Douglas (surname)

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Family name
Meaning Black Stream
Region of origin Scotland
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons:[1]

Douglas (occasionally spelled Douglass) is a common surname of Scottish origin, thought to derive from the Gaelic dubh glas, meaning "black stream". There are numerous places in Scotland from which the surname is derived. The surname has developed into the given name Douglas. Douglas is a habitational name, which could be derived from any of the many places so-named. While there are numerous places with this name in Scotland, it is thought, in most cases, to refer to Douglas, South Lanarkshire, the location of Douglas Castle, the chief stronghold of the Lords of Douglas.[2] The Scottish Gaelic form of the given name is Dùbhghlas; the Irish language form it is Dúghlas,[3] and Dubhghlas, which are pronounced Irish pronunciation: [duːɣləs].[4] According to George Fraser Black, in southern Argyllshire the surname is an Anglicised form of the surnames MacLucas, MacLugash (which are derived from the Gaelic Mac Lùcais).[5]


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Counts Douglas in continental Europe[edit]

Field Marshal Robert Douglas was firstly created baron, and then count, in Sweden. His main fief was the town of Skänninge, and his wife brought in the estate where they had the manor of Stjernorp erected. His descendants generally continued to reside in Sweden, some offshoots to Russia, Germany etc. The head of the house received in 1848 the title of Count (count of the entail of Mühlhausen) also in peerage of the Grand Duchy of Baden. The main lineage did not produce long-lasting branches (except the Russian branch, a few generations), until the riksmarskalk of Sweden (High Marshal), Count Ludvig Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the late 1800s, had several sons and yet more grandsons. Branches starting from his sons and so:

  • von Douglas-Langenstein, descendants of count Robert, eldest son of the High Marshal Ludvig. They hold the castle of Langenstein in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • von Reischach-Douglas, a cadet grandson of said count Robert
  • Douglas-Gerstorp, the branch (settled to Sweden) descending from the youngest son of said Robert
  • Douglas-Stjernorp, the branch descending from the Swedish general Archibald Douglas, second son of the High Marshal Ludvig. In this branch, there's the castle of Stjärnorp, reacquired to the family in c. 1875
  • Douglas-Kolfall, the branch descending from Oscar, youngest son of the High Marshal Ludvig.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Douglas Surname Meaning and Distribution".  Retrieved 23 January 2014
  2. ^ "Learn about the family history of your surname". Retrieved 6 April 2010.  which cited Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4.  for the surname "Douglas".
  3. ^ Coghlan, Ronan (1979), Irish Christian names: an A-Z of first names, Johnston and Bacon, p. 42 
  4. ^ Norman, Teresa (2003), A World of Baby Names (Revised ed.), Perigee, p. 287, ISBN 978-0-399-52894-1 
  5. ^ Black, George Fraser (1946), The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History, New York: New York Public Library, pp. 217–218 

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