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Thread: Just Who Were the Scots-Irish?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
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    Just Who Were the Scots-Irish?

    Just Who Were the Scots-Irish?

    October 14, 2010

    By: Carolyn L. Barkley
    One of the students in my fall genealogy course commented last week that “My family always says that our ancestors are Scotch-Irish – whatever that means.” In that one sentence, she unwittingly defined the problem with the term “Scotch-Irish,” or more appropriately stated, “Scots-Irish.” The term implies an individual of blended Scottish and Irish origin, but this deduction cannot be further from the truth. First, the term is uniquely American with a clearer descriptor being the term “Ulster Scots.” To understand the Ulster Scots and their history, and eventually to identify your Ulster Scot ancestor, you will need to learn about the political and socio-economic framework within which they existed.
    The first clarification is that they were not Irish, but rather Scots from the Lowlands of Scotland. They were Presbyterians, not Catholic.
    Why, then, did these Presbyterian Scots come to Ulster in northern Ireland, and why did they later leave their homes in Ireland to come to North America?
    Geographically, the northern part Ireland is separated from Scotland by a mere twenty miles and this proximity brought with it constant conflict between Scotland and England and the native – and Catholic – Irish. After James I of England (and VI of Scotland) ascended the English throne in 1603, he believed that it was critical to devise a plan that would enable him to concentrate his military resources elsewhere, without the distraction of warfare with the Irish. His solution was to invite Presbyterians from the Lowlands of Scotland, in addition to some English, German and French Protestants, to emigrate and settle in what became known as the “Plantation of Ulster.” By doing so, he not only would be able to control a large portion of Ireland, but would also be able to exercise tighter control over the Borders in Scotland. His plan was facilitated in 1607 by the “Flight of the Earls,” who left Ireland to seek help from Spain and Rome in resisting English control. When they were unable to return, their lands became forfeit to the crown. The first settlers arrived in Ulster in 1609 when Hugh Montgomery and James Hamilton, both lairds in Ayrshire on Scotland’s west coast, began to implement the King’s plan. These lands granted to the settlers, however, were not vacant and large numbers of native Irish were displaced. The areas being settled included the present-day counties of Donegal, Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Coleraine (Londonderry) and Antrim.
    The plantation plan proved successful and by 1619, approximately 8,000 emigrants had sailed the short distance to Ulster. These settlers proved quite industrious and established towns and farms, as well as industry and commercial interests. Life, however, was not idyllic and was characterized, instead, by a series of crises and threats, not the least of which were uprisings on the part of the native Irish Catholic population, who deeply resented the encroachments and who viewed the Protestant “incomers” as heretics. This resentment erupted, from time to time, as in the major insurrection of 1641. Nevertheless, the Scots lived in Northern Ireland for slightly over a century.
    The five waves of “The Great Migration” out of Ireland by the Ulster Scots that began in 1717 were caused by a combination of political, economic and religious factors.

    • The English landlords were Anglican and realized a large percentage of their income from tithes payable by all, regardless of religion. As Protestants, the Ulster Scots were not members of the official church, a variety of laws restricted their religious and political rights.
    • The Scots settlers had established farms that they had continued to improve through almost four generations. In 1717, as the first group of 100-year leases came due for renewal, the landlords, in a process known as “rack-renting,” raised the rents on the improved lands to such an exorbitant extent that many farmers could no longer afford to remain on the land.
    • Six years of drought occurred between 1714 and 1719 and three consecutive potato crops failed in 1724, 1725, and 1726. A famine in 1740 led to almost 400,000 deaths.
    • The growth in the Irish woolen and linen industry began to threaten those industries in England and Parliament’s Wool Act of 1699 represented a severe financial setback to Ulster Scots whose money was tied to this industry.

    These factors, when combined, made the perilous and expensive voyage to North America less of an obstacle than that of remaining on their land that now cost an enormous amount in rents and had become impoverished due to continued crop failures and drought. For those who tried to remain, the ensuing famine represented the tipping point, with entire protestant communities setting sail in search of land, religious tolerance, and a better life in general.
    The first wave of migration (1717-1718 ) saw about 5,000 leave Ulster; the second (1725-1729) was larger. The individuals migrating during these two time periods tended to enter through Philadelphia and the Delaware River. Conflicts flared between these individuals and the Quakers and Germans already living in these areas, and so the third wave (1740-1741) was characterized by a push to the west, across Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and then on into the Carolinas. They would later move into Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee in the years following the American Revolution. The effect of Ireland’s 1740 drought would be the single most significant factor driving migration for the following ten years. The fourth and fifth waves (1754-1755 and 1771-1775) spring, in large part, from effective propaganda from America which took two forms: encouragement from family members already in America and relocation schemes promulgated by several North Carolina governors, among others. During those years close to 250,000 individuals migrated. Throughout the Great Migration, the desire for religious freedom, distance from organized government, and land ownership propelled the Ulster Scots out of Ireland. Perhaps not surprisingly, they were almost always supporters of American independence.
    The term “Scots-Irish” and/or “Ulster Scot” became less used as the original settlers became assimilated into the mainstream of American life. It would not regain importance as a descriptor until the nineteenth century brought new waves of Irish immigrants during the potato famine. Individuals whose ancestors had settled in the United States as a result of “The Great Migration” felt the need to distinguish themselves from these new waves of immigrants who were Gaelic Irish, not Scots; Catholic, not Presbyterian; and who tended to settle in groups in cities such as New York and Boston, rather than in the Mid-West and South as had the Ulster Scots. By some estimates as many as twenty-seven million Americans can claim Protestant Ulster Scots origins. Their ancestors made an indelible mark on American history, including such diverse individuals as Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Andrew Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, Mark Twain, John Wayne, and Woodrow Wilson, among others.
    Irish research is not a simple task. Research into your possible Ulster Scots heritage may be slightly less difficult if you can establish where your ancestor came from, during what time period, and to which religion he or she professed. If you can trace him or her to a location within the confines of the Ulster Plantation and substantiate that he or she was Presbyterian, you will be able to focus your research more readily. The social status of your ancestor and the survival of records for a particular area will probably govern the success of your research.
    You may wish to look at the Scotch-Irish Central website for a series of links to research institutions and resources, and at the website of the Ulster History Foundation. In addition, the following print resources will also be of assistance.

    • The Book of Scots-Irish Family Names by Robert Bell (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 1997).

    • Heroes of the Scots-Irish in America by Billy Kennedy (Londonderry: Causeway Press, 2000).

    • Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research by Margaret Dickson Falley. 2 volumes in 3 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998 ).

    • The Scotch-Irish: A Social History by James G. Leyburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1962).

    • Scotch-Irish Family Research Made Simple by R. G. Campbell, rev. ed. (Summit Publications, 1987).

    • The Scotch-Irish in America by Henry Jones Ford (Bibliobazaar, 2009).

    • Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America by Charles Knowles Bolton (Nabu Press, 2010).

    • The Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky by Billy Kennedy (Londonderry: Causeway Press, 1998 ).

    • The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee by Billy Kennedy (Londonderry: Causeway Press, 1995).

    • The Scots-Irish in the Shenandoah Valley by Billy Kennedy (Londonderry: Causeway Press, 1996).

    • A Short History of Ulster by Sean McMahon (Cork: Mercier Press, 2000).

    • Scottish and Scotch-Irish Contributions to Early American Life and Culture by William C. Lehmann (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1978 ).

    • Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775. (Ulster Historical Foundation, 2010).

    • Ulster Sails West by William F. Marshall (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996).

    Last edited by imblest; 07-10-2020 at 02:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
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    We had a discussion on here about this topic in another thread, which didn't have anything to do with this topic, so I promised one of my good friends on here that I would start a different thread on this topic.
    Judy, GeorgiaPeach and imblest like this.

