From a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne
"alone, solitary" or ansetl
"hermitage" and leah
From a Scottish place name, itself derived from alla
"wild" and mhagh
From the name of a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is derived from the Old Norse given name BAGGI
From any one of several places of this name in Scotland, which derive from Gaelic blár
meaning "plain, field, battlefield".
From the name of the Scottish island of Bute (Bód
in Gaelic), which is of unknown meaning.
BRECKENRIDGE Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone from Brackenrig in Lanarkshire, derived from northern Middle English braken
meaning "bracken" (via Old Norse brækni
) and rigg
meaning "ridge" (via Old Norse hryggr
Originally derived from a place in Moray, Scotland. It is probably from Gaelic broth
meaning "ditch, mire".
Possibly from the name of the town of Brix in Normandy, which is of unknown meaning. It was brought to Scotland in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman baron Robert de Brus. It was later borne by his descendant Robert the Bruce, a hero of the 14th century who achieved independence from England and became the king of Scotland.
From the name of a region in Stirlingshire, Scotland, which means "house of the canon" in Gaelic.
BURNS (1) English, Scottish
Derived from Old English burna
"stream, spring". A famous bearer was the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).
Means "crooked nose" from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
From a Gaelic nickname cam béul
meaning "wry or crooked mouth". The surname was later represented in Latin documents as de bello campo
meaning "of the fair field".
Meaning uncertain, possibly from the town of Courson in Normandy.
COCKBURN Scottish, English
Originally indicated someone who came from Cockburn, a place in Berwickshire. The place name is derived from Old English cocc
"rooster" and burna
From a place name meaning "narrow corner" or "narrow wood" in Gaelic.
From the name of the town of Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning "woods".
Derived from Gaelic creag
meaning "crag, rocks", originally belonging to a person who lived near a crag.
From the name of place in the Ayrshire district of Scotland. It possibly comes from Gaelic cuinneag
meaning "milk pail".
Habitational name from Darroch near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, said to be named from Gaelic darach
meaning "oak tree".
DAVIS English, Scottish
Means "son of DAVID
". This was the surname of the revolutionary jazz trumpet player Miles Davis (1926-1991).
DONNE Scottish, Irish
From Gaelic donn
meaning "brown", a nickname for a person with brown hair.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Dubhghlas
, which meant "dark river" from dubh
"dark" and glais
"water, river". This is the name of various places in Scotland, such as a tributary of the River Clyde.
From various place names in Scotland which are derived from Gaelic druim
From the name of a town in East Lothian, Scotland, derived from Gaelic dùn
meaning "fort" and barr
meaning "summit", so called from its situation on a rock which projects into the sea.
DUNN English, Scottish, Irish
Derived from Old English dunn
"dark" or Gaelic donn
"brown", referring to hair colour or complexion.
FORNEY English, Scottish
Name for someone who lived around ferns, from Middle English fern
"fern" and heye
Meaning unknown, originally Norman French Fresel
, possibly from a lost place name in France.
Derived from Gaelic gleann
"valley". A famous bearer is American astronaut John Glenn (1921-).
From a place name meaning "spacious fort" in the ancient Brythonic language.
Derived from the English place name Grantham
which probably meant "gravelly homestead" in Old English. The surname was first taken to Scotland in the 12th century by William de Graham.
Occupational name meaning "farm manager" in Middle English.
HAMILTON English, Scottish
From an English place name, derived from the elements hamel
"crooked, mutilated" and dun
"hill". This was the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists).
HEPBURN Scottish, English
From a place name meaning "high burial mound" in Old English. Famous bearers of the name include Hollywood actresses Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. Mary Queen of Scot's infamous third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwall, also bore the name.
HOLME English, Scottish
Refers either to someone living by an island in a fen (from northern Middle English holm
) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm
HOLMES English, Scottish
Variant of HOLME
. A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
HUNTER English, Scottish
Occupational name which referred to someone who hunted for a living, from Old English hunta
IRVING Scottish, English
Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning "green water".
From a place name which is probably derived from the Brythonic element cet
meaning "wood". This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles.
From Scots kerr
meaning "rough wet ground", ultimately from Old Norse kjarr
From the name of a place in Scotland. The area concerned is high and occupies a vantage point and may have been named in Gaelic as Ceann Ard
meaning "high end or head". In the 12th century a Norman nobleman received a charter of land here from King William the Lion (King of Scots), and was thereafter known by this name.
