Please do not add direct links to this web page from your own web site. The names in these tables are from the Aberdeen Council Register from the years Instances refers to the number of mentions found, not different individuals; a number of instances may refer to the same individual.
List of Scottish Gaelic surnames
In addition, this data does not include all instances of given names recorded in the Aberdeen Council Register from ! Therefore, the number of instances are only a very rough guide to the relative popularity of a name and only somewhat more reliable as an indication of how common a particular spelling or form of a name was compared to other spellings and forms of the same name.
Note that the spellings used for name headings may be modern spellings only; please refer to the 16th century spellings listed in the tables. In the names below, use the modern form as a guide to interpreting any of these letters in the 16th century spellings. In most cases below these were superfluous scribal flourishes, but it is possible that a few real abbreviations have mistakenly been left unexpanded.
A question mark? Medieval Scotland is published by Sharon L. Krossa contact. Shopping online? How you can support this site. All rights reserved. Copyright of individual articles belongs to their authors. Please do not copy or redistribute without proper permission! Help Sharon win a trip to attend DrupalCon London! Web MedievalScotland. Shop Amazon. Scottish Historical Workshops.Scottish surnames called 'last names' in the US have evolved over centuries, and their history and origins are much more complicated than you might think.
If you have a Scottish last name and want to know what it means, where it came from, and whether or not it can help you trace your family tree Scotland is a very old country, and it's earliest human settlements date back to thousands of years before Christ was born.
There was also a clear division - and no love lost - between the Scots who lived in the Highlands north and those who lived in the southern Lowland areas. The Highland and Lowland areas had very different cultural practices, traditions, and even languages.
Add to that the cultural influences of invading countries as diverse as Ireland, Norway, France and Italyand you'll soon see why the structure underlying Scottish naming practices was so complicated.
Even this, this practice was slow to 'catch on', and it took until the late 18th and early 19th century to spread to the Highlands and northern isles. Before this, people were simply known by one name - their first, or 'given' name known as their 'forename' in Scotland.
There was only a small set of 'acceptable' names for parents to choose from, so there was a lot of sharing - which inevitably led to an equal amount of confusion.
To make things easier, a personal 'byname' was often added to the 'given' name, and it's from these bynames that Scottish surnames eventually developed. The influence of foreign cultures and languages can also be seen running through the entire history of Scottish naming practices. This means exactly what you think it does This concept was ground-breaking in the early days, and when it first started in Scotland it was only being used by the upper-levels of society ie noblemen and titled families.
That makes sense because these were the people who owned the land, or territory, and were often known or recognized accordingly. It came to refer more to where someone was born, or to where their family was from, than to the location of any land that they owned. These were locational but referred to a specific topographical feature of the landscape rather than a specific region.
A lot of the most common, and popular, Scottish surnames are locational, territorial or topographical.
Many Highland Scots had this type of last name because their society was heavily reliant on the land. Some common Scottish last names come from this group, and were based on the occupation, or job, of their owner.
Scottish occupational bynames less common in people whose families originated in the Highlands, than in the Lowlands. These are among the earliest versions of Scottish surnames and are derived from a man's first name or forename with a suffix or prefix tacked on. Suffixes added to the end of a name were used more often by Lowland Scots, and prefixes added before the name were more popular with Highlanders. For example, the John Andrewson above may have gone on to have a son whose name was Dougal, and it's possible that the son would be known as Dougal Johnson rather than Dougal Andrewson.
But it's also possible that he would keep his father's surname of Andrewson. The 'rules' of the naming game weren't written in stone during the early days! If you're interested in tracing your Scottish ancestors and think that your last name is going to play a central role in that quest - well, you can see how that may not be true! Nicknames were 'descriptional' ie they referred to a physical feature or characteristic or a personality trait.
Because in the early days many Scots had the same name, these nicknames were usually used to distinguish one 'Andrew' or 'Tahmas' from another. In recent years there's been a surge in interest surrounding names that are considered Scottish clan names.
Many people who have a last name like MacDonald or Campbell assume that they have clan ancestry Although in theory, clan members were related to one common ancestor, in practice this more often than not wasn't the case.
When a woman married, she took her husband's last name, and left her birth-clan behind.This list of Scottish Gaelic surnames shows Scottish Gaelic surnames beside their English language equivalent. Note that certain names may appear multiple times on this list; use the ' find ' or 'search' function in your web browser to quickly look up certain names.
In Wester Ross. In Ayrshire. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia list article. Further information: Scottish Gaelic name. Retrieved October 15, Retrieved 9 August This article incorporates text from " Dwelly's [Scottish] Gaelic Dictionary" Proper names - appendix Mark, Colin The Gaelic-English Dictionary.
Matheson, William Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Owen, Robert C. The Modern Gaelic-English Dictionary.
Robertson, Boyd; Taylor, Iain Teach Yourself Gaelic. Teach Yourself. Alphabet Dependent and independent verb forms. Orthography Ogham Gaelic type Literature Dictionaries.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Clan Hay. Retrieved 5 April Hurst and Blackett.
Newbattle Abbey and Blickling Hall. Marquess of Linlithgow. Dunrobin CastleGolspieSutherland. Forse Castle and Skibo Castle. Balcarres HouseColinsburghFife. Woodbury Hall, Bedfordshire . New Slains Castle . Almondell House, Midlothian and Lochindorb Castle. Earl of Cassilis.In the 16th century, the language of the Scottish Lowlands, including the towns and royal court, was Scots ; it was closely related to contemporary English.