  3. #3
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    Your Guide To Scottish Surnames

    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... you'll find the answers you're looking for right here.
    Use these links to jump to:

    The Early History Of Scottish Names

    Scotland is a very old country, and it's earliest human settlements date back to thousands of years before Christ was born.

    We also have a history littered with invasions and battles!
    For a long time Scotland has at war with (or in conflict with) England.
    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 Italy), and you'll soon see why the structure underlying Scottish naming practices was so complicated.
    Interesting Stuff

    During the 13th century approx. 30% of men were named William, John or Richard.

    Ireland was the first country to use family names (aka 'last' or 'surnames')

    Because of the way the Scottish clan system works (patriarchal), a mother's birth-clan or maiden name was sometimes used as her child's middle name

    The use of 'fixed' (or recognized) Scottish surnames appeared occasionally as early as the 10th or 12th centuries, but didn't begin to be used with any sort of consistency until the 16th century.
    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.
    For example:

    • The surname Daly has it's origins in the Irish name O'Dalaigh and Docherty also has Irish roots
    • The Scottish boys name Andrew is Greek in origin, and is the root of today's popular Scottish surname of Anderson
    • The last name Grant is derived from the French word 'grand', meaning 'big'
    • The name Fraser, which is of Norman origin, comes from the French word 'fraisier' or strawberry plant.

    How Personal 'Bynames' Became Scottish Surnames

    Personal bynames were the 'seeds' from which Scottish last names 'grew', and they usually fell into one of three different categories

    • Territorial or Locational
    • Occupational
    • Relational - usually Patronymic (derived from fathers' name)

    Territorial or Locational Names:

    This means exactly what you think it does... these names were based on a persons location (usually birthplace) or territory.
    It could be a region, district, town, village, island, parish and so on.
    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.
    But over time, the practice slowly spread throughout all levels of Scottish society.
    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.
    There was one more group in this category - 'topgraphical' names.
    These were locational but referred to a specific topographical feature of the landscape rather than a specific region.
    For example - a river, a loch, a bridge and so on.
    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 examples might include:

    • Names that contain 'kirk' (as in Kirkland, or Selkirk) which means 'church' in Gaelic
    • 'Muir' or names that contain it (means 'moor' in Gaelic)
    • A name which has 'Barr' in it (this means 'hilltop' in Gaelic)

    ... and there are lots more.

    Occupational Bynames

    Again, the description is pretty much self-explanatory.
    Some common Scottish last names come from this group, and were based on the occupation, or job, of their owner.
    They're less common in people whose families originated in the Highlands, than in the Lowlands.
    For example:

    • Baird (a 'bard' or poet)
    • Blair ('blar' means 'battle' in Gaelic)
    • Caird (craftsman)
    • Gow (a smith)
    • Laird (a lord or landowner)
    • Steward (a steward)
    • Webster (a weaver)

    Relational Bynames - Patronymic

    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.
    Okay, I'll try to make that more clear:
    Lowland Scot, using a suffix...

    • Father's name is 'Andrew' (assuming that he only has one name at this point)
    • Son's name is 'John' (again he only has one name)
    • Using the patronymic formula, the suffix 'son' is added to the father's name and the son becomes known as John Andrewson(aka John, Andrew's son).

    Over time, 'Andrewson' became 'Anderson', which is a very popular Scottish surname.
    Highland Scot, using a prefix...

    • Father's name is Donald
    • Son's name is Craig
    • Using the patronymic formula, we add the prefix 'Mac' (from the Gaelic 'meic' which meant 'son of') to the father's name and the son becomes Craig MacDonald

    Once again, this highlights the complexity of the way Scottish surnames have developed.
    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!

    How Nicknames Fit In

    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.
    Over time many of these became surnames, or last names.
    Here are some examples:

    • Dunn (Olde English for 'dark') or donn (Gaelic for 'brown') could be used for someone who was dark-haired or dark-skinned. Dunn or Dunne is still used as a surname.
    • 'Ruadh' (Gaelic for 'red') could be for someone with red hair and became the last name Reid
    • 'Cam' (Gaelic for 'crooked') could be combined with a physical feature such as 'sron' (Gaelic for 'nose') or 'beul' (Gaelic for 'mouth').
      These became the very well-known Scottish surnames of Cameron and Campbell

    Scottish Clan Names

    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.... but as you may have guessed by now, it's not as simple as that.
    If you visit my Clans Of Scotland page you can learn the fascinating and bloody history behind the Scottish clans.
    You'll see that, at their core, they were basically huge extended families.
    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. She may go on to give her original clan or married name to a son later on, but then again she may not.
    Also, some clan members (whether related by blood or not) often dropped their 'original' bynames and adopted the name of the clan chief as a sign of loyalty, respect or allegiance.
    So, just because your last name is MacDonald, you can't assume that you are descended from the original MacDonald clan chief I'm afraid - your blood ancestors could have carried the MacGregor, Stuart or just about any other Scottish surname.
    It's a maze and a mystery, but that's part of the fun of tracing your family tree - you simply never know what you might find!

    Scottish Last Names Today

    By the late 19th century, the modern practice of using fixed, family surnames had become accepted in Scotland, and the naming patterns that we recognize today emerged.
    At this point family members began to share the same surnames, and these were passed directly from one generation to the next.
    Here are a couple of lists that you might find interesting.
    The first is a list of the most popular Scottish surnames over the last 140 years (according to the General Register Office for Scotland).
    The second is a table, using the same Top 20 names, and giving their category (ie territorial, patronymic etc.) and origins.

    Top 20 Most Popular Scottish Surnames

    According to statistics compiled by the General Register Office for Scotland, from statistics gathered over the last 140 years, these are the Top 20 Scottish last names...

    1. Smith
    2. Brown
    3. Wilson
    4. Campbell
    5. Stewart
    6. Thomson
    7. Robertson
    8. Anderson
    9. MacDonald
    10. Scott
    11. Reid
    12. Murray
    13. Taylor
    14. Clark
    15. Ross
    16. Watson
    17. Morrison
    18. Paterson
    19. Young
    20. Mitchell


    Origin & Meaning

    Smith Occupational
    Usually meaning 'blacksmith', but could also refer to a 'goldsmith'.
    Brown Descriptive
    From the color brown.
    Wilson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of William'
    Campbell Descriptive
    From the Gaelic 'cam beul' meaning 'crooked mouth'.
    Stewart Occupational
    From the Gaelic 'stig-weard' meaning 'sty-warden' or 'animal steward'.
    Thomson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Thomas'. This is the way that this name is normally spelled in Scotland, as opposed to 'Thompson'.
    Robertson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Robert'
    Anderson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Andrew'.
    Scott Territorial
    Meaning 'a Scotsman'.
    Reid Descriptive
    From the Gaelic word 'reid' meaning 'red'.
    Murray Territorial
    From the region of Moray.
    Taylor Occupational
    Meaning 'a tailor'.
    Clark Occupational
    Meaning 'a clerk'.
    Ross Territorial
    From the region of Ross. It could also be descriptive as in 'red'.
    Watson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Walter'.
    Morrison Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Morris'.
    Paterson Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Patrick'.
    Young Descriptive
    Meaning 'being young or youthful'.
    Mitchell Patronymic
    Meaning 'son of Michael'.

    If you're looking for baby names, or just want to take a peek at Scotland's most popular first names (also called 'Christian names'), why not check out these pages....
    Scottish Boys Names & Scottish Girls Names

    We hope you've enjoyed this little journey into the fascinating world of Scottish naming practices.
    If you're interested in learning more, here are some great books you might enjoy...

