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Discussion Board > Names that SHOULD be Douglas Septs

In this thread, I am hoping to hear from members or guests who believe a name should be added to our list of recognized Douglas Septs. For any/each name submitted, please include as much historical evidence as possible. Wikipedia references, while a wonderful source of information, are not always legitimate nor are they well-documented. Any name suggested for inclusion really should have historical references to Douglas.

If you have a name you believe should be included, share the name and the evidence here.

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


A separate clan. Not listed in 2009 CDSNA bylaws; documentation exists for inclusion.

“The name Carmichael originally comes from lands in Lanarkshire which were granted to Sir James Douglas of Clan Douglas in 1321 and by his nephew to Sir John Carmichael between 1374 and 1384.d The name is also used to anglicise MacIlleMhicheil. The Carmichaels were strong supporters of the Clan Douglas during their struggles for ascendancy, and were with them, fighting the English at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 when the Scots defeated Henry 'Hotspur', Earl of Northumberland.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Carmichael] [see also Carmichael in Surnames of Scotland] [see also http://www.carmichael.org/carmichael/?s=Douglas]

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


Not listed in 2009 CDSNA bylaws; strong historical evidence for inclusion as a sept both as a supporter and a blood relative of Douglas.

According to [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohscogs/Dickson.html], “Nisbet, in his Heraldry of Edinburgh, says the Dicksons are descended from one Richard Keith, son of the family of Keith's --- Earl Marshall of Scotland, and in proof carry in their arms the Chief of Keith Marischal; Richard, called "Dick" and his sons carry this prefix in the family name Richard, son of the Great Marsnal Harvey de Keth, who died in 1249, by his wife Margaret, daughter of William, 3rd Lord Douglas. The paternal and maternal arms of these families have been combined to form the arms of the Dickson Clan. "Dicksons" of Buchtrig bore the chief of the Keiths with the Douglas Mullets in base, a perfect specimen of composed arms. ((p. 118) Thomas Dickson, Laird of Symonston and Heslesede County Lanark, and Castellane of Douglas, son of Dick de Keth, was born 1247 A.D. and if grandson of the afore said Henry de Keth, was then also second cousin of Williams, 7th Lord Douglas, father of the good Sir James, 8th. Lord Douglas, to both of whom Dickson was certainly a trusty friend.)”

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


A separate clan; Current Chief is excluded from being also Chief of Clan Douglas.

The arms of the Duke of Hamilton include the Douglas arms. The late 15th Duke of Hamilton considered himself a Douglas and was usually seen in a Grey Douglas kilt.

Individuals with this surname could be welcomed at Douglas tents and encouraged to become Clan Douglas members.

See also http://heraldry.celticradio.net/search.php?id=80&branch=Hamblenden . The text from this webpage states, “The title passed to Anne, the daughter of the first Duke. A woman of great intellect and determination, she inherited the title and estates heavily burdened by debts, a situation made worse by a legal dispute with her kinsman, the Earl of Abercorn, who challenged her right to succeed. She had married William Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, and set out to re-establish the family seat, laying the foundations for the building of a great palace.

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


A separate clan. Not listed in 2009 CDSNA bylaws; documentation exists for inclusion.

“The name Lockhart is derived from Locard, sometimes spelt Lokart, which is probably Flemish or Norman in origin. The modern spelling seems to have been introduced in the fifteenth century, and refers to the crusade on which Sir Symon Locard was the custodian of the key of the casket in which Bruce’s heart was carried.Like many Scottish families the Locards came from England where they were among those who were dispossessed by William the Conqueror and sought refuge in Scotland. There were Locards near Penrith in the twelfth century and also in Annandale in Dumfriesshire, where it is said that the town of Lockerbie is named after them. The family finally settled in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire where they have held land for over seven hundred years. The earliest paper in the family archives is a charter dated 1323 by which Sir Symon Locard bound himself and his heirs to pay out of the lands of Lee and Carnwath an annual rent of £10. Stephen Locard, grandfather of Sir Symon, founded the village of Stevenson in Ayrshire. His son Symon acquired the lands in Lanarkshire, and like his father, called a village, which he founded, Symons Town (today called Symington) after himself. Symon, Second of Lee, won fame for himself and his family fighting alongside Robert the Bruce in the struggle to free Scotland from English domination and was knighted for his loyal service. He was among the knights led by Sir James Douglas, who took Bruce’s heart to the Crusades in 1329 to atone for his murder of John Comyn in the church of Greyfriars. Douglas carried the King’s heart in a casket of which Sir Symon carried the key. The Crusade ended prematurely when Douglas was killed fighting the Moors in Spain, but to commemorate the adventure and the honour done to the family, the name was changed from Locard to Lockheart and later abbreviated to Lockhart. A heart within a fetterlock was from then on included in the arms of the family with the motto “Corda Serrata Pando” - I open locked hearts.” [ http://www.brownlee.com.au/Pages/Lockhart%20Clan.html ]

