When David Ballentine was born on 4 October 1774, his father, John Ballentine, was 37 and his mother, Margaret Somerville, was 33.
Scottish: habitational name, probably from the lands of Bellenden, now Bellendean, on Ale Water west of Roberton in Roxburghshire. John Ballantyne, archdeacon of Moray 1533–38, was also recorded as John Ballentyne or Bellenden. It has been suggested that the placename is from Gaelic baile an deadhain ‘the dean's farm’, which leaves open the possibility of more than one geographical origin (there is also a place called Bellenden in Selkirk); the surname is persistently associated with Falkirk and Edinburgh as well as Roxburghshire. The origin of the variation between -d- and -t-, if genuine, is unknown.