MacDouglas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
MacDouglas is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The MacDouglas family lived in Moray, where the family has a long and distinguished history dating back to early times. Some claim the name is derived from a knight of 770 who after aiding King Solvathius of Scotland in his great battle with Donald Bain, King of the Western Isles was granted the lands of Clydesdale. Others claim the name was originally derived from Theobaldus, a Flemming and were granted the lands of Douglas Water. In Gaelic, the name is Dudhglas means "black stream."
Early Origins of the MacDouglas family
The surname MacDouglas was first found in Moray, where the progenitor of the Clan is thought to be Archibald of Douglasdale (1198-1239). The Douglasses of Drumlanrig claim descent from Sir William Douglas, who was granted the lands of Drumlanrig in 1412 by King James I.
The grandson of Archibald Douglasdale, known as William the Hardy, served as a companion-in-arms to William Wallace, the patriot leader of the Scottish wars of Independence. His two sons carried on his noble reputation. The first, William, was the progenitor of the Douglases of Morton and was granted the Earldom of Morton in 1458 by King James II. The second, Andrew, and his family became known as the Black Douglases. 
Early History of the MacDouglas family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDouglas research. Another 232 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1243, 1298, 1220, 1274, 1328, 1400, 1380, 1403, 1360, 1408, 1402, 1404, 1540, 1595, 1594, 1674, 1611, 1662 and are included under the topic Early MacDouglas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDouglas 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. MacDouglas has been spelled Douglas, Douglass, Dougliss, Dougless, Dowglas, Duglas, Duglass and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDouglas family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Archibald Douglas, (1328-1400), 3rd Earl of Douglas, Earl of Wigtown, Lord of Douglas, Lord of Bothwell and Lord of Galloway, a late medieval Scottish magnate; George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus (1380-1403), mediaeval Scottish nobleman; Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar (c. 1360-1408), inherited most of brothers property, excluding only the Douglas lands which could only pass through the male line, she became the most sought after bride in the realm and soon was married to Sir Malcolm Drummond, marriage however failed to produce any children and the Countess soon became the focus of...
Another 354 words (25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacDouglas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacDouglas family to Ireland
Some of the MacDouglas family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 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 MacDouglas 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 MacDouglas: Charles Douglas who settled in New Jersey in 1685; Hugh Douglas settled in Virginia in 1635; John Douglas settled in Virginia in 1655; Lee William Douglas settled in Virginia in 1655.
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The MacDouglas 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: Jamais arriere
Motto Translation: Never behind.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print