  4. #4
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
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    300 Scottish surnames and their meaning

    AUGUST 27, 2015 ANCESTRY
    Find out more about your Scottish surname from this list of Scottish surnames from Acheson to Woods. Please add a comment at the end of the page if your name is missing or you would like to add a note to your name.
    ACHESON – Variant of ATCHISON
    ADAMSON – Means “son of ADAM”.
    AIKEN – Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
    AITKEN – Derived from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive of ADAM.
    ALLAWAY – From a Scottish place name derived from alla “wild” and mhagh “field”.
    ALLEN – Derived from the given name ALAN.
    ARMSTRONG – Means “strong arm” from Old English earm and strang.
    ATCHISON – Variant of ATKINSON.
    BAIRD – Anglicized form of MAC AN BAIRD.
    BARBER – profession one who cut hair for a living.
    BATESON – Means “son of Batte”.
    BEATTIE – From the medieval name Battie, a diminutive of BARTHOLOMEW.
    BEGBIE – Originates in Scotland, where it is most common in the Edinburgh and East Lothian areas… [more] BLAIR – Placename derived from Gaelic blár meaning “plain, field, battlefield”.
    BOYD – From the name of the Scottish island of Bute.
    BRECKENRIDGE – Placename in Lanarkshire.
    BRODIE – Variant of BRODY
    BRUCE – From Brix, a city in Normandy, from which the Bruces came.
    BUCHANAN – From a Scottish place name meaning “house of the canon”.
    BURNS – Derived from Old English burne “stream”.
    CALHOUN – Variant of COLQUHOUN
    CAMERON – Means “crooked nose” from Gaelic cam “crooked” and sròn “nose”.
    CAMPBELL – From a Gaelic nickname cam béul meaning “wry or crooked mouth”.
    CARR – From a place name meaning “marsh” in Old Norse.
    CARSON – Meaning unknown, possibly from a place name.
    CLACHER – From the Scottish word clachair meaning “stonemason”.
    COBURN – Variant of COCKBURN
    COCKBURN – From a place in Berwickshire
    COLQUHOUN – From a place name meaning “narrow corner” or “narrow wood” in Gaelic.
    COUTTS – From the place name Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning “woods”.
    COWDEN – From various place names meaning either “coal valley”, “coal hill”, or “cow pasture” in Old English.
    CRAIG – Derived from Gaelic creag meaning “crag” or “rocks”.
    CROFT – From an Old English term that referred to a small pasture near a house.
    CRUICKSHANK – From a Scottish nickname meaning “bent legs”.
    CUMMINS – Means “descendant of Cuimin”, a Breton name meaning “little bent one”.
    CUNNINGHAM – From a place name in the Ayrshire district of Scotland.
    Currie – Anglicized form of Gaelic MacMhuirich. The name Muireach means “mariner”. The surname has been borne by a noted Hebridean family of bards.
    DARROW – Place name Darroch near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, said to be named from Gaelic darach “oak tree”.
    DAVID – From the given name DAVID.
    DAVIS – Means “son of DAVID”.
    DONAGHUE – Variant of DONOGHUE
    DONNE – From Gaelic donn meaning “brown”, a nickname for a person with brown hair.

