Where your Scottish name comes from

Mapped: the geographical origins of Scotland's most common surnames

Scotland has a long and eventful history stretching back centuries. Yet Scottish surnames are far more recent. Until the 12th century, most Scots did not have surnames. It was only with King David I’s decision to give large amounts of Scottish land to Norman nobles that the Norman tradition of surnames came into fashion.

Choosing a surname was somewhat haphazard in Scotland. You could be the son of somebody (Robertson, Johnston) or adopt the Gaelic variation of ‘Mac’ rather than ‘son’ (MacDonald, MacLeod, MacKenzie).

Stewart, one of Scotlands most popular surnames, comes from the Highland side of the old Highland border, just north of Stirling.

1. Stewart

Stewart, one of Scotlands most popular surnames, comes from the Highland side of the old Highland border, just north of Stirling.
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If your last name is Roberston, somewhere down the line your ancestors were likely connected to the Roberston clan from the eastern Highlands.

2. Robertson

If your last name is Roberston, somewhere down the line your ancestors were likely connected to the Roberston clan from the eastern Highlands.
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Campell, an enduringly common Scottish surname comes from the southern Highlands.

3. Campbell

Campell, an enduringly common Scottish surname comes from the southern Highlands.
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Also a common Irish last name, those of Murray stock can trace their origins back to the old Highland border, north of the geographical origins of Stewart.

4. Murray

Also a common Irish last name, those of Murray stock can trace their origins back to the old Highland border, north of the geographical origins of Stewart.
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