Dunecane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Dunecane family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The name Dunecane is derived from the Gaelic Donnchad, Duncha, Donnachadh and others which literally means brown warrior.

"On an ogham stone at Glan Usk near Crickhowel in Wales the name occurs spelled Dunocatus, which points to 'fort warrior,' from dun, 'fort,' as the meaning of the name. The exact meaning is therefore uncertain." [1]

Early Origins of the Dunecane family

The surname Dunecane was first found in Forfarshire part of the Tayside region of North Eastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, where the Clan has a long and distinguished history dating back to before 1000 AD.

They claim descent from Dunchad, the 11th Abbott of Iona who died in 717. He was also the progenitor of the Robertsons. On their maternal side, they are related to King Duncan of Scotland who was killed by MacBeth. [1]

"Willelmus filius Dunecan witnessed the gift of Swintun to HernuIf the knight c. 1135. Dunecanus comes witnessed confirmation charter by William the Lion to Jacobus de Pert of lands of Rosin clerac, n.d. Willelmus filius Duuecani, c. 1200. Dunecan, parson of Duuglas, appears as charter witness between 1240-1249. John Dunkan held a 'waste' in Berwick-on-Tweed in 1367, and probably John Duncanson or Dunkanson, mayor of Berwick in the same year was his son." [1]

The Robertsons or Clan Donnachaidh derive their name and ancestry from Fat Duncan (Donnchadh Reamhar) who was chief of the Clan at the time of Robert the Bruce and led the clan at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Early History of the Dunecane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunecane research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1451, 1703, 1745, 1649, 1735, 1649, 1600, 1659, 1731, 1804, 1800 and are included under the topic Early Dunecane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunecane Spelling Variations

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Dunecane has been spelled Duncan, Dunecan, Dunkan, Junkan, Junkin, Duncans, Dunkans, Dunckane, Dunkane, Dunekan, Duncin, Duncen, Duncine, Junken and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunecane family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Daniel Duncan (1649-1735) French-born, Scottish physician, Huguenot by religion, known as a writer of iatrochemical works. He was from an ancient Scottish family, several members of which belonged to the medical profession, was born in 1649 at Montauban in Languedoc, where his father, Peter Duncan, was professor of physic. [2] Samuel Duncon (fl. 1600-1659), was...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunecane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dunecane family to Ireland

Some of the Dunecane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dunecane family

The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Dunecane: David Duncan who settled in New Hampshire in 1718; George Duncan settled in Georgia in 1737; John Duncan settled in New Hampshire in 1716; Nathanial Duncan settled in Nantasket in 1630.



The Dunecane 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.


  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. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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