October 24, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


Not listed in 2009 CDSNA bylaws but evidence exists for its inclusion as found in The Douglas Archives. See http://www.douglashistory.co.uk/history/Septs/pringle_of_whitsome.htm for the full details.

“One branch of the Pringles were the descendants of the family of Whitsome, Berwickshire, afterwards designed of Smailholm and Galashiels. Robert Hop Pringle of Whitsome is mentioned in a donation to the monastery of Soltray, confirmed by King Alexander III. For their support of the Bruce family, in their competition for the crown, the Pringles of Whitsome were deprived of their lands by King John Baliol, who conferred them upon John de L'yle, confirmed by a charter from King Edward 1 of England, l3th October 1295. After the battle of Bannockburn, the lands were restored to Reginald Hop Pringle of Wbitsome, by charter from Robert Bruce in 1315. During the brief and shadowy sovereignty of Edward Baliol, after that monarch's death, by a mandate from King Edward III of England, they were ordered to be delivered up to "Walter de Insula," son of John de L'yle. They were restored, in 1336, to Thomas Hop Pringle of Whitsome, who, in 1363, had a safeguard to go into England, with his son and twelve persons in their retinue.

The Pringles of Whitsome were adherents of the house of Douglas, and held the office of scutifer, or squire, to the earls of that name. Robert Hop Pringle of Whitsome was present, in that capacity, with James, second earl of Douglas, at the battle of Otterbourne in 1388, where the earl was slain. From Archibald, third earl of Douglas, lord of Galloway, styled the Grim, he got a charter of the lands of Smailholm, Roxburghshire, in 1408, as well as a grant of the lands of Pilmuir and Blackchester in Lauderdale, which remained for nearly three centuries in possession of the family. From the Douglases also, who were then lords of Ettrick forest, he got the forest steadings of Galashiels and Mosalee, which were held by the Pringles in kindly tenants till the forfeiture of the Douglases in 1455. They were subsequently held by them as kindly tenants of the crown till 1587, when they were feudalized by charter and sasine. It was this Robert Pringle who built the tower of Smailholm, a large square building, now entirely ruinous, and originally a border keep, situated among a cluster of rocks on an eminence in the farm of Sandy-knowe. The apartments rise above one another in separate floors or stories, and mutually communicate by a narrow stair. A wall surrounds the building, enclosing an outer court, and being defended on three sides by precipice and morass, the tower is accessible only by a steep and rocky path on the west. At the farm of Sandy-knowe, which was leased by his paternal grandfather, Sir Walter Scott spent some years of his boyhood. In a note prefixed to the ballad of "The Eve of St. John," he says that he wrote that ballad in celebration of Smailholm tower and its vicinity and in the epistle preliminary to the third canto of Marmion, he notices the influence which the place had exerted on his tastes. In 1406, Robert Pringle of Smailholm, which became his designation after the erection of the tower, had a safe-conduct from Henry IV., to go to England, and in 1419 he had another, from Henry V., with John Wallace, to pay the ransom of James de Douglas, who succeeded his grand-nephew as seventh earl of Douglas, November 24, 1440, and was called James the Gross. The laird of Smailholm accompanied Archibald, fourth earl of Douglas, duke of Touraine, (the Douglas of Shakspere,) on his famous expedition to France, in 1423, and was slain, with him, at the battle of Verneuil, the following year. (See vol. ii. p.43.)“

November 7, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


[from http://vacrocketts.tripod.com/main.htm]

The family name Crockett is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the south, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.

Tracing its ancient development, the name Crockett was found in Lanarkshire. The name Crockett descends from the Crockett's of Kilbride, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The name was first recorded in in the year 1296, when Huwe Croket of Kameslank (Cambusland), and Sir William Crockett rendered homage to King Edward I of England. William's seal read "S' Will' Crokitta". The family became deeply involved with the Douglas Clan. Andrew Crokat, was Sir James Douglas' chaplain, and one of the executors of his estate. There was also in Edinburgh, during the seventeenth century, a wealthy family of the name Crockat. Notable amongst the family at this time was Crockett of Lanarkshire.