    DOUGLAS – Anglicized form of Gaelic Dubhghlas, which meant “dark river” from dubh “dark” and glais “water, river”.
    DOUGLASS – Variant of DOUGLAS
    DRUMMOND – From a place name meaning “ridge” in Gaelic.
    DUBHGHLAS – Gaelic form of DOUGLAS
    DUFF – Derived from Gaelic dubh meaning “dark”.
    DUFFY – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
    DUNBAR – Means “castle headland” and place in East Lothian in Scotland.
    DUNCAN – From the given name DUNCAN.
    DUNCANSON – Means “son of DUNCAN”.
    DUNN – Derived from Old English dunn “dark” or Gaelic donn “brown”, referring to hair colour or complexion.
    EWART – From a Norman form of EDWARD also a place name meaning “river enclosure” in Old English.
    FAIRBAIRN – Means “beautiful child” in Middle English.
    FAULKNER – Old English for “falconer”.
    FERGUSON – Means “son of FERGUS”.
    FINDLAY – Derived from the given name FIONNLAGH.
    FINLEY – Derived from the given name FIONNLAGH.
    FORNEY – Name for someone who lived around ferns, from Middle English fern “fern” and heye “enclosure”.
    FRASER – Meaning unknown, originally Norman French Fresel, possibly from a lost place name in France.
    FRAZIER – Variant of FRASER
    GIBB – Derived from the given name GIB.
    GIBBS – Means “Gib’s son”, where Gib is a diminutive of GILBERT.
    GIBSON – Means “son of GIB”.
    GLEN – Variant of GLENN
    GLENN – Derived from Gaelic gleann “valley”… [more] GORDON – From a place name meaning “spacious fort” in the ancient Brythonic language.
    GRAEME – Variant of GRAHAM
    GRAHAM – Derived from the English place name Grantham which probably meant “gravelly homestead” in Old English.
    GRAHAME – Variant of GRAHAM
    GRANT – Derived from Norman French meaning “grand, tall, large, great”.
    GREER – Derived from the given name GREGOR.
    GRIER – Derived from the given name GREGOR.
    GRIEVE – Occupational name meaning “farm manager” in Middle English.
    HAMELDON – Variant of HAMILTON
    HAMILTON – From an English place name, derived from the elements hamel “crooked, mutilated” and dun “hill”.
    HARDIE – Scottish form of HARDY.
    HENDERSON – Means “son of HENDRY”.
    HENDRY – Derived from the given name HENRY.
    HEPBURN – From a place name meaning “high burial mound” in Old English.
    HOLME – Refers either to someone living by an island in a fen or near a holly tree (Middle English holm).
    HOLMES – Variant of HOLME.
    HOUSTON – Means “HUGH’s town”.
    HUGHES – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
    HUME – Variant of HOLME.
    HUNTER – Occupational name.
    IRVINE – Variant of IRVING
    IRVING – Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning “green water”.
    JACK – From the given name JACK.
    JARDINE – Means “garden”, denoting someone who worked as a gardener.
    JOHNSTON – From the name of a Scottish town, which meant “JOHN’s town”.
    KEIR – Variant of KERR.
    KEITH – Place name which is probably derived from “wood”.
    KELLY – From a Scottish place name derived from coille “grove”.
    KERR – From Scots kerr meaning “rough wet ground”, ultimately from Old Norse kjarr.
    KIDD – From a nickname meaning “young goat, kid” in Middle English.
    KINLEY – Variant of MCKINLEY.
    KINNAIRD – From the name of a place in Scotland.
    KYLES – Derived from Gaelic caol meaning “narrows, channel, strait”, originally given to a person who lived by a strait.
    Lamont – The name is of great antiquity in southern Argyll where the chiefs were known as “Mac Laomain Mor Chomhail Uile” or “The Great MacLamont of all Cowal”. The name originates from Scotland and Northern Ireland and is derived from Old Norse – Lagman. Lag meaning law.
    LENNOX – From a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd in Gaelic, possibly meaning “place of elms”.LENOX – Variant of LENNOX.
    LESLEY – Variant of LESLIE.
    LESLIE – From a Scottish place name, probably derived from Gaelic leas celyn meaning “garden of holly”.
    LESTER – Variant of LISTER.
    LINDSAY – From the region of Lindsey in Lincolnshire, which means “LINCOLN island” in Old English.
    LINDSEY – Variant of LINDSAY.
    LISTER – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir meaning “son of the arrow maker”.
    LITHGOW – Habitation name meaning “pool, damp, hollow”.
    LOGAN – From a Scottish place name meaning “little hollow”.
    LOW – Variant of LAW.
    LOWE– Variant of LOW.
    LOWRY – From a diminutive of LAURENCE.
    LUSK – Possibly means “cave” in Gaelic.
    LYNE – Place name in Ayrshire, Peeblesshire, and Wigtownshire.
    MACALASTAIR – Gaelic form of MCALISTER.
    MAC AN TSAGAIRT – Gaelic form of TAGGART.
    MAC AN TSAOIR – Gaelic form of MCINTYRE.
    MACBAY – Variant of MACBETH.
    MACBETH – Derived from the Gaelic given name Mac Beatha meaning “son of life”.
    MACCALLION – Anglicized form of MACCAILÍN.
    MACCALLUM – From Gaelic Mac Coluim meaning “son of COLUMBA”.
    MACCANCE – Variant form of MACANGUS.
    MACCHRUIM – Means “son of Crum”, where Crum is a Gaelic byname meaning “bent”.
    MACDOMHNAILL – Gaelic form of MACDONALD.
    MACDONALD – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Domhnaill meaning “son of DONALD”.
    MACDOUGALL – Means “son of DOUGAL” in Scottish.
    MACEALAIR – Gaelic form of MCKELLAR
    MACEANRAIG – Gaelic form of MCKENDRICK
    MACGREGOR – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Griogair meaning “son of GREGOR”… [more] MACGRIOGAIR – Gaelic form of MACGREGOR
    MACGRORY – Variant of MCCRORY
    MACIOMHAIR – Gaelic form of MCIVER
    MACIVER – Variant of MCIVER
    MACKAY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
    MACKENNA – Variant of MCKENNA
    MACKENNY – Variant of MCKENNA
    MACKENZIE – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Coinnich meaning “son of COINNEACH”.
    MACLEAN – Variant of MCLAIN
    MACLEOD – Variant of MCLEOD
    MACLEÒID – Gaelic form of MCLEOD
    MACMHUIRICH – The name Muireach means “mariner”. The surname has been borne by a noted Hebridean family of bards.
    MACNEIL – Variant of MCNEIL
    MACQUEEN – Anglicized form of MACSHUIBHNE.
    MACRAE – Variant of MCCRAE
    MACTHAIDHG – Gaelic form of MCCAIG
    MAC WILLIAM – Means “son of WILLIAM” in Gaelic.
    MAGEE – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA. “Aodh” meaning “Fire”, originally the name of a pagan god.
    MAGRAITH – Gaelic form of MCCRAE
    MASSON – Variant of MASON
    MASTERS – Means “son of the master” from Middle English maister.
    MATHESON – Means “son of MATTHEW”.
    MAXWELL – From a place name meaning “Mack’s stream”, from the name Mack, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS, combined with Old English wella “stream”.
    MCADAMS – Means “son of ADAM” in Gaelic.
    MCAFEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
    MCALISTER – From Gaelic Mac Alastair meaning “son of ALISTAIR”.
    MCARTHUR – Means “son of ARTHUR” in Gaelic.
    MCCABE – Means “son of Cába”, where Cába is a given name meaning “cape”.
    MCCAIG – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Thaidhg meaning “son of TADHG”.
    MCCALLUM – Variant form of MACANGUS
    MCCLELLAND – From Gaelic Mac Giolla Fhaoláin meaning “son of the servant of FAOLÁN”.
    MCCONNELL – Derived from Gaelic Mac Domhnaill (see MACDONALD).
    MCCORMICK – From Gaelic Mac Cormaic meaning “son of CORMAC”.
    MCCOY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
    MCCRACKEN – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Reachtain, Ulster variant of MAC NEACHTAIN.
    MCCRAE – From the Gaelic Mag Raith meaning “son of Rath”, a given name meaning “prosperity” or “grace”.
    MCCREERY – Variant of MCCRORY
    MCCRORY – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Ruaidhrí meaning “son of RUAIDHRÍ”.
    MCEWAN – Anglicized form of MAC EOGHAIN
    MCFARLANE – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Pharlain meaning “son of PARTHALÁN”.
    MCFEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
    MCGEE – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
    MCGILL – Means “son of the foreigner” in Gaelic, derived from gall “foreigner”.
    MCINTYRE – From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir meaning “son of the carpenter”.
    MCIVER – Means “son of IVOR” in Irish.
    MCKAY – Anglicized form of MAC AODHA
    MCKELLAR – From Gaelic Mac Ealair meaning “son of EALAIR”.
    MCKENDRICK – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Eanraig meaning “son of HENRY”.
    MCKENNA – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cionaodha meaning “son of CIONAODH”.
    MCKINLEY – Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Fhionnlaigh meaning “son of FIONNLAGH”.
    MCKINNEY – Variant of MCKENNA
    MCLAIN – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Eoin meaning “son of the servant of EOIN”.
    MCLEAN – Variant of MCLAIN
    MCLEOD – From Gaelic Mac Leòid meaning “son of Leod”, a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr “ugly”.
    MCNAB – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Aba meaning “son of the abbot”.
    MCNABB – Variant of MCNAB
    MCNAUGHTON – Anglicized form of MAC NEACHTAIN
    MCNEIL – Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Néill meaning “son of NIALL”.
    MCNEILL – Variant of MCNEIL
    MCNIEL – Variant of MCNEIL
    MCPHEE – Anglicized form of MAC DUIBHSHÍTHE
    MCQUEEN – Anglicized form of MACSHUIBHNE.
    MCRAE – Variant of MCCRAE
    MCREYNOLDS – Means “son of REYNOLD” in Gaelic.
    MCTAGGART – Variant of TAGGART
    MCWILLIAM – Means “son of WILLIAM” in Gaelic.
    MELVILLE – From the place name Malleville meaning “bad town” in Norman French.
    MELVIN – Variant of MELVILLE
    MEYRICK – Variant of MERRICK
    MILLIGAN – From the Gaelic given name Maolagán, a derivative of maol meaning “bald” or “tonsured”.

