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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Darrah family come from? What is the Scottish Darrah family crest and coat of arms? When did the Darrah family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Darrah family history?

The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of first people to use the name Darrah. The name was found in Darroch in Stirlinghsire. The name could also be derived a form of the lost name MacDara which meant son of oak and others believe the name is from Dath riabhach. Literally, the name comes from the Gaelic "darach" which means "oak tree."

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In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. Darrah has appeared Darroch, Darrow, Darrach, Daroch, Darach, Darragh, Darrogh, Darrioch, Darraugh, Darrough and many more.

First found in Stirlingshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Darrah research. Another 196 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1406, 1462, 1500, and 1784 are included under the topic Early Darrah History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 34 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Darrah Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Darrah family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Darrah:

Darrah Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert Darrah, who arrived in New England in 1738

Darrah Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Darrah, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • John Darrah, aged 28, who landed in America from Antrim, in 1893

Darrah Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • William Darrah, aged 26, who landed in America from Ireland, in 1907
  • Mrs. B. W. Darrah, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Thomas W. Darrah, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1908
  • William Darrah, aged 23, who settled in America from Cummingstown, Ireland, in 1911
  • Charles Darrah, aged 53, who emigrated to the United States from Cheadle, England, in 1920


Darrah Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • A. Darrah arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883

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  • John W. Darrah (b. 1938), United States federal judge from Chicago, Illinois
  • Lydia Barrington Darrah (1728-1789), American woman said to have crossed British lines during the British occupation of Philadelphia, during the American Revolutionary War, and gave information to George Washington about the pending British attack
  • William Lindsey "Bill" Darrah (1876-1920), American sheep rancher and stonemason known for his construction of lava rock water tanks in Idaho
  • Laura Darrah, American Assistant Director at the Western Michigan University
  • James D. "Jim" Darrah (d. 2014), English actor, known for The Getaway (2002), Buying Porn (2007) and Fool Britannia (2012)
  • William C. Darrah, Canadian Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia a the University of Toronto
  • Captain Charles John Darrah, Canadian Royal Engineer officer awarded the Crimean Campaign medal with Sebastopol bar, Turkish Crimean Campaign medal and the Abyssinian Campaign medal


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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Darrah Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Darrah Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 March 2015 at 12:40.

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