Killduff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Killduff family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name Killduff is derived from an old Gaelic personal name. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhuibh.

Early Origins of the Killduff family

The surname Killduff was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. MacDuff, the Thane of Fife, portrayed by Shakespeare as the rival of Macbeth, was a myth created by medieval writers.

However, the first Earl of the name, Gillemichel, did emerge by the time of King David I, and he and his descendants had privileges including the right to crown the King of Scotland and to lead the Scottish army.

The MacDuff family traditionally crowned each monarch. But, they were opposed to Robert the Bruce, who gained the throne in 1306. Duncan MacDuff, the Earl of Fife's sister was sent to perform the task. Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan (died c. 1314), sister of Duncan, Earl of Fife did crown Robert the Bruce in March 1306, much to her chagrin. Bruce was defeated at the Battle of Methven in June 1306, so he sent Isabella and other female relatives but they were betrayed Uilleam II, Earl of Ross. Edward I ordered her to be sent to Berwick-upon-Tweed to be caged as a public spectacle. She was caged for four years and is presumed to have died in captivity.

Lord Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is a character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The character kills Macbeth in the final act. It is generally thought that Shakespeare drew the character from the Holinshed's Chronicles (1587.)

Early History of the Killduff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Killduff research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1353, 1759, 1296, 1358, 1725 and 1889 are included under the topic Early Killduff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Killduff Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Killduff has been spelled MacDuff, McDuff, MacDhuibh (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Killduff family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Isobel Macduff (1296-1358), the Countess of Buchan, best known for when she left her husband, the Earl of Buchan and stole his warhorses; William Duff of Braco...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Killduff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Killduff migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Killduff were among those contributors:

Killduff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P D Killduff, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]


The Killduff 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: Deus juvat
Motto Translation: God assists.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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