Doncan is a very old Scottish name that may even date back to the Dalriadan tribe of Scotland's western coast and Hebrides
islands. It comes from the Gaelic personal name
"Donnchad," which means "brown warrior". The personal name Donnchad
is composed of two elements; "donn," which means "brown" and "cath," which means "warrior".
Early Origins of the Doncan family
The surname Doncan was first found in Northumberland
, where they held great estates but were a branch of the distinguished Scottish Clan
of Duncan who were originally of Iona
in the Hebrides
, but changed their name and continued to use the basic Coat of Arms of the Duncan Clan.
Early History of the Doncan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doncan research.Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doncan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Doncan Spelling Variations
are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland
. Doncan has been spelled Donkin, Downkin, Donking, Donken, Downken and others.
Early Notables of the Doncan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Doncan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Doncan family to the New World and Oceana
Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence
, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan
societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Doncans to arrive in North America: Patrick Donkin arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820.
The Doncan Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Disce pati
Motto Translation: Learn to suffer.
Doncan Family Crest Products