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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


In the Scotland of ancient times, McDorman was a name for a door attendant. The name is also a nickname type of surname derived from the Old English word deore, which means "beloved", and "man"

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The surname McDorman was first found in Fife, the name Dorman is derived from the word door-ward. This official hereditary position involved being the door attendant to the King of Scotland. The office of door-ward to the king was a very honorable one and was passed on in the powerful family of de Lundin Fife. The first who took his name from this office was Thomas de Lundyn in 1204. His son, Alan Durward, was one of the greatest names in Scottish history in the thirteenth century.

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, McDorman has been spelled Dorman, Dorward, Doorman, Durward and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDorman research. Another 425 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1228, 1452, 1478, 1511, and 1636 are included under the topic Early McDorman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDorman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McDorman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 McDorman arrived in North America very early:

McDorman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • James McDorman, aged 32, who emigrated to America, in 1921
  • George F. McDorman, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1923
  • Frank McDorman, aged 56, who emigrated to the United States, in 1924

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  • Jake McDorman (b. 1986), American film and television actor
  • Leslie McDorman (d. 1966), Canadian politician in Manitoba from 1945 to 1949


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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The McDorman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McDorman Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 June 2014 at 16:13.

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