The surname Douglass of Scottish origin. It is a habitational name for many of the various places so called from their situation on a river named with the Gaelic elements ‘dubh’, dark, black and ‘glais’, stream. There are several localities in Scotland and Ireland so named, but the one that the surname is derived in most if not all cases is twenty miles south of Glasgow, the original stronghold of the Douglas family and their retainers. The Douglas’ of the Scottish Borders were a warlike clan famous for centuries for raiding and reiving. They were based in Liddesdale, the most turbulent part of that turbulent region. In the decade after 1603 James VI, newly King of England and Scotland, began a ruthless campaign to ‘pacify’ the Borders, as a result the great riding clan of the Douglas’ were broken. It is the name of one of the most famous and powerful families in Scottish history, Earls of Douglas and later Earls of Angus. The first known bearer of this name is William de Duglas, recorded at the end of the twelfth century. The na… Coat of arms: Argent on the chief gules …
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