McDouglass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name McDouglass lived among the ancient Scottish people called the Picts. The McDouglass 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 McDouglass family

The surname McDouglass 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. [1]

Early History of the McDouglass family

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

McDouglass Spelling Variations

In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. McDouglass has appeared Douglas, Douglass, Dougliss, Dougless, Dowglas, Duglas, Duglass and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the McDouglass family to Ireland

Some of the McDouglass 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.


United States McDouglass migration to the United States +

Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name McDouglass:

McDouglass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles McDouglass, aged 24, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]


The McDouglass 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.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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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