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Scottish Surname History


DAICHES, David (1912-) of Edinburgh. Professor of English, Univ. of Sussex (1961-), at Cornell Univ., USA (1946-51). Lecturer on English at Cambridge (1951-61). Dean of the School of English Studies (1961-68).

A bushy vale.

DALGETTY, James S. (1907-). Became Senior Legal Draftsman to the Govt. of Nyasaland in 1962.

DALHOUSIE, (James Andrew Broun-Ramsay) Marquis of (1812-60) of Dalhousie Castle. Became the greatest of Indian Proconsuls. Appointed Governor-General of India in 1848, the youngest Viceroy ever, and his administration was a tremendous success.

Local: from Dallas in Elginshire. The name signifies a watered meadow; dail, a meadow, and uis, water. Sir William de Doleys was living in 1286 ; in 1367 John de Dolais was Thane of Cromdale.

Local: from the lands of Dalmahoy in MidLothian. The family was distinguished as far back as the time of Alexander III.

Local: from the barony of Dalrymple in Ayrshire. The family are descended from Adam de Dalrymple, temp. Alexander III.

Dalrymple, Alexander (1737-1801) of Musselburgh. Hydrographer of the East India Co. (1779-) and to the Admiralty in 1795.

DALRYMPLE-HAMILTON, Sir Frederick H. G. (1890-) of Gir-vin. Vice-Admiral Malta and Flag Officer, Central Mediterranean Fleet (1945-46). Admiral. Joint Services Mission, Washington D.C. (1948-50).

DALYELL, Tam (1599-1685). Defeated the Covenanters at Rullion Green in 1666. Became a General in the Russian Army. The Royal Scots Greys Regiment was raised by him in 1681.

This family bear for their arms, sable, a naked man with the arms extended proper, and the motto, " I dare," to perpetuate a brave exploit performed by one of their ancestors. A near kinsman of Kenneth II was hung by the Picts, which so grieved the king that he offered a large reward to any one who would rescue the corpse; no one, however, would undertake the enterprise; at last one came to the king and said: "Dalziell," which signifies, I dare; and he rescued the body and brought it to the king, for which act his posterity took their name of Dalziell, and the arms and motto which they still use.

The judgment of God.

The son of David, which signifies beloved.

Davidson, Charles F. (1911-) of Monifieth. Professor of Geology, Univ. of St Andrews (1955-). Chief Geologist to the British Atomic Energy Organisation (1942-55).

Davidson, Revd D. (1781-1858) of Wick, Caithness. Theologian and editor. Compiler of several Biblical Dictionaries and Commentaries.

Davidson, Francis (1905-) of Nairn. Finance Officer, Singapore High Commission, London. Sometime Accountant-General to Nigeria.

Davidson, J. Norman (1911-) of Edinburgh. Professor of Biochemistry, Univ. of London, St Thomas's Hosp., (1946-47). Guest Lecturer to Ghent, Brussels, Brazil and Malaysia (1954-63) also to Oslo, Upsala, USA, Warsaw and Moscow.

Davidson, John (1858-1909) of Barrhead, Renfrewshire. Writer, poet and dramatist. His poems included two series of Fleet Street Eclogues (1893 and 1896) for which he won critical acclaim.

Davidson, John C. Campbell, Viscount. (1889-) of Aberdeen. Secretary of State for the Colonies (1910), Parliamentary Sec. to the Admiralty (1924-27), Chairman Unionist Party (1927-30). Controller of Production (1941).

Davidson, Randall Thomas (Lord Davidson of Lambeth) (1848-1930) of Edinburgh. 96th Archbishop of Canterbury (1903-28).

Davidson, Robert (1804-99) of Aberdeen. Described as father of the electric locomotive. Constructed a two-person carriage in 1839, and a locomotive capable of drawing 5 tons at 4 mph in 1842.

Davidson, Roger A. McLaren (1900-) of Perthshire. In the Colonial Education Service, he was Inspector-General of Education, Nigeria (1951-53).

Davidson, Thomas (1840-1900) of Deer, Aberdeenshire. Philosopher, lecturer and writer on Mediaeval Philosophy, Education and Art. In 1883 he founded the 'Fellowship of the New Life', from which the Fabian Society developed.

DAWSON, John A. (1910-) of Aberdeen. Air Ministry Chief En-gineer, Coastal Command Air Defence of Gt. Britain. Director of Works A.M. (1940-48). Chief Resident Engineer London Airport (1948-54).

An arbitrator.

Local: from the lands of Dennistoun in Renfrewshire. The family have been seated in the west of Scotland since the eleventh century - in the time of Malcolm IV, one Danziel, probably a Norman, received a grant of lands which he called Danzielstoun. The family are descended from Sir Hugh de Danzielstoun, 1296.

