexander Hunter merehant in Edinburgh who though bearing the same name was no relation. As this deed was executed on deathbed was liable to reduction, if an heir could be found Hunter the last possessor of the estate was descended a natural son of Robert Hunter of Polmood who died 1689. The estate had been destined to the bastard and heirs of his body with a special declaration that in the of failure it should return to the granter his nearest male and assignees whatsoever.
On the death of Hunter two persons came forward each claiming to be the heir to the estate, one an old man called Adam Hunter the other of the name of Taylor who afterwards withdrew his claim. After nearly fifty years litigation both court of session and the House of Lords to which the had been appealed decided that Adam Hunter had not established his pedigree. An ancient prediction that The Hunters of Polmood were never to prosper seems in this case have been verified. Mr Alexander Hunter died at Edinburgh 22d January 1786 and was succeeded by his nephew Walter Hunter Esq of Polmood and Crailing whose danghter Elizabeth the wife of the eighteenth Lord Forbes came into possession of Polmood.