    MITCHELL – Derived from the given name MICHAEL.
    MOFFETT – From a place name in Scotland meaning “long field”.
    MONROE – Designated a person who had originally lived near the mouth of the Roe River in Derry, Ireland.
    MONTGOMERY – From a place name in Calvados, France meaning “GUMARICH’s mountain”.
    MORAY – Variant of MURRAY
    MORRIS – Derived from the given name MAURICE.
    MUNRO – Variant of MONROE
    MUNROE – Variant of MONROE
    MURDOCH – Scottish form of MURDOCK.
    MURRAY – Derived from the region in Scotland called Moray meaning “seaboard settlement”.
    NEIL – Derived from the given name NEIL.
    NESS – Means “headland” in Middle English, originally referring to a person who lived there.
    NEVIN – Anglicized form of MAC NAOIMHÍN.
    NIVEN – Variant of NEVIN.
    NORRIS – Means “from the north” from Old French norreis.
    OLIVER – Derived from the given name OLIVER.
    PATERSON – Means “son of PATRICK”.
    PATTON – Diminutive of the medieval name Pate, a short form of PATRICK.
    PAYNE – Means “villager, rustic” and later “heathen” from Middle English Payn, Old French Paien which was often given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults whose religious zeal was lacking.
    POTTINGER – Occupational name for an apothecary.
    RALSTON – Originally denoted a person from Ralston, Scotland.
    RAMSAY – Variant of RAMSEY.
    RAMSEY – Means “garlic island”, derived from Old English hramsa “garlic” and eg “island”… [more] RATTRAY – From a place name meaning “fortress town”, from Gaelic rath “fortress” and Welsh tref “town”.
    READY – Originally denoted a person from Reedie, Scotland.
    REID – Scots variant of READ.
    ROSE – Means “rose” from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German.
    ROSS – From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland) which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros meaning “promontory, headland”.
    ROWE – Means “dweller by a row of hedges or houses” from Middle English row… [more] ROY – Means “red haired” from the Gaelic ruadh.
    RUSKIN – Means “tanner” from the Gaelic rusg(aire)an.
    RUTHERFORD – Originally taken by families who lived near the town of Rutherford in Scotland.
    SANGSTER – Occupational surname meaning “song-maker or singer” from Old English.
    SAUNDERS – Variant of SANDERS
    SCHOOL – Derived from either the Old Norse given name Skúli, the Old Danish Skuli or the Old Swedish Skule which probably all mean “to protect”.
    SCOTT – Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic. Derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word “scotti”.
    SKEATES – First found in Ayrshire, taken from the village of Skeoch, near Mauchline.
    STARRETT – Originally indicated a person from Stairaird, a town in Scotland.
    STERLING – Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
    STEWART – Occupational name for an administrative official of an estate or steward, from Old English stig “house” and weard “guard”.
    STIRLING – Variant of STERLING
    STROUD – Locational name meaning “thicket, marsh, marshy ground overgrown with brushwood”.
    STRUDWICK – Originally a name for a person from Strudwick, England.STUART – Variant of STEWART
    SUTHERLAND – County name that described a person who came from the former county by this name.
    TAGGART – Meaning “priest”.
    THORBURN – Derived from the Old Norse given name ÞÓRBJÖRN.
    UNDERWOOD – From a Scottish and English place name for a man who lived at the edge of the woods.
    URQUHART – Derived from Welsh ar “by” and cardden “thicket”.
    WALDROUP – Variant of WARDROBE
    WALLACE – Means “foreigner, stranger” from the Norman French waleis.
    WALLIS – Variant of WALLACE
    WATERS – Patronymic form of WALTER.
    WATSON – Patronymic form of the English and Scottish name Watt.
    WOOD – Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a wood or forest.
    WOODS – Variant of WOOD

    Featured image: Rob Mahan

  5. #5
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Clan Scott Society
    Common Scottish Surnames and Surname Organizations

    Confusing the concepts of being Scottish and being Scott-ish, visitors often come to our clan tent at festivals and gatherings seeking to locate the clan for their particular surname. Responding to this interest, many of our Clan representatives have materials on hand to help these lost Scots find their clan. Continuing in this tradition of helping fellow Scots find their heritage, we offer information about other Scottish Clan organizations on these web pages.

    Underlined surnames below are linked to the home page of a clan or family surname organizations for that surname in the surname ranking lists below. No significant attempt was made to link sept (associated) surnames to their respective clan organization's web site. Individual's web sites or genealogy sites are typically not linked to any surname below.

    Surnames not on these lists may appear below under the heading of Clan and Family Name Organizations as do additional links to organization web sites for those surnames which have more than one active web site or organization. Be sure to check this additional list to be certain you have found all appropriate web sites for a surname.

    Use your browser's Find function to search for the surname you're interested in. (Ctrl-F on most browsers)

    If we have missed a clan or family name organization, please send the link to our Webmaster.

    150 Most Common Scottish Surnames in the United States
    1. Smith
    2. Brown
    3. Wilson
    4. Anderson
    5. Thompson
    6. Clark
    7. Walker
    8. Young
    9. Scott
    10. Mitchell
    11. Campbell
    12. Stewart
    13. Bell
    14. Bailey
    15. Cooper
    16. Watson
    17. Ross
    18. Henderson
    19. Patterson
    20. Alexander
    21. Hamilton
    22. Graham
    23. Wallace
    24. McDonald
    25. Marshall
    26. Murray
    27. Crawford
    28. Boyd
    29. Kennedy
    30. Burns
    31. Gordon
    32. Shaw
    33. Robertson
    34. Ferguson
    35. Rose
    36. Duncan
    37. Cunningham
    38. Armstrong
    39. Elliott
    40. Austin
    41. Carr/Kerr
    42. Montgomery
    43. Johnston(e)
    44. Morrison
    45. Reid
    46. Frazier/Fraser
    47. Douglas
    48. Fleming
    49. Davidson
    50. McKinney
    51. Craig
    52. Fletcher
    53. McDaniel
    54. Ramsey
    55. Cummings/Cumming
    56. Stevenson/Stephenson
    57. Maxwell
    58. Lindsey/Lindsay
    59. McBride
    60. McLaughlin/MacLachlan
    61. Buchanan
    62. Logan
    63. McKenzie
    64. Burnett
    65. Nicholson
    66. Monroe/Munro
    67. Calhoun/Colquholn
    68. Bruce
    69. Gilmore
    70. McClaine/McLaine
    71. Keith
    72. McDowell
    73. McLean
    74. McCall
    75. McKee
    76. Livingston(e)
    77. McIntosh
    78. McCulloch/McCullough
    79. McKnight
    80. McMillan
    81. McIntyre
    82. Gillespie
    83. McNeil/McNeal/McNeill
    84. McFarland/McFarlane
    85. Dunlap/Dunlop
    86. McKay
    87. McCarty
    88. McPherson
    89. Stuart
    90. McCray
    91. McFadden
    92. McLeod/McCloud
    93. Forbes
    94. Guthrie
    95. Rankin
    96. Hanna/Hannah
    97. Lockhart
    98. Sinclair
    99. Kirkpatrick
    100. Dunbar
    101. McElroy
    102. Leslie/Lesley
    103. Sterling/Stirling
    104. McLellan/McClelland
    105. Burrell/Birral
    106. Ritchie
    107. McQueen
    108. McKinley
    109. McLendon
    110. McCain
    111. McCord
    112. Carmichael
    113. McCauley/MacAulay
    114. Pollock/Polk
    115. Irvin/Irvine/Irving
    116. McGraw
    117. McCollum
    118. Kilgore/Kilgour
    119. Trotter
    120. Akins/Aiken/Eakins
    121. McRae
    122. McKenna
    123. Drummond
    124. McNair
    125. Laird
    126. Abernathy
    127. Napier
    128. Weir
    129. Christie
    130. McCracken
    131. Crenshaw
    132. Witherspoon/Wotherspoon
    133. Kincaid/Kincade
    134. MacBain/McBean
    135. Sherer/Shearer
    136. McKinnon
    137. Duff
    138. Nesbitt/Nisbet
    139. McHugh
    140. Bowie
    141. McGregor
    142. Snodgrass
    143. Kilpatrick
    144. Moffett
    145. McCrary
    146. McWhorter
    147. McDuffie
    148. McCurdy
    149. McAdams
    150. Chisholm

    Top 100 Surnames in Scotland
    According to a survey by the Registrar General for Scotland in 1990
    1 Smith
    2 Brown
    3 Wilson
    4 Stewart
    5 Thomson
    6 Campbell
    7 Robertson
    8 Anderson
    9 Scott
    10 MacDonald
    11 Murray
    12 Reid
    13 Taylor
    14 Clark
    15 Young
    16 Ross
    17 Watson
    18 Morrison
    19 Mitchell
    20 Walker
    21 Paterson
    22 Fraser
    23 Kerr
    24 Miller
    25 Duncan
    26 Hamilton
    27 Cameron
    28 Gray
    29 Johnston
    30 Graham
    31 Davidson
    32 McDonald
    33 Henderson
    34 Martin
    35 Grant
    36 Bell
    37 Hunter
    38 Ferguson
    39 Kelly
    40 Simpson
    41 Allan
    42 Black
    43 McLean
    44 MacLeod
    45 MacKenzie
    46 Wallace
    47 Mackay
    48 Marshall
    49 Gibson
    50 Russell
    51 Kennedy
    52 Wright
    53 Stevenson
    54 Gordon
    55 Wood
    56 Sutherland
    57 White
    58 Milne
    59 Burns
    60 Muir
    61 Watt
    62 McKay
    63 McMillan
    64 Millar
    65 McIntosh
    66 Craig
    67 Cunningham
    68 Munro
    69 Hughes
    70 Johnstone
    71 McKenzie
    72 Sinclair
    72 Williamson
    74 Ritchie
    75 Murphy
    76 Bruce
    77 Jones
    78 McGregor
    79 Boyle
    80 Crawford
    81 Fleming
    82 Dickson
    82 Douglas
    82 Shaw
    85 McLaughlin
    86 Alexander
    87 Docherty
    88 Jamieson
    89 Lindsay
    90 King
    91 Donaldson
    92 Christie
    93 Hill
    94 McIntyre
    95 Findlay
    96 Ramsay
    97 Aitken
    98 McFarlane
    99 McLeod
    100 Mackie
    100 MacLean

