The Ogilvys were hereditary Sheriffs of the County of Angus. The three principle lines of the family were established from Sir Walter Ogilvy in the fourteenth century, including those of Airlie and next door at Inverquarity.
When they were not fighting with their neighbours the Lindsays, subsequent generations would be present at Flodden, for the Royalists at Philiphaugh, the Stewarts at Culloden and in the Napoleonic Wars at sea.
Military exploits lessened as the centuries passed. Around the same time that Mary Hamilton bought the Winton Estate, the family moved to Dundee from their ancient seat of Inverquarity Castle in the Angus Glens.
They were knighted by James VI, just a few years after the Earldom of Winton was granted to the Setons; their title of Baron was replaced with Baronet, like the Hamiltons, when they supported King Charles I in his mission to colonise Nova Scotia.