Dunkane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Pictish-Scottish family name Dunkane 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 Dunkane family

The surname Dunkane 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 Dunkane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunkane 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 Dunkane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunkane Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Dunkane has been spelled Duncan, Dunecan, Dunkan, Junkan, Junkin, Duncans, Dunkans, Dunckane, Dunkane, Dunekan, Duncin, Duncen, Duncine, Junken and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunkane 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 Dunkane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dunkane family to Ireland

Some of the Dunkane 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 Dunkane family

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Dunkane: 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 Dunkane 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


Houseofnames.com on Facebook