    Note that different spellings have not been added together. If they had been:

    Mac/McDonald would come after Brown
    Miller/ar would come after Scott
    Johnston/e would come after Miller/ar
    Mac/McLean would come after Clark
    Mac/McLeod would come after Mac/McLean
    Mac/McKenzie would come after Taylor
    Mac/McKay would come after Mac/McKenzie.

    All of the 'top 50' except McDonald, Kelly, McLean, Wallace and Marshall were in the 'top 100' in 1858, and of the current 'second 50', only Sutherland, White, Munro, Sinclair and MacLean were in the 'top 100' in 1858. This is a significant change in a relatively short time.

    Below is a brief extract from Black's 'Surnames of Scotland'
    for the 150 Most Common Scottish Surnames in the United States

    Black states quite specifically that the Scottish patronymic is "Mac" and that he regards the contraction to "Mc" or "M' " as incorrect. This, no doubt, will annoy many a good Scot, both at home and overseas!

    Webmaster's Note: Mac is the same word as the Gaelic word "meic" meaning "son of" and was used to identify someone, like "son of Dougall," before MacDougall was a surname. "Mc" is an abbreviation of "Mac". It was written with an apostrophe or two dots below the "c" or other ways, to show that the full "Mac" was shortened. "M'" is the same. There is no significance if Mc or Mac or M' are used. Some people will tell you Mc is Irish and Mac is Scottish. This isn't true. The "O'"s (e.g. O'Sullivan) are strictly Irish so any in Scotland probably can trace their ancestors back to 19th century Irish immigrants. But "Mc" and "Mac" are found in both countries. In some cases, leaving off the "Mac" all together may have occurred somewhere along the way, so someone with the surname MacDonald ("son of Donald") is of the same global family as another person with the surname Donald. So, when looking for a surname organization or doing genealogy research, be sure to look for the other forms of the surname.
    1. Smith - occupational, as in 'blacksmith or goldsmith' (English)
    2. Brown - descriptive, from the colour (English)
    3. Wilson - patronymic - 'son of William' (English/Norman/Germanic)
    4. Anderson - patronymic - 'son of Andrew' (English/Greek)
    5. Thompson - patronymic - 'son of Thomas' (English/Hebrew) the normal spelling in Scotland is Thomson
    6. Clark - occupational, as clerk (Latin)
    7. Walker - occupational, from 'wealcere' meaning a fuller (Old English)
    8. Young - descriptive (English)
    9. Scott - (1) a Scotsman (English) or (2) descriptive, from 'scutt' (English)
    10. Mitchell - patronymic - 'son of Michael' (English/Hebrew)
    11. Campbell - descriptive, from 'cam beul' meaning 'crooked mouth' (Gaelic)
    12. Stewart - occupational, from 'stig-weard' meaning 'sty-warden (Old English)
    13. Bell - (1) descriptive, from 'bel' meaning 'beautiful' (French) or (2) territorial, meaning 'one who lives near a bell (English) or (3) matronymic, meaning 'son of Isabella' (English)
    14. Bailey - occupational, meaning 'bailiff' (French)
    15. Cooper - occupational (English)
    16. Watson - patronymic - 'son of Walter' (English/Norman/Germanic)
    17. Ross - (1) territorial, from Ross in northern Scotland or (2) descriptive, meaning red-haired (Old English)
    18. Henderson - patronymic - 'son of Henry' (English/Norman/Germanic)
    19. Patterson - patronymic - 'son of Patrick' (English/Latin)
    20. Alexander - patronymic (Greek)
    21. Hamilton - territorial, from Hambleton or Hambledon in England
    22. Graham - territorial, from 'graeg-ham' meaning 'grey home' (Old English/Norman)
    23. Wallace - descriptive, meaning 'Welsh' or 'foreign' (Celtic)
    24. McDonald - patronymic - 'son of Donald' (Gaelic)
    25. Marshall - occupational, meaning 'horse servant' (French)
    26. Murray - territorial, from the province of Moray
    27. Crawford - territorial, from the barony in Lanarkshire
    28. Boyd - possibly territorial, from the Isle of Bute (Gaelic)
    29. Kennedy - origin obscure (Irish)
    30. Burns - territorial, from 'bourne' meaning 'stream' (English)
    31. Gordon - probably territorial, from Gordon in Berwickshire
    32. Shaw - (1) territorial, possibly from a place name meaning 'thicket' (English) or (2) an anglicisation of Sithig (Gaelic)
    33. Robertson - patronymic, meaning 'son of Robert' (English/Norman/Germanic)
    34. Ferguson - patronymic, meaning 'son of Fergus' (English/Gaelic)
    35. Rose - see Ross
    36. Duncan - descriptive, meaning 'brown warrior' (Gaelic)
    37. Cunningham - territorial, from Cunningham in Ayrshire (English)
    38. Armstrong - descriptive (English)
    39. Elliott - occupational?, from Aelfwald (Old English)
    40. Austin - (1) patronymic, from Augustine (Latin) or (2) used for Uisdean (Gaelic)
    41. Carr/Kerr - territorial, meaning 'copse' (Old Norse)
    42. Montgomery - territorial, from Sainte Foy de Montgomery, Lisieux, France (French)
    43. Johnston(e) - patronymic - 'son of John' (English/Hebrew)
    44. Morrison - patronymic - 'son of Maurice' (which means 'Moorish') (English/Latin)
    45. Reid - descriptive, meaning 'red' (English)
    46. Frazier/Fraser - occupational, from 'fraise' meaning 'strawberry' (French)
    47. Douglas - descriptive, meaning 'dark stranger' (Gaelic)
    48. Fleming - territorial, meaning a person from Flanders (English)
    49. Davidson - patronymic, meaning 'son of David' (English/Hebrew)
    50. McKinney/McKenna - patronymic, meaning 'son of Cionaodh' (Gaelic)
    51. Craig - territorial, from 'crag' meaning 'rock' (English)
    52. Fletcher - occupational (English)
    53. McDaniel - patronymic, meaning 'son of Daniel' (Gaelic/Hebrew)
    54. Ramsey - territorial, from Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, England. Usually spelled Ramsay in Scotland
    55. Cummings/Cumming - territorial, from Comines near Lille in France
    56. Stevenson/Stephenson - patronymic, meaning 'son of Stephen' (English/Norman/Greek)
    57. Maxwell - territorial, from 'Maccus' weal', a pool in the River Tweed (Old English)
    58. Lindsey/Lindsay - territorial, either from de Limesay near Rouen, France or from Lindsey in Lincolnshire, England
    59. McBride - matronymic, meaning 'son of Bridget' (Gaelic/Irish)
    60. McLaughlin/MacLachlan - patronymic, meaning 'son of Lachlan' (Gaelic)
    61. Buchanan - territorial, from the district in Stirlingshire
    62. Logan - territorial, from Logan in Ayrshire. might be related to 'lag' meaning 'hollow' (Gaelic)
    63. McKenzie - patronymic, meaning 'son of Kenneth' (which means 'handsome' or 'born of fire') (Gaelic)
    64. Burnett - patronymic, from Bernard (Old English/Germanic)
    65. Nicholson - patronymic, meaning 'son of Nicholas' (English/Greek) 66. Monroe/Munro - territorial, meaning 'from the foot of the Rover Roe (in Derry, Ireland)' (Gaelic)
    67. Calhoun/Colquholn usually Colquhoun in Scotland - territorial, from the lands in Dunbartonshire
