|Clann Domhnuill Riabhaich|
|Region||Highlands and Lowlands|
|District||Inner Hebrides (Highland)|
|Claire Darroch of Gourock|
|The Chief of Clan Darroch (McIllreich)|
Origins of the name
The name Darroch is said to derive from Macdara which is Scottish Gaelic for son of oak. The Darrochs settled around Stirling and the name appears to have been derived from the lands of Darroch, near Falkirk, where there may have once been an oak grove. In accordance with this legend the chief's arms bear three oak trees.
There is a tradition in the West Highlands that the surname borne there is derived from the Gaelic Dath riabhach, which is said to be a short form of Mac 'Ille riabhach; although etymologist George Fraser Black thought such a derivation doubtful. The present line of chiefs, recognised as such by the Lord Lyon King of Arms since the late 18th century, claimed to descend from a "McIlliriech" from Jura.
Darrochs of Stirling
In 1406 John Darroch was ballie of Stirling. Later, in 1445, John Darach de Cruce is mentioned and is maybe the same person who was Commissioner to Parliament for the burgh of Stirling by the name of John Darraugh. In 1462 the nurse of Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter of James II of Scotland was Mariote Darrauch. Marion Darroch of Stirling protested in 1471 that she had not given consent to the alienation of an annual rent owed to her. In 1477 Jacobus Darroch appears as a witness to a charter to the lands of the Stirlings of Keir.
Darrochs of the Inner Hebrides
The Darrochs were most numerous on the Isle of Islay and Isle of Jura. Here they were part of the larger Clan Donald. These Darrochs were known as the Clann Domhnuill Riabhaich which is a corruption of dath riabhach, which is Gaelic for brindled colour. This was to distinguish them from the fair headed inhabitants of Jura, who were known as dath buidhe - from which the name 'Bowie' is derived.
The Gaelic patronymic of the Darroch chief became McIllreich.
The Barons of Gourock were descended from the McIllreich of Jura. Duncan Darroch who had been born on Jura, probably in the early 18th century, settled in Jamaica. There he amassed a considerable estate and prospered. However he was determined to return to his native soil and in 1784 acquired the lands and barony of Gourock from the Stewarts of Castlemilk. He was designated Chief of that ancient name the patronymic of which is McIllreich by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 116 - 117.
- Clan Darroch Profile scotclans.com. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- Black, George Fraser (1946), The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History, New York: New York Public Library, p. 201
- Burke's landed gentry of Great Britain, page=278.