Scott Surname Genealogy

was the generic name given by the Romans to Gaelic raiders from
Ireland.  The Gaelic word was
, from which came
the word Scotland.  The name Uchtredius filius Scoti
(Uchtred, the
son of a Scot) was recorded in a document in 1128.
The name Scott in Scotland subsequently came to describe Gaelic speakers in the English-speaking Lowlands.  The surname is prevalent in Scotland and is also to be found in England.
Select Scott Resources on The Internet

Scotland.  The Scotts have
numerous in Scotland from early times.  Six Scott lairds signed
Roll in 1296 and Scotts emerged principally in the Scottish Border

The Scotts of
traced their descent from Sir Richard le Scot in
Peeblesshire in the 14th
century, the Scotts of Balwearie and the later Scotts of Harden
line from his brother Sir Michael.  The Scotts of Buccleuch became
a powerful Border family; while Walter Scott of Harden, known
as Auld Wat,
was the most well-known of the Scott Border

“A hardy race who never shrank from war
The Scott, to rival realms a bar,
Here fixed his mountain home.”

The writer Sir
of Abbotsford, the son of a lowly tenant farmer, was
related to
these Harden Scotts six generations later.  He wrote much about

The pacification of the Borders in the early 17th century meant the end
their reiving way of life.  The Scotts of Buccleuch were
ennobled as Dukes, became respectable, and prospered.  They became
one of the largest landowners
in Scotland.  John Scott acquired
Thirlestane in Selkirkshire in 1535 and later Scotts became baronets
But many poorer Scotts left the Borders, either
plantations in Ireland or for work in Glasgow and elsewhere.

A Scott line in Fifeshire included Sir John Scott, a lawyer who
received the title of Lord Scotstarvet in 1629. A descendant John Scott
was by repute the richest commoner in Scotland when he died without
issue in 1776.  Other Scotts of this line moved north
to the Shetland isles.  In 1814 Sir Walter Scott the writer dined
with a John Scott from Scalloway.

Ireland.  The Scottish
mercenaries or gallowglasses who came to Ulster between the 14th and
16th centuries were sometimes called Albanach, from Alba in
Scotland.  Later Albanach became Scott.  Displaced Scotts
from the Borders also went to Ulster, and in particular to

Scotts today in Ulster are
concentrated in Antrim and Down.  There
were Scotts at Tullyquilly in the Drumgath parish of county Down from
the early
1700’s.  Thomas and Martha Scott went
from there to America in 1856.  
Thomas Scott,
who came to Canada as an adventurer in the 1860’s, was also from county

England.  Scott in England
would describe someone
from Scotland.  It was to be found in the English border counties,
in Yorkshire, and along eastern England.  Two notable Scotts
families came from:

  • William Scott, born in humble circumstances in Durham, who became
    a prominent Newcastle coal merchant in the mid-1700’s.  His
    John Scott rose to be Lord Chancellor of England in 1801.
  • and the Rev. Thomas Scott, the son of a cattle farmer in
    Lincolnshire, who became an influential Christian preacher and
    writer.  His grandson was the Victorian architect Sir Gilbert

A Scott family held a manor house near Smeeth in Kent in
14th century.  Their family lineage has been traced with more
certainty from the early 1400’s when they lived at Scot’s Hall.
These Scotts were a prominent family in Kent and remained at Scot’s
Hall until 1808 when the old mansion was pulled down.

There were also Scott pockets in Dorset and Devon.   Robert
Scott, who led the doomed expedition to the North 1912, came from the Scott family of Stoke Demarel near

America.  Captain John
Scott, said to have been from the Kent Scotts, arrived in New England
at the time of the English Civil War in bondage.  However, he soon
secured his freedom, leaving Boston for Long Island where he
was instrumental in establishing English settlement from the
Dutch.  He became a real estate speculator there before abandoning
his family and returning to England.

A story about
the first Scottish Scotts in America goes as follows:

“The American Buckelews are descended
from a Scottish Border clan the Scotts, barons of Buccleuch.  Two
brothers, Francis and Gilbert Scott of the clan of Buccleuch, came to
America on the ship Caledonia
about 1664.  They dropped the surname Scott in America and kept
the clan
name, changing the spelling to Bucklew.”

Hugh Scott, Scots Irish and said to
have come to Chester county, Pennsylvania in 1670, did keep the Scott
name.  But it is not clear if he really was
there at that time as
Pennsylvania did not even exist then.
The more likely forebear of the Scotts of Chester county is
Scott a generation later.  His son Hugh
was a major in the Revolutionary War

Scottsville in America seems to have had two Scott

  • Scottsville
    in Kentucky and Virginia were named after Charles Scott who fought in
    Revolutionary War and became the fourth Governor of Kentucky in 1808.  His line seems to have gone back to Edward
    Scott of New Kent county, Virginia in the early 1700’s.
  • while Scottsville,
    named after Robert Scott, an early settler there in the 1820’s.  He had arrived in Virginia from Scotland with
    his brother Archelaus sometime in the 1770’s.

Jeremiah Scott from Lancashire
had fought in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne for William of Orange who
presented him with a gold medal.
Afterwards he settled in Tipperary.

His son John came out to Jamaica around 1750 and soon became a
well-to-do landowner there, owning plantations in St. Thomas and in
Clarendon.  John’s brother George was
appointed Governor of Dominica, but was killed in a duel in 1767.  Another brother Joseph settled in Nova

Canada.  William Scott from county
Clare in Ireland
served with the British army in Quebec in 1814 and later settled in
Ontario.  His son Richard, raised a
Catholic, had a long political career in Canada that lasted over sixty

Australia and New Zealand.
Alexander Walker Scott, the son of Scottish physician Helenus Scott,
arrived in NSW in 1827.  His business enterprises there were
generally unsuccessful.  But he made a name for himself as an
entomologist.  His insect collection is conserved at the
Australian Museum in Sydney.

Andrew and Celia Scott arrived in Australia from Glasgow in 1838.
A year later they established a cattle and sheep station at Mount
Boninyong in Vitoria that became known as Scotsburn.  Their
descendants still operate the station.

Scott was an Anglican clergyman from county Down in Ireland who came to
Zealand on the Black Eagle in 1861.
His son Andrew, a bushranger in Australia who
gave his name as Captain Moonlite, was executed for his crimes in 1880

Scott Miscellany

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

Scott Names

was a famed border reiver of the 16th century, known as
“the bold Buccleuch.”
Sir Walter Scott was the
celebrated historical novelist and poet who did much to revive Scottish
culture and heritage in the early 19th century.
Sir Gilbert Scott was a leading
English architect of the Victorian age, best known for his design of
the Albert Memorial.
Robert Scott led the doomed
expedition in 1912 to reach the North Pole.
George C. Scott was an American
actor, best known for his portayal of General Patton.

Select Scotts Today

  • 134,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Hertfordshire)
  • 156,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 117,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


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