DENT, Alan H. (1905-) of Ayrshire. Author, critic, journalist and broadcaster. Lectured on fine art criticism at Toronto, Boston, Vassar, Princeton and New York Universities.

DEWAR, Sir James (1842-1923) of Kincardine-on-Forth. Professor at Cambridge. Invented the vacuum flask, discovered cordite, jointly with Sir Frederick Abel. Liquified and froze many gases, including oxygen.

DEWAR, Kenneth G. B. (1879-1964) of Edinburgh? Vice-Admiral, Deputy Director Naval Intelligence Div. (1925-27). Commanded HMS Royal Oak and Tiger (1928-29).

DEWAR, Robert J. (1923-) of Glasgow. Chief Conservator of Forests, Nyasaland (1955-60). Director of Forestry and Game, Malawi (1960-64).

An abbreviation of Richard. The family are supposed to be of Danish origin, and to be the same as Van Dyke. William de Dyck, Alderman of Edinburgh, 1296, was the ancestor of some of the Scottish families of Dick.

Dick, Robert (1811-66) ofTullybody, Clackmannanshire. A baker in Thurso from 1830. Self-taught geologist and botanist.

Dick, Thomas (1774-1857) from near Dundee. Minister and scientist whose astronomical writings tended to support Christian teaching.

The son of Dickie.

The son of Dick or Richard. The family are descended from Richard Keith, a son of Hervey de Keith, Earl Marshal of Scotland, by his wife Margaret daughter of William third Lord Douglas. This Richard Keith bore for his arms azure, three mullets argent, being the arms of Douglas, a chief or, three pallets gules, being the arms of Keith - his son Thomas Dicson, born 1247, was the immediate ancestor of the family.

Probably originally d'Innes, from the lands of Innes in Elginshire.

DINWIDDIE, Robert (1693-1770). His actual place of birth in Scotland is not certain. Governor of Virginia (1752-58).

A corruption of Robert, which signifies famous in council, from rode, council, and beorht, bright.

A great chief.

Donald, William (1891-) of Aberdeen. President The Port Line Ltd., Deputy Chairman Cunard White Star Line Ltd., Cunard Steam-ship Co. Ltd., Midland Bank Ltd., Director Cunard House Ltd., and Clydesdale and North of Scotland Bank Ltd.

The son of Donald.

Donaldson, David A. (1916-). Scottish artist with paintings in private collections in America and Europe. His sitters have included the Queen.

DOUGALL, Neil (1776-1862) of Greenock. Poet and musical composer. Composed about 100 psalm and hymn tunes including 'Kilmarnock'.

There is the following tradition in regard to the origin of the name. In the year 770 Solvathius king of Scotland, obtained a victory over Donald Bain of the Western Isles, by the assistance of a man who was unknown to him. After the battle, being desirous to see one who had done him so signal a service, he was pointed out to him with these words: " Sholto Dhuglass," behold that swarthy man. One of this family, Sir William Douglas, entered into the service of Charlemagne and was the founder of the family of Douglassi in Tuscany. Sir James de Douglas took the heart of Robert Bruce to the Holy Land, to commemorate which his descendants have ever since horn a crowned heart in their arms. Before the death of Bruce in 1329 the arms of the family were azure, three mullets argent.

Douglas, Francis C. R. (Douglas of Barloch) 1st Baron, (1889-) of Glasgow? Chairman House of Commons and of Standing Committees (1946-46), of Estimates Comm. (1945-46) of Finance Comms. of LCC (1940-46). Governor and C in C Malta (1946-49).

Douglas, Charles P. (1921-) of Ayr. Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Free School of Medicine, London (1865-). Was Senior Lecturer at the Univ. of West Indies (1959-65).

Douglas, David (1798-1834) of Scone. Botanical traveller in North America. Discovered many new species of flora and introduced to Britain many trees and herbaceous plants, including the Douglas Fir which bears his name.

Douglas, Gavin 5th Earl of Angus (c.1449-1514). Educated at St Andrews. Poet, nicknamed 'Bell the Cat' from the lead he took against Cochrane of Lauder. He filled the highest offices of State and added largely to the family possessions.

Douglas, Sir James (1803-77). Scottish Canadian fur trader who be-came known as the 'Father of British Columbia'.

Douglas, Sir James de, Lord of Douglas (1286-C.1330). He was Robert Bruce's greatest captain in his struggles against the English. After Bruce died, Douglas took Bruce's heart on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and died crusading in Spain.

Douglas, John Sholto, 9th Marquess of Queensbury (1844-1900). Gave his name and patronage to the rules of boxing which had been drafted by John Chambers.

Douglas, Norman (1868-1952). Australian born Scot. Novelist and travel writer. South Wind is one of his best known works.

