Durwarte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Durwarte family

The surname Durwarte was first found in the Valley of the River Dee, where they held a family seat in their territories. The Pictish influence on Scottish history diminished after Kenneth Macalpine became King of all Scotland.

But those east coast families still played an important role in government and were more accessible to Government than their western highland counterparts.

The family name became associated with the de Lundins. Whether the name was an office to which Alan Durward, son of de Lundin, succeeded in 1204, or whether it was a Norman noble, Reiner Dureward from Norfolk who moved north at this time conjectural.

However, Alan married an natural born daughter of King Alexander of Scotland and eventually became Regent and justicair of Scotland. He was immortalized by Walter Scott.

On his death his lands were divided between three daughters.

We do know he was better known by his Latin name at the time, Alanus Ostiarius, Hostiarius, Dyrwart 'Le Usher' and he died in 1268. He was the son of Thomas Ostiarius, who was a benefactor to the monks of Arbroath, and a signatory to at least one charter of Alexander II, dated between 1231 and 1233 A.D. [1]

Later several lines descended in Scotland but the name continued to flourish to the south in Essex where Geoffrey Durward was recorded in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rols listed Richard Doreward in Essex. [2]

Early History of the Durwarte family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durwarte research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1465 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Durwarte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Durwarte Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Durwarte has been spelled Dorward, Dorward, Durwood, Dorwood, Dyrwood, Dyrward, Dirward and many more.

Early Notables of the Durwarte family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Durwarte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Durwarte family

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Durwarte arrived in North America very early: Tho Dorwood, who came to Virginia in 1657.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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