By the year 1000 A.D., border life was in turmoil. In 1246, six Chiefs from the Scottish side and six from the English side met at Carlisle and produced a set of laws governing all the Border Clans. These were unlike any laws prevailing in England or Scotland or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world. In 1603, the unified English and Scottish crowns under James I dispersed these "unruly border clans", clans which had served loyally in the defense of each side. The unification of the governments was threatened and it was imperative that the old "border code" should be broken up. Hence, the Border Clans were banished to England, northern Scotland and Ireland. Some were outlawed directly to Ireland, the Colonies and the New World.

[from Black’s The Surnames of Scotland, 1993 ed. P 186]

Black states that, “Andrew Crokat was one of the chaplains of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith and Morton in 1384 and in 1390 one of his executors (RHM.).” Also, “John Crokat of Erneameny, parish of Crossmichael, was charged with intercommuning with the earl of Morton, 1585.”

December 23, 2010 | Registered Commenterhweha


Not listed in 2009 CDSNA bylaws but evidence exists for its inclusion.

[as seen @ http://cousinbait.blogspot.com/]

The surname, Stoddart (and its variants Stoddard, Stodart, Stodhard, Stothart, and Stothert), have both Scottish and Northumbrian origins. “The Scottish name of Stoddart is supposed to have been derived from the word Standard and has origins in Selkirkshire before 1600. Some historians have speculated that the name was originally Stout heart and was later anglified to Stothert. [1][2]

There is also evidence that the name had its beginnings in the Old English word stod, followed by herd or ward and that the original Stoddart was in charge of a stud of horses. [3]

However, the Dictionary of American Family Names questions this theory:
English (Northumbria): occupational name for a breeder or keeper of horses, from Old English stod, stud or stott ‘inferior kind of horse’ + hierde ‘herdsman’, ‘keeper’. There is a difficulty in deriving this name from Old English stod in that stud is not recorded in the sense ‘collection of horses bred by one person’ until the 17th century; before that it denoted a place where horses were kept for breeding, but that sense does not combine naturally with ‘herdsman.’[4]

It is interesting to note that the earliest mention of this surname in Scotland is in 1376 when David Stothirde, John Studehird, and William Studfirde are recorded as tenants of Douglas in barony of Buittle (RHM,1,p. 1x, 1xxi). [2] Another source places these same individuals in Dumfriessire in the 16th century. [3] I have theorized (but have no proof) that my third great grandfather, John Stoddart was born in Douglas in 1792. According to family lore, Stoddart’s wife, Margaret Lindsay, was the daughter of Margaret Douglas, who in turn, was the daughter if Lord John Douglas. Unfortunately, no one has been able to prove or disprove this story.

Today, this surname is found mostly in Glasgow and Edinburgh. [3] Margaret Stoddart, another descendant of John Stoddart by marriage and an insightful family historian, concluded that the most common spelling of name today was Stoddart. In her study of the John Stoddart family, she states that, in Canada, “Stoddart is not a common name. In the 1998 Toronto telephone directory it appears 51 times, in the Montreal directory 7 times, in the Vancouver directory 30 times, and in Victoria it appears 9 times. Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton together list the name 42 times.” She concludes that “in the western world there were probably no more than 3400 households bearing the name Stoddart in the 1990s.” [5]

The 1990 U.S. Census figures ranks the Stoddart surname as 19,949 most common! In 1850, the few Americans with the surname resided in Connecticut. By 1880, the most common place of residence of Stoddarts was New York. In 1920 most Stodddarts lived in Idaho, followed by Utah and Nevada, yet it has never been a common name in the United States. [6]

[1] Scots-Irish: The Scot in North Britain, North Ireland and North America, Vol. 2.
[2] The Surnames of Scotland, pages 750-1
[3] David Dorward , Scottish Surnames, Mercat Press, 2003.
[4] Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
[5] Margaret Stoddart, The John Stoddart Family 1790 – 1998, North Saanich, British Columbia, September 1998, Self-published manuscript.
[6] Hamrick Software Surname Distribution, http://hamrick.com/names/.

