Waugh Surname Genealogy

Waugh derived from the Old English word walh meaning “foreign” and, like
the surname Wallace, was a term used to describe outsiders – in
particular, it is thought, the Welsh-speaking Strathclyde Britons who
survived as a separate group in Scotland well into the Middle
Waugh is usually pronounced as “Waw,” rather than “Woff” or
“Woch.” The possessive apparently is “Wavian.” Wauchope
which comes from similar roots has a “ch” which is
pronounced as in “loch.”

Waugh Resources on

Waugh Ancestry

Scotland. The first
record of the Waugh name was to be found in Dumfriesshire on the
Scottish borders about the year 1250, in a place called
Wauchopedale. Wauchope and its abbreviation Waugh
emerged as
Border clan names, notably in Roxburghshire. The Waughs of Heap
or Hope in Wilton held their land from the 13th to the 17th
century. Many Waughs then dispersed as the English and Scottish
crowns began to pacify the region.

There were still Waughs in the
Borders as the 19th century proceeded, in Dumfriesshire and
Roxburghshire, but they were fewer in number. Many had crossed
the Irish Sea as part of the Protestant plantation, in particular to
Armagh (Waugh’s Farm in Armagh was the ancestral home of the America
general Stonewall Jackson). Other Waughs later migrated to
Glasgow or south across the border into

in England were
outnumbering Waughs in Scotland

by almost three to one by the mid 19th
century. Most of these Waughs were to be
found in the Border counties of Northumberland, Durham and
Robert Waugh, for instance, was
baptized around the year 1750 in the village of Alston in

From slightly further afield came the Victorian
social reformer the Rev. Benjamin
Waugh, born in Settle in north Yorkshire; and the Lancastrian writer
Edwin Waugh
, born in Rochdale.

One famous Waugh family in England had its Border roots in East Gordon,
Berwickshire where John Waugh was a tenant farmer in the early 17th
century. It was Dr. Alexander Waugh, a powerful
preacher and
anti-slaver, who brought his family to England and they eventually
settled in Midsomer Norton in Somerset in 1865. The line of descent
then went to: Alexander Waugh, the surgeon; Arthur Waugh, the writer
and literary critic; Evelyn
Waugh the novelist; and Auberon (Bron) Waugh, the journalist and
satirist. Evelyn’s mother Catherine said:

“The Waughs were very middle class, but
clever and original.”

Alexander Waugh’s 2004 book Fathers
and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family
described five
generations of this family, beginning with his namesake whom he called
“the Brute.”

Dr. Alexander Waugh had a brother Thomas
and his line descended to William Waugh, a wealthy English merchant,
and to
Alexander Waugh who emigrated to Australia in 1848

. Scots
Waughs were present at the siege of Londonderry in 1690 and were later
the early 18th century settlers in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The Waugh name also appeared in Derry
Protestant householders in 1740, notably in Tamlaught Finlagen parish. The 19th century records show Waughs as
landowners in Ballymoney, Antrim.

America. The Rev. John Waugh, or Parson
Waugh as he was remembered at the time, had come to Virginia from
sometime in
the 1670’s and served as a minister at the Overton parish in Stafford
county. His son John was curiously
nicknamed Poison
to distinguish him from Parson. Later
Waughs settled in Ohio in the early 1800’s

Scots Irish.
Some of
the early Waugh arrivals had come via Ireland. Several Waughs,
for instance, had left Scotland in 1688 for religious reasons and
established themselves in Londonderry. A party – including three
brothers – set sail for America in 1718, landing on the coast of Maine
and making their way to Londonderry, New Hampshire. One line of
these Waughs settled in Litchfield, Connecticut. Later Waughs
were to be found in Ohio and Indiana.
Litchfield Waugh line
was traced in Patricia Waugh’s 1986 book A Waugh Family History.

Another early Waugh line, also Scots
Irish, began with William and Jane Waugh who came to Pennsylvania in
1735 and farmed
at the Marsh Creek settlement. A long
line of these Waughs can be found at the Marsh Creek graveyard. A descendant was the 19th century
Philadelphia portrait painter Samuel Waugh.

Canada. James
Waugh was an early settler in Hamilton, Ontario. He
married Elizabeth Bawtinheimer in Ancaster
nearby in 1817 and he and his son James were farmers there. Francis and Anne Waugh arrived from Fermanagh
in Ireland in 1848 and settled in Wellington county, Ontario.

A later arrival, from Melrose on the Scottish
borders, was Richard Waugh who came with his family to Winnipeg in 1882. He had been a builder in Scotland. But in Winnipeg he pursued a second career as
a writer and promoter of the Manitoba dairy industry.
His son Richard
was elected mayor of Winnipeg in 1912.

Waughs from the
Scottish border family, known as the “Aussie” Waughs, had come to NSW
in the first half of the 19th century.
William arrived in the 1830’s but was murdered in Newcastle in
1854. His family later settled in
Tenterfield. His cousin Alexander came to
NSW in 1848 and
he and his wife Elizabeth also had many descendants

Waugh Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Waugh Names

Samuel Waugh was one of
the most famous portrait painters of Philadelphia in the 19th century.
Edwin Waugh was a 19th century
writer from Lancashire who wrote in the Lancastrian idiom.
Evelyn Waugh was the
English novelist best known for his work Brideshead Revisited.
Steve and Mark Waugh, twin
brothers, were born into a sporting family in Sydney, Australia.
Both brothers were Australian cricketers and Steve Waugh captained his
country from 1999 to 2004.

Select Waughs Today

  • 8,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Edinburgh)
  • 4,000 in America (most numerous in Ohio)
  • 6,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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