Derived from Gaelic caol
meaning "narrows, channel, strait", originally given to a person who lived by a strait.
From the name of a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly meaning "place of elms".
From a Scottish place name, probably derived from Gaelic leas celyn
meaning "garden of holly".
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Fleisdeir
meaning "son of the arrow maker".
Habitation name meaning "pool, damp, hollow". A famous bearer of this name is actor John Lithgow (1945-).
From a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow".
Habitational name for someone who lived in places of this name in Ayrshire, Peeblesshire, and Wigtownshire.
Derived from the Gaelic given name Mac Beatha
meaning "son of life", which denoted a man of religious devotion. This was the name of an 11th-century Scottish king, and the name of a play based on his life by William Shakespeare.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Domhnaill
meaning "son of DONALD
". It originates from the Highland clan Donald.
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Griogair
meaning "son of GREGOR
". It originates from the Highland clan Gregor. A famous bearer was the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734).
Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Coinnich
meaning "son of COINNEACH
". It originates from the Kintail area of Scotland on the northwest coast.
From a place name meaning "Mack's stream", from the name Mack
, a short form of the Scandinavian name MAGNUS
, combined with Old English wella
"stream". A famous bearer was James Maxwell (1831-1879), a Scottish physicist who studied gases and electromagnetism.
MCCRAE Irish, Scottish
From the Gaelic Mag Raith
meaning "son of Rath", a given name meaning "prosperity" or "grace".
From Scottish Gaelic Mac an tSaoir
meaning "son of the carpenter".
From Gaelic Mac Leòid
meaning "son of Leod", a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr
From the place name Malleville
meaning "bad town" in Norman French.
MILLIGAN Irish, Scottish
From the Gaelic given name Maolagán
, a derivative of maol
meaning "bald" or "tonsured".
Designated a person who had originally lived near the mouth of the Roe River in Derry, Ireland.
MONTGOMERY English, Scottish
From a place name in Calvados, France meaning "GUMARICH
's mountain". A notable bearer was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
Derived from the region in Scotland called Moray
meaning "seaboard settlement". A notable bearer of this surname was General James Murray (1721-1794), who was the first British Governor-General of Canada.
NORRIS (1) English, Scottish
Means "from the north" from Old French norreis
. It either denoted someone who originated in the north or someone who lived in the northern part of a settlement.
PAYNE Irish, Scottish, English
Means "villager, rustic" and later "heathen" from Middle English Payn
, Old French Paien
which was often given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults whose religious zeal was lacking.
RAMSEY Scottish, English
Means "garlic island", derived from Old English hramsa
"garlic" and eg
"island". The surname was brought to Scotland by the Norman baron Simundus de Ramsay.
From a place name meaning "fortress town", from Gaelic rath
"fortress" and Welsh tref
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Scottish, Jewish
Means "rose" from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose
. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. It is also found derived from the Yiddish royz
, which always referred to the flower.
ROSS English, Scottish
From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland) which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros
meaning "promontory, headland".
ROWE English, Scottish, Irish
Means "dweller by a row of hedges or houses" from Middle English row
. Some examples of the name are derived from the medieval name Row
, which is either a variant of ROLLO
Originally taken by families who lived near the town of Rutherford in Scotland. It means "cattle ford" in Old English. The name dates back to the 13th century.
SCHOOL Scottish, English
Derived from either the Old Norse given name Skúli
, the Old Danish Skuli
or the Old Swedish Skule
which probably all mean "to protect".
SCOTT English, Scottish
Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic.
First found in Ayrshire, taken from the village of Skeoch, near Mauchline.
Originally indicated a person from Stairaird, a town in Scotland.
Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
Occupational name for an administrative official of an estate or steward, from Old English stig
"house" and weard
"guard". The Stewart family (sometimes spelled Stuart
) held the Scottish crown for several centuries. One of the most famous members of the Stewart family was Mary, Queen of Scots.
STROUD English, Scottish
Locational name meaning "thicket, marsh, marshy ground overgrown with brushwood".
Scottish regional name that described a person who came from the former county by this name, which got its name from Old Norse suðroen
"southern" and land
"land". It was called the South Land because it was south of Scandinavia and south of the Norse colonies of Orkney and Shetland Islands.
TAGGART Irish, Scottish
Anglicized form of Irish Mac an tSagairt
meaning "son of the priest". This name comes from a time when the rules of priestly celibacy were not strictly enforced.