Douglas, William Sholto, 1st Baron Douglas of Kirtleside (1893-1969). Marshal of the Royal Air Force. Chairman of British European Airways (1949-64).

Douglas-HOME, Alexander (Alee) Frederick, Lord Home of the Hirsel. (1903-) of Berwickshire. Parliamentarian. Foreign Secretary (1960-63), Prime Minister of Great Britain (1963-64)


Local: from the village of Dreghorn in Ayrshire.

DOWDING, Hugh C. T. 1st Baron (1882-1970) of Moffat. Air Chief Marshal, Royal Air Force. Chief of Fighter Command in the 'Battle of Britain'.

DOWNIE, John Alexander (1847-1907) of Edinburgh. Minister and faith healer, calling himself 'Elijah the Restorer'. Founded, near Chicago, the prosperous industrial and banking community called 'Zion City'.

DRENNAN, Alexander M. (1884-) of Helensburgh. Professor of Pathology, Otago Univ., Dunedin (1914-28) and Queen's Coll., Belfast (1928-31).

DREVER, James (1910-) of Edinburgh? Professor and lecturer on Psychology and Philosophy, King's Coll., Newcastle upon Tyne (1938-41), Royal Navy (1941-45), President Brit. Psychological Society (1960-61) and Social Research Council (1965-)

The back of the mountain - from druim, back, and monadh, the mountain. The family are descended from Maurice, the son of George, a younger son of Andreas, king of Hungary, who came to Scotland in 1066.

Drummond, Sir Alexander (1901-) of Dundee. Lieut.-General, Director-General Army Medical Services (1956-61).

Drummond, Dame Edith Margaret, of Glasgow? Director of the Women's Royal Naval Service (1964-67).

Drummond, George (1687-1766) of Newton Castle, Blairgowrie. Described as one of the most influential Scots of his time. Was six times Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Edinburgh New Town, the Medical Faculty and the Royal Infirmary all owe their existence to him.

Drummond, Henry (1851-97) of Stirling. Scientist and writer. Made geological surveys on the Rocky Mountains and Central Africa. His chief contribution to literature was his Natural Law in the Spiritual World (1883).

Drummond, James Eric, 16th Earl of Perth (1876-1951). First Secretary-General of the League of Nations (1919-32).

Drummond, Thomas (1797-1840) of Edinburgh. Inventor, administrator and statesman. Invented the Drummond Light which depended on heating a block of lime to incandescence in an oxy-hydrogen flame. It was adapted for lighthouses and later in the theatre where it was known as 'Limelight'. He became Under Sec. for Ireland in 1835.

Drummond, Victoria, of Perth. Became a marine enginer in 1942. For her gallant efforts-when 2nd Engr. on ss Bonita in 1942-during a heavy bombing raid, in keeping damaged engines running, the people of Norfolk, Virginia collected and gave her £400, which she later gave to a seaman's charity.

Drummond, William (1585-1649) of Hawthornden, Midlothian. Man of Letters and poet, mainly on political matters. Ben Johnson walked from London to Scotland to pay him tribute.

Local: from the village of Duddingston in Edinburghshire.

Black. The family are descended from the celebrated Macduff, Thane of Fife in the eleventh century.

Duff, Alexander (1806-78) from near Pitlochry. Ordained first Scot-tish missionary to India. He wanted to end Hinduism. One of the founders of the University of Calcutta, which is named after him.

Duff, Sir Mountstuart E. Grant (1829-1906) of Aberdeenshire. Diarist. Was Governor of Madras until 1886. Elected FRS.

Duff, Sir Robert William (1835-95) of Banffshire. Man of Letters. Became Governor of New South Wales, Australia.

DUGUID, David Robertson (1888-1973) of Boness. Major-General Engineering. Director of Mechanical Engineering, India, and head of the Corps of Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (1943-46).

DUGUID, John B. (1895-) of Belhevie, Aberdeenshire. Lecturer in Morbid Anatomy and History. Adviser on Histopathology to the Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur. Malaya (1960-68).

DUKE-ELDER, Sir Stewart, St Andrews' First Foundation Scholar (1915). Ophthalmic surgeon of world renown.

Local: from the castle of Dumbrake in Aberdeenshire.

Local: from the parish of Dun in Forfarshire.

Local: from Dunbar in Haddingtonshire - dunabar, the castle on the hill. Crinan, Earl of Northumberland, before the Conquest, was father of Maldred, Earl of Northumberland, whose son, Gospatrick, Earl of Northumberland, having incurred the displeasure of William the Conqueror, went to Scotland in 1068, he was there created Thane of Dunbar and Lothian, and his descendants afterwards assumed the surname of Dunbar.

Dunbar, Claud I. H. (1909-) of Aviemore? Major-General. Com-manded 2nd Guards Bde. (1949-50) and 4th Guards Bde. (1950-52). General Officer Commanding Berlin (British Sector) (1962-).

