The papers derive from four main sources: material relating to the Halketts of Pitfirrane, to the Wedderburns of Gosford, to Sir Patrick Murray of Saltcoats, and to John McFarlane, Writer to the Signet (admitted 1709). The last male heir in the direct line of the Halkett family, Sir James (succeeded 1697), died in 1705, ending the baronetcy created in 1671. On his death his eldest sister, Janet, succeeded to Pitfirrane. She had married Sir Peter Wedderburn, 1st Baronet of Gosford, who now took the name and designation 'Halkett of Pitfirrane'. In 1779, a Wedderburn of Gosford again held the estate of Pitfirrane and the baronetcy of Gosford. Thus, papers of both families are present. Sir Patrick Murray of Saltcoats was the father of Janet Murray who married Sir Charles Halkett, Baronet, of Pitfirrane (created 1671). John McFarlane was legal adviser to the Halkett family. His papers contain correspondence with friends and clients. McFarlane's third wife, Elizabeth Wardlaw, was of Halkett descent and possibly this accounts for the presence of his papers in the Pitfirrane archive.