However, Lowland names were quite different from the names of Scottish Highlanders who spoke Gaelic rather than Scots. Nearly all 16th century Lowlanders were known by a single given name and a single fixed, inherited surname:.
Middle names or second given names do not appear to have been used in Scotland until sometime after the 16th century. The given names used by women were quite different from the given names used by men; only a few specific given names were used by both men and women.
Note that while modernly it is relatively common to use Scottish surnames as given names e. Surnames were fixed and inherited rather than personally descriptive; both men and women used their father's surname as their own surname. This was true even for illegitimate children. Note that a Scottish woman did not normally change her surname when she married. Although most given names used by Lowlanders were used throughout the Lowlands, many surnames were particular to certain regions and rarely appeared in others.
Likewise, although many surnames were used by all classes of Lowlanders, some were more common among certain classes and rare among others. The given names and surnames listed in this article are taken from entries in the Aberdeen Council Register dating from to Aberdeen was one of the four largest burghs in Scotland, located on the northeast coast, so some of these surnames are typical for townspeople but rarely found outside of towns and some of them are typical of Aberdeen and the northeast of Scotland but are rarely found elsewhere.
To form a typical 16th century Scottish Lowland name for a manchoose one given name from Men's Given Names and one surname from Surnames. For example:. To form a typical 16th century Scottish Lowland name for a womanchoose one given name from Women's Given Names and one surname from Surnames.
List of family seats of Scottish nobility
In 16th century Scotland, people did not have the notion that there was one and only one correct way to spell someone's name. Instead, the spelling of someone's name would vary among a number of correct spellings.
For example, all of these examples refer to the same woman:. So when choosing a given name and a surname, don't think of it as choosing one specific spelling of a given name and one specific spelling of a surname, but rather a given name with a range of spellings and a surname with a range of spellings. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Scots speakers themselves called their language "Inglis", while in the 16th century they took to calling it "Scottis".
Some linguists consider Scots to be a separate language from English, others consider it a dialect of English. Since the categorization of independent language vs. I choose to refer to Scots as a language for several reasons, including that I find it makes it easier to talk about and explain the linguistic situation in both modern and medieval Scotland.Are All "Mac" Names from the Highlands?
Note that "Scots" has several other, more common, meanings in addition to referring to the Scots language, including, as an adjective, the meaning "Scottish" and, as a noun, the meaning "more than one Scottish person".
I would also like to thank the members of The Academy of Saint Gabriel for their assistance with the preparation of this article. Any errors are my own and despite their best efforts! Medieval Scotland is published by Sharon L.
Krossa contact. Shopping online? How you can support this site. All rights reserved. Copyright of individual articles belongs to their authors. Please do not copy or redistribute without proper permission!We are open but with reduced staff due to Covid Some non-stock items may be delayed from suppliers. Thank you for your support and stay safe.
Complex or simple, you'll find the answer here. And our team loves to help, so contact us! Campbell of Cawdor. Gregor or MacGregor. MacAulay of Lewis.
Clan & Family Histories
MacAulay of Ullapool and Loch Broom. MacDonald of Clanranald. MacDonald of Keppoch. MacDonald of Sleat. MacDonald or Donald. MacDonnell of Glengarry. Maclaine of Lochbuie. MacNeacail or MacNicol. Nesbitt or Nisbet. Copyright Scotweb Marketing Ltd. Login GBP Basket: 0 items. Home About Us Contact. Search the Information Centre. Need help? See our Search Tips. Other categories Research your Scottish family or clan. In this form, it is more common in the Lowlands, but it is widespread in Scotland in different forms.
In the Highlands, it was rendered as MacAndrew, of medieval Scottish origin. There are a number of suggested origins for William but research points to the Normans in Italy. It is known that More On the north east side the land falls steeply down to the burn, once called Buthenot, and on the south side it slopes more More Armstrong History The Armstrong name has a mythological origin, in that it is said their heroic progenitor, Fairbairn, saved his king of Scotland in battle, and not from a wild beast as is the case with another Border clan - the Turnbulls.
It is said that, dressed in full armour, he lifted the king onto his own More The clan has been described as one of the oldest clans in Argyll.Scottish names are used in the country of Scotland as well as elsewhere in the Western World as a result of the Scottish diaspora. See also about Scottish names. Modern Rare Archaic. Related name is is not. User list. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne "alone, solitary" or ansetl "hermitage" and leah "woodland, clearing".
It is probably from Gaelic broth meaning "ditch, mire". It was later borne by his descendant Robert the Bruce, a hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland. A famous bearer was the Scottish poet Robert Burns The surname was later represented in Latin documents as de bello campo meaning "of the fair field". The place name is derived from Old English cocc "rooster" and burna "stream". It possibly comes from Gaelic cuinneag meaning "milk pail".
This was the surname of the revolutionary jazz trumpet player Miles Davis This is the name of various places in Scotland, such as a tributary of the River Clyde. A famous bearer was American astronaut John Glenn The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by William de Graham.
This was the name of a town in Leicestershire, England which no longer exists. Other famous bearers include the actresses Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in The original Houston is in Scotland near Glasgow.
A famous bearer was the philosopher David Hume This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles. In the 12th century a Norman nobleman received a charter of land here from King William the Lion King of Scotsand was thereafter known by this name. KYLE Scottish Derived from Gaelic caol meaning "narrows, channel, strait"originally given to a person who lived by a strait. A famous bearer of this name is actor John Lithgow This was the name of an 11th-century Scottish king, and the name of a play based on his life by William Shakespeare.
It originates from the Highland clan Donald.