Dunbar-NASMITH, David (1921-) of Glenrothes. Rear Admiral. Retired in 1972 as Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and several NATO appointments.

The chieftain's castle - from dun, a castle, and creann, a chieftain.

Duncan, Adam (1731-1804) of Dundee. When admiral in command of the North Sea Fleet he blockaded the Dutch Fleet for two years. Vic-tor of the battle of Camperdown in 1797.

Duncan, David (1900-) of Dumfries. Surgeon Rear Admiral. Malariaologist and Hygienist, Singapore (1930-38). Senior MO, Medical Hygiene Sections and Naval Medical Officer of Health to C in C, Nore (1950-53). MOH to C in C, Portsmouth (1953-55).

Duncan, Dr Henry (1774-) of Lochrutton nr. Dumfries. Theologian, Antiquarian, Geologist and poet. He established the first Savings Bank in 1810 at Ruthwell.

The son of Duncan.

Local: from the lands of Dundas in Linlithgowshire. The family are descended from Uthred, son of Gospatrick, first Earl of March, who in the time of David I received a grant of the lands and assumed the surname of Dundas.

Dundas, David (1735-1820). Scottish General, sometime Com-mander in Chief, British Army. Described as the profoundest tactician in England. Was responsible for many major reforms in military tactics.

Dundas, Henry, 1st Viscount Melville and Baron Dunira (1742-1811). Parliamentarian. Keeper of the Signet for Scotland (1777). As President of the Board of Control under Pitt he introduced a bill for restoring the Scottish estates forfeited after the '45.

Dundas, Sir Robert (1881-) of Perthshire. Administration Officer, Nigeria (1911-30).

DUNDEE, John Graham of Claverhouse. 1st Viscount (1649-89). Soldier. Defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Brig. Known by his friends as 'Bonnie Dundee' and by his enemies as 'Bloody Clavers'.

DUNDONALD, Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (1775-1860) of Hamilton. Naval commander with some remarkable achievements in the harassment of enemy coasts and shipping. Advocated steam power for warships. His 'Secret War Plan' (to overwhelm fleets and fortresses by sulphur fumes) was in 1812 and 1846 condemned as too inhumane, though infallable, and was not revealed till 1908 (in Penmure papers).

Local: from the lands of Dunlop in Ayrshire.

Dunlop, John Boyd, (1840-1921) ofDreghorn, Ayrshire. Veterinary surgeon. Invented the pneumatic tyre in 1888.

Local : from Dunmore in Perthshire. The name signifies a black moor - from dun, black, and mure, a moor.

DUNN, Patrick H. (1912-) of Argylshire. Air Marshal. AOC in C, Flying Training Command (1964-).

DUNNE, J. W. of Perthshire. Man of Letters. In 1907 he tested the first swept-wing tailless biplane at Blair Atholl.

Local: from the bay of Dunnet in Caithness.

Dunnett, Alastair (1908-) of Kilmalcolm. Journalist and editor of the Daily Record (1946-55) and Scotsman (1956-72). He was chief press officer to the Sec. of State for Scotland (1940-46). Director of Scottish TV (1975-79).

Dunnett, Dorothy (nee Halliday)of Dunfermline. Popular novelist wife of Alastair Dunnett. Her book King Hereafter (1982) reveals strange new facts about the history of Macbeth. She is also an artist.

Dunnett, Sir James (1914-) of Edinburgh? Permanent Under-secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (1966).

Local: from the village of Dunning in Perthshire. The name signifies dark offspring, from dun, black, and ing, a termination denoting children.

DUNS-SCOTUS, Johannes (c. 1265-1308) of Maxton, Roxburgh.Scholastic and theologian. Became a Franciscan Friar. Theological professor at Oxford, and later, Regent of the Univ. of Paris. It was his name that gave rise to the term 'Dunce'.

Local: from the town of Durham in England.

A door keeper. Alanus Durward was door ward to Alexander II, who created him Earl of Athol.

DUTHIE, Sir William (1892-) of Portessie, Banffshire. Appointed Area Bread Officer, London and SE England in 1940 and Director Emergency Bread Supplies, Min. of Food in 1941.

DYCE, Alexander (1798-1869) of Edinburgh. Critic and Man of Letters. Edited Peele, Webster, Greene, Shirley, Middleton, Beaumont and Fletcher, Marlowe and Shakespeare.

DYCE, William (1806-64) of Aberdeen. Historical and religious painter. From 1844 was professor of Fine Arts in King's Coll., London. Executed frescoes in the new House of Lords, Osborne House, Buckingham Palace and All Saints.

DYSON, Sir Frank (1868-1939). Astronomer Royal (1910-33). Previously Astronomer Royal for Scotland (1905-10).

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