    68. Bruce - territorial, from Brix in Normandy
    69. Gilmore - occupational, meaning 'servant of Mary (Gaelic)
    70. McClaine/McLaine - in Scotland usually MacLean - patronymic meaning 'son of the servant of John' (Gaelic)
    71. Keith - territorial, from the lands in East Lothian
    72. McDowell - patronymic meaning 'son of Dougal' (Gaelic)
    73. McLean See No 70 above
    74. McCall - patronymic, meaning 'son of Cathal' (Gaelic)
    75. McKee - variant of Mackay - patronymic meaning 'son of Aodh' (Gaelic)
    76. Livingston(e) - territorial, from the lands in West Lothian
    77. McIntosh - patronymic, meaning 'son of the chief' (Gaelic)
    78. McCulloch/McCullough - patronymic, possibly meaning 'son of the boar' (Gaelic)
    79. McKnight - variant of MacNaught - patronymic, meaning 'son of Nechtan' (Gaelic)
    80. McMillan - patronymic meaning 'son of the bald or tonsured one' (Gaelic)
    81. McIntyre - patronymic meaning 'son of the carpenter' (Gaelic)
    82. Gillespie - ocuupational meaning 'servant of the bishop' (Gaelic)
    83. McNeil/McNeal/McNeill -patronymic meaning 'son of Neil' (Gaelic)
    84. McFarland/McFarlane -patronymic meaning 'son of Bartholomew' (which means 'son of the twin') (Gaelic/Hebrew)
    85. Dunlap/Dunlop - territorial, from Dunlop in Ayrshire
    86. McKay - see No 75 above
    87. McCarty - not listed in Black - probably a patronymic meaning 'son of Arthur' (Irish?)
    88. McPherson - patronymic, meaning 'son of the parson' (Gaelic/English)
    89. Stuart - see No 12 above
    90. McCray - Usually MacRae in Scotland - a patronymic meaning 'son of grace' or 'son of prosperity' (Gaelic)
    91. McFadden - Usually MacFadyen in Scotland - patronymic, meaning 'son of little Pat(rick) (Gaelic/Latin)
    92. McLeod/McCloud - patronymic meaning 'son of Leod' (which means 'ugly') (Gaelic/Norse)
    93. Forbes - territorial, from the lands in Aberdeenshire
    94. Guthrie - territorial, from the barony in Angus
    95. Rankin - patronymic meaning 'little Randolph' (English/Germanic)
    96. Hanna/Hannah - possibly a patronymic meaning 'son of Senach' (Celtic)
    97. Lockhart - patronymic, from the personal name Locard (Old French/Germanic)
    98. Sinclair - territorial, from St Clare in Normandy
    99. Kirkpatrick - territorial, meaning 'church of St Patrick' (English/Latin)
    100. Dunbar - territorial, from the place name
    101. McElroy - patronymic, meaning 'son of the red-haired lad' (Gaelic)
    102. Leslie/Lesley - territorial, from the lands of Leslie, which are said to have been named after Laszlo, the servant of Queen Margaret (Hungarian). The spelling Lesley is almost unknown in Scotland except as a girl's given name.
    103. Sterling/Stirling - territorial, from the town
    104. McLellan/McClelland - patronymic, meaning 'son of the servant of (St) Fillan' (meaning 'wolf') Gaelic/Irish
    105. Burrell/Birral - usually spelled Birrel(l) in Scotland - territorial, from Burrill in Yorkshire, England
    106. Ritchie - patronymic, meaning 'little Richard' (which means 'rule hard') (Germanic)
    107. McQueen - patronymic, meaning 'son of Sweyn' (which means 'pig') (Gaelic/Norse)
    108. McKinley - patronymic, meaning 'son of Finlay' (which means 'fair hero') (Gaelic)
    109. McLendon - not listed in Black - possibly a variant of MacLennan, meaning 'son of the servant of Finnan' (Gaelic)
    110. McCain - Usually McCann in Scotland - patronymic meaning 'son of Annadh' (Gaelic)
    111. McCord - patronymic, meaning 'son of Cuart' (Gaelic)
    112. Carmichael - territorial, from the barony in Lanarkshire
    113. McCauley/MacAulay - patronymic, meaning 'son of Amalgaidh' (Gaelic/Irish)
    114. Pollock/Polk - territorial, from the lands in Renfrewshire
    115. Irvin/Irvine/Irving - territorial, from places in Dumfries-shire and Ayrshire
    116. McGraw - not listed in Black - probably an Irish variant of No 90
    117. McCollum - usually MacCallum in Scotland - patronymic meaning 'son of the servant of Columba' (Gaelic/Latin)
    118. Kilgore/Kilgour - territorial, from the place in Fife
    119. Trotter - occupational, meaning a messenger (Old French)
    120. Akins/Aiken/Eakins - usually Aitken in Scotland - patronymic, meaning 'little Adam' (English/Hebrew)
    121. McRae - see no 90 above
    122. McKenna - patronymic meaning 'son of Cionaodh' (Gaelic)
    123. Drummond - territorial, from the barony in Perthshire, or Drymen in Stirlingshire
    124. McNair - patronymic meaning (1) 'son of brown John' or (2) 'son of the heir' or (3) 'son of the smith' or (4) 'son of the stranger' (Gaelic)
    125. Laird - occupational, meaning landowner (English)
    126. Abernathy - usually Abernethy in Scotland - territorial, from the place in Perthshire
    127. Napier - occupational, meaning the person who looked after the linen (French)
    128. Weir - territorial, from various places named Vere in France
    129. Christie - occupational, meaning a Christian
    130. McCracken - patronymic, possibly related to No 79
    131. Crenshaw - not listed in Black
    132. Witherspoon/Wotherspoon - possibly territorial, meaning 'sheep pasture' (Old English)
    133. Kincaid/Kincade - territorial, from the lands in Stirlingshire
    134. MacBain/McBean - patronymic, meaning 'son of Bean' (which means life) (Gaelic)
    135. Sherer/Shearer - occupational (English)
    136. McKinnon - patronymic, meaning 'son of Finguaine' (which means 'fair born') (Gaelic/Irish)
    137. Duff - descriptive, meaning 'dark' (Gaelic)
    138. Nesbitt/Nisbet - territorial, from the barony in Berwickshire
    139. McHugh - patronymic, meaning 'son of Hugh' (which means 'mind') (Gaelic/Germanic)
    140. Bowie - descriptive, possibly meaning 'yellow' (Gaelic)
    141. McGregor - patronymic, meaning 'son of Gregor' (Gaelic/Latin)
    142. Snodgrass - territorial, from lands in Ayrshire
    143. Kilpatrick - territorial, meaning 'chapel of St Patrick' (English/Latin) (see No 99)
    144. Moffett - Usually Moffat in Scotland - territorial, from the town
    145. McCrary - not listed in Black - perhaps a variant of No 121
    146. McWhorter - Usually MacWhirter in Scotland - patronymic, meaning 'son of the harper' (Gaelic)
    147. McDuffie - patronymic, meaning 'son of the black man of peace' (Gaelic)
    148. McCurdy - Usually McKirdy in Scotland - patronymic, meaning 'son of the sea -ruler' (Gaelic/Norse
    149. McAdams - patronymic, meaning 'son of Adam' (Gaelic/Hebrew)
    150. Chisholm - territorial, from the barony in Roxburghshire
    Back to Table of Contents

    Clan and Family Name Organizations
    Those surnames which have a clan or family name association with a web site are listed below in alphabetical order by surname. Also, those with multiple clan or family name associations are listed with additional web site locations. For completeness, all names with a family name organization are listed below - even those listed and linked above.

