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Scottish family history research interests

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Introduction :

To date, the results of research into our Scottish origins has been limited by the availability of 17th & early 18th century records. In the case of our Scottish ancestors who emigrated to Ireland during that period, we need a link between that part of Scotland where people lived and those places in Ireland where they resettled.

For example, the earliest record found for our Kilpatrick / Kirkpatrick ancestors in county Derry was the 1740 Protestant Householders list,1 naming Will Kilpatrick in the parish of Kilrea and James Killpatrick in the parish of Tamlaght O’Crilly, both in the county of Derry. Names for Kilpatrick –alias Gilpatrick, Kirkpatrick, and possibly McIlfatrick– were not found in these parishes in the 1660s hearth money rolls. In 1669, seven Kilpatrick households were named on the county Antrim side of the river Bann, in the parish of Finvoy, about five miles distant from the town of Kilrea.2 Thus, there is a seventy-one year gap between the 1669 hearth money roll and the 1740 Protestant householders list. Indeed, we cannot trace our Kilpatrick / Kirkpatrick ancestors in Ireland before 1740, let alone identify their county and parish of origin in Scotland.

Tracing people from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and early 18th centuries is equally confounding. In the 19th century, this purpose was often served by passenger lists, which do not survive for the 17th & early 18th century (if they were ever kept!), or by comparing details in vital records in the new home country to similar records in the old country. Such records of births or baptisms, marriages, and deaths or burials were either not kept from these early dates, or did not survive to the present day. Sadly, this illustrates the difficulty in tracing back to Scotland.

Baxter, Walter. The ruined cottage at Ladhopemoor. A winter view of the remains of a shepherd’s cottage in hill farming countryside southwest of Langshaw, in Roxburghshire. Dated 25th Dec. 2009. Online at Wikimedia Commons (accessed 2023-10-01). Image licensed under Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0. Readers are encouraged to visit the latter link, to learn the rights and restrictions attached to this image.

Early migrants from Scotland :

The following list summarizes our Scottish family history research interests by the surnames of our early ancestors in Scotland, and of several collateral branches. Their places of origin in Scotland are not known, and their recorded history in Ireland dates primarily from the early 1700s, with a few surnames appearing on 1660s hearth money rolls. All of these surnames have been included on the Irish family history research interests page for reference to further information. This list will serve as an index for the home page for each surname. (links pending)

  • Allett, also Ellet or Elliott, of the parish of Donaghenry, county Tyrone; possibly from Reiver country on the borders
  • Campbell of Lislea townland in the parish of Kilrea, county Derry
  • Gordon of Lislea
  • Huggins of Glenarb in the parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone. This surname, while not numerous, was extant in Scotland.
  • Kilpatrick or Kirkpatrick of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O’Crilly
  • M’Cay, McCay, M’Kay, or McKay of Lislea
  • Sharp or Sharpe of Coagh, county Tyrone
  • Stevenson of Stewartstown, county Tyrone
  • Stephenson of Killyfaddy in the parish of Armagh (later Lisnadill)
  • Thompson of Creevelough, parish of Aghaloo

Later residents in Scotland :

This list consists of several families, dating to the early 1700s, into which line an Irish ancestor intermarried. Also included are several of our Scots Irish ancestors who returned to Scotland, taking up residence during the 19th century. The surnames in this group include:

  • Allan of Alloa, Clackmannanshire (related surname)
  • Colvin of Denovan in Stirlingshire from the early 1700s, and of Calcutta in West Bengal by the late 1770s (related surname)
  • Dewar of Glasgow (related surname)
  • Henderson of Thurso, Caithