Clan Duncan

Clan Duncan

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Clan Duncan

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The personal name Duncan can be found in Scotland’s oldest records in its Gaelic form Dunchad/Donchadh/Donachie/Donnchadh and other spelling variants.


(Dunchad) Duncan, originally a forename is without doubt one of the earliest names in Scotland – surnames being introduced by the Normans around 1120 AD – and originates from the Dalriadan Celtic Celtic Scotii (Scots) from Ireland who colonised the south west of Scotland from about the 4th century AD. Dúnchad (Duncan mac Conaing co-ruled Dalriada with Conall II (c.650 - 654).

Other early accounts of the name include the 9 ft inscribed ‘Turpillian Stone’ of the 4th century AD at Crickhowell, Wales, a particularly early mention of the name Duncan. Inscribed in Ogham (an early form of Celtic writing) the stone also carried the Latin translation “TURPILLI IC IACIT PUUERI TRILUNI DUNOCATI” which roughly translates as The Fort Warrior. Mention is also made of Dunchad the 11th Abbot of Iona, 707 – 717AD (later St. Dunchadh) and Dunchad (Duncan) the 39th Abbot in 989AD.

Records from this time are scant and it is not until after the unification by Kenneth MacAlpin around 843 AD of the Celtic Scots of Dál Riata and the aboriginal Picts of northern Britain do we start to see the name significantly being used in other parts of Scotland. One of the earliest references to Dunchad/Donchad,...
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