    Because of the migrations of the Scots and the Irish, some Irish surname organizations appear here and are marked with a "i". For simplicity, all "Mc" names are shown with "Mac." If we have missed a clan or family name organization, please send the link to our Web Master.

    Didn't find your surname in any of the lists above? Try:

    • Scottish District Families Association
      A study of Scotland shows that approximately seventy percent of all the families of Scotland and their descendants were not affiliated with, or members of, the ancient Scottish Clans.

    Return to the Clan Scott Society Home Page

  6. #6
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    There are an enormous number of famous Scottish Americans, so I'm only going to list some of the better known ones.


    Sam Houston
    Andrew Jackson
    James Buchanan
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Woodrow Wilson
    Grover Cleveland
    Harry Truman
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Richard Nixon
    Jimmy Carter
    George H. W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    Bill Clinton
    George S. Patton
    Douglas McArthur
    John McCain
    Johnny Cash
    Dolly Parton
    Reba McEntire
    Loretta Lynn
    Elvis Presley
    Axle Rose
    Hank Williams
    Crystal Gayle
    Charlie Daniels
    John Wayne
    Mel Gibson
    Burt Lancaster
    Steve Martin
    Debbie Reynolds
    Brad Pitt
    Shirley MacLaine
    Clint Eastwood
    Arthur Davidson (One of the founders of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles)
    Jack Daniels
    Bill Gates
    John D. Rockefeller
    John Glenn
    Neil Armstrong
    Buzz Aldrin
    Edgar Allen Poe
    Stephen King
    Mark Twain
    Wyatt Earp
    Billy The Kid
    Joseph A. Campbell (Founder of Campbell soups)
    W.K Kellogg (Breakfast Cereals)
    Last edited by 6 Million Dollar Man; 01-10-2019 at 01:40 PM.
    GeorgiaPeach likes this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Let me also add Andrew Carnegie to that list.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    A great video on Scottish Americans (Scots-Irish) narrated by Billy Ray Cyrus....

    Last edited by 6 Million Dollar Man; 11-27-2019 at 02:39 PM.
    GeorgiaPeach likes this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 6 Million Dollar Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Confederate Flag History Lesson

    History of the Confederate Flag

    The best-known of all Confederate flags the battle flag is often erroneously confused with the national flag of the Confederacy. The battle flag features the cross of St. Andrew (the apostle was martyred by being crucified on an X-shaped cross), and is commonly called the "Southern Cross." A large degree of the Southern population was of Scottish and Scotch-Irish ancestry, and thus familiar with St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The stars represented the eleven states actually in the Confederacy, plus Kentucky and Missouri.

    The Army of Northern Virginia was the first to design a flag with the cross of St. Andrew, and Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard proposed adopting a version of it as the standard battle flag of the Confederate army. One of its virtues was that, unlike the Stars and Bars, the Southern Cross was next to impossible to confuse with the Stars and Stripes in battle.

    The Confederate battle flag eventually developed wide acceptance throughout the Confederacy, but it was by no means the only battle flag. The Stars and Bars continued to be used, and after it was replaced with a new national flag, that flag the "Stainless Banner"also appeared on the battlefield. In addition, some states used their own flags in combat.

    The Confederate battle flag, called the "Southern Cross" or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. The Southern Caucus provides information to promote our southern heritage.

    The Congress of the Confederate States of America (CSA) convened a meeting and decided on this as the first formal flag of the CSA in March of 1861. It was a slight modification of the already existing flag of the USA. It was formally known as the Stars and Bars, and comprised 3 stripes in this order: red, white, red. On the upper left corner was a deep blue square which had a circle of 7 stars in it. A unique moment of a lesson of Confederate flag history was on the battle flag. This is how it got its name. History points to the flag, however, was soon rejected due to some problems that it posed. During the battle in Virginia, between Manassas and Bull Run Creek, this confederate flag history caused a lot of serious confusion. Because it bore a striking resemblance to the flag of the U.S. (stars and stripes), soldiers from the North and the South were often confused about who belonged to which part. This tiny mistake resulted in the death of many soldiers and hence it was decided to alter the design of the flag, a lesson in history.

    The history reflects creation of a Confederate flag was one of the first decisions of the new country. The job of designing the flag was given to the new Committee on the Flag and Seal.

    Read about the true meaning and history of our Confederate Flag

    Confederate Flag Meaning

    Also at same above link, read info about:
    The history of our Confederate Flag, Christian influence of St. Andrews Cross?

    More information and documentation of the candidates and our flag. George Wallace told us to send them a message. In 1955, the Georgia state flag was redesigned to incorporate the Confederate Battle Flag. This caused much controversy, and in January 2001, a new design was adopted intending to recognize the Confederate Battle Flag's historical significance while minimizing its prominence. Voter backlash in 2002 booted the Governor over the issue, giving way for the state's first Republican Governor in 130 years. In 2003, because of the continued controversy, the flag was redesigned yet again, without any image of the Confederate Battle Flag, although it does now strongly resemble the First National Flag of the Confederacy, known as the "Stars and Bars." In March of 2004, another vote was taken giving voters the opportunity to choose between the two most recent designs of the flag, but specifically excluded the Confederate Flag version of 1956.

    The Confederate Battle Flag became a part of the Mississippi state flag in 1894, whereupon a strange series of events ensued. In 1906, the flag statutes were omitted by error from the new legal code of the state, leaving Mississippi without an official flag. The omission was not discovered until 1993, when a lawsuit filed by the NAACP regarding the flag was being reviewed by the Mississippi Supreme Court. In 2000, the Governor issued an executive order making the flag official. After continued controversy, the decision was turned over to citizens of the state, who, on April 17, 2001, voted 2-1 to keep the Confederate Battle Flag emblem on the state flag.

    The image of the Confederate Flag conjures up the "blue cross with white stars on a red background" which is more properly known as the Confederate battle flag, although, in fact, there were a number of Confederate Flags used during the war, and many regiments and companies had their own unique flags. The earlier Confederate flags were far more similar to the "Stars and Stripes" design of the Northern US states and often caused confusion. Therefore, it was decided to take on a different design, which had been inspired by the South Carolina secession banner and was created by South Carolina Congressman William Porcher Miles.

    At that time, October 1861, the Confederacy consisted of 11 states and had also recognized the delegation from Missouri. Therefore, the flag would have 12 stars on a rectangular field. In order to make it easier to manufacture, and to save on materials, the flag was made square. The first 120 silk battle flags were issued in November 1861. They had 12 gold-painted stars on blue bars edged with white on fields of pink or rose. The exterior borders of the flags were yellow. The hoist edge of the silk flags was blue. Some officers did not care for the colors and were told by General Pierre Beauregard to "dye it red sir; dye it with your blood!" There were eight more variations of this famous square battle flag before the end of the war, with the latter variants all the deep red color that we now identify with the flag.

    This version of the Confederate flag was used as a navy jack at sea from 1863, before it became the generally recognized symbol of the South.
    Last edited by 6 Million Dollar Man; 05-15-2020 at 07:29 PM.

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