January 23, 2011 | Registered Commenterhweha


Research has indicated there is strong evidence for including MAXWELL as a sept of Douglas. While Maxwell has its own clan society, like our Douglas clan it lacks a Chief and recognition by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and shares the sept names of Blackstock, Kirkland, and McKittrick with Douglas. Further evidence appears when noting that the Earldom of Morton and Thrieve Castle, are also associated with Maxwell.

The Douglas-Maxwell connection is explained in the Clan Maxwell USA website [1],

Throughout the perilous and trying times of the Wars of Independence, the Maxwells, like many other Scottish nobles repeatedly changed sides. In 1300, their great castle of Caerlaverock was besieged by a powerful English army under Edward I, the event being recorded in great detail by a contemporary chronicler under the title of the Roll of Caerlaverock. Sir Eustace Maxwell embraced the cause of John Balliol and received an allowance from Edward II for "the more secure keeping of the Fortress.” Later he threw his hand in with the Bruce and dismantled his fortress for the Scottish defense, for which he was liberally rewarded by Robert the Bruce. This knight also signed the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and went crusading under the good Sir James Douglas with the heart of the Bruce after his death in 1329.

As was usual with border families, the chiefs of the Maxwells were by no means consistent in their course or steady in the allegiance to the Scottish crown; however, they contrived in the end to be on the winning side, and honours, offices and estates continued to accumulate in the family. They became hereditary Wardens of the Western Marches, Stewards of Kirkcudbright and Annandale, Ambassadors to England and Provosts of Edinburgh. About 1445, Sir Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock was created a Lord of Parliament, and in 1455, on the forfeiture of the Douglases, he was granted Eskdale and Carlisle, the second title being somewhat dubious as Carlisle remained steadfastly in English hands.

In 1513, John the fourth Lord Maxwell and three of his brothers fell at Floddon, and he was succeeded by his eldest son Robert who grew to be one of the most prominent and ablest men of his age. He certainly stood high in the esteem of King James V, for he was created an Extraordinary Lord of the Session in 1532. In 1536, he was appointed a member of the Council of Regency, and in the following year he was one of the Ambassadors to the French Court who negotiated the marriage of James to Mary of Guise and for whom he espoused as proxy. It was this Lord Maxwell who introduced and secured the bill in the parliament of 1542 that gave the Scottish people the right to possess and read the Bible in the common tongue.

His eldest son was Robert, sixth Lord Maxwell, and it was during his time that the greatly ruinous feud between the Maxwells and their neighbors, the Johnstones, escalated. Johnstone was courted on all sides: by the English, fearful of Maxwells power on the border; by the Regent, who harbored a claim to the lands of Morton; and by the thieves and brigands of the Middle Marches whose activities were curtailed by Maxwell in his Warden role. Under such pressure, Johnstone was finally induced to break his bonds of manrent with the Lord Maxwell and the feud intensified.

Lord Maxwell … had been married to Beatrice Douglas, granddaughter of James III, daughter and co-heiress to the fourth Earl of Morton. From this alliance, the second and posthumous son, John, eighth Lord Maxwell, was able to push home his legitimate claim to the Earldom, which he secured in 1581. John Maxwell, Earl of Morton, was a less judicial man than his uncle and was often in trouble for his open defiance of the Regent and later King James VI. He was a devout catholic at a time when most of his church were very discreet in their devotions. His untimely adherence to the popish cause lead him to travel to the Low Countries and thence on to Spain where great preparations were being made for the Armada. On his return to Scotland, he roused his loyal followers around his new banner which now incorporated the double headed imperial eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, it being his belief that Spain would attack England through Scotland and so re-establish the old faith in both the kingdoms. Alas for Morton, King James did not share his views and summoned him to Edinburgh where he was imprisoned in Blackness Castle. After the fiasco of the Armada, Morton was released to return home to the feud with the Johnstones which cost him his life at the battle of Dryfe Sands.

[1] http://clanmaxwellusa.com/brief.htm

February 6, 2011 | Registered Commenterhweha

An update...

So far, the following surnames have been submitted to be considered as septs of Clan Douglas:


Research conducted so far does indicate a strong connection between each of these families and the Douglases. While there may be some who disagree with names on the grounds that a few are already separate clans with chiefs, that fact does not negate the strong historical and familial connections these names have with Douglas.

If you would like to suggest a name for inclusion, post it here. It would also be appreciated if you included a bit of documentation or justification with your suggestion. You can also email your suggestion to me ... see the Missouri Regent information to get my contact info.

March 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterhweha