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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The roots of the name Drysdale are found among the Strathclyde-Briton people of the ancient Scottish/English Borderlands. Drysdale was originally found in Dumfriesshire.


The surname Drysdale was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. Specifically, the family claims descent from Dryfesdale, a civil parish in Annandale. [1] The "dale" takes its name from the river Dryfe, commonly known as Dryfe Water. Lockerbie falls within the civil parish of Dryfesdale and is generally believed to have been an ancient Viking village c. 900. "There is also a Roman work situated upon an eminence in the centre of the extensive holm of Dryfe and Annan, and which is called Gallaberry, or the station of the Gauls. The most perfect relic of this kind, however, is the British fort at Dryfesdale-gate, occupying two acres of ground, and the counterpart of which is a large Roman work, about half a mile due east, separated only by a moor, on which a bloody battle was fought between the army of Julius Agricola and the forces of Corbredus Galdus, the Scottish king" [2] The Church of Dryfesdale was dedicated to St Cuthbert in 1116. One of the first records of the name was Gawine Dryfesdale and John Dryesdale in 1499 "for thare being aganis the Kingis hienes in the battell and feyld committit besyde Striuelin one Sanct Barnabeis day." [1]

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Drysdale has appeared as Drysdale, Drisedale and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Drysdale research. Another 277 words (20 lines of text) covering the year 1499 is included under the topic Early Drysdale History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Drysdale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Drysdale family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Drysdale Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Drysdale who landed in Massachusetts in 1764
  • Ellen Drysdale, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1784

Drysdale Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Drysdale, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1808
  • Janet Drysdale, who arrived in New York in 1809
  • William Drysdale, who landed in America in 1850
  • A R L Drysdale, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1870

Drysdale Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Drysdale, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • James Drysdale, aged 52, a farmer, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1815
  • Christian Drysdale, aged 50, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1815
  • Jas Drysdale, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Robt Drysdale, who arrived in Canada in 1820

Drysdale Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Drysdale, aged 23, a brickmaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879
  • Ellen Drysdale, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879


  • Donald Scott "Don" Drysdale (1936-1993), American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mary Douglas Drysdale, American Interior Designer, founder of Drysdale Design Associates in 1980
  • Taylor Drysdale (1914-1997), American competitive swimmer and swimming coach, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1994)
  • Rebecca Drysdale (b. 1978), American comedian, former member of the Second City Chicago E.T.C. cast
  • Eric Drysdale (b. 1969), American five-time Emmy Award winning writer for The Colbert Report and The Daily Show on Comedy Central
  • Robert Drysdale (b. 1981), American-born, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and professional mixed martial artist
  • Neil Drysdale (b. 1947), born in Haslemere, Surrey, England is an American based thoroughbred race horse trainer
  • Daniel "Dan" Drysdale (1901-1987), Scottish international rugby union player
  • David Drysdale (b. 1975), Scottish professional golfer
  • Sir George Russell Drysdale AC (1912-1981), English-born, Australian artist, winner of the Wynne Prize for Sofala in 1947



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  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  5. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Drysdale Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Drysdale 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 7 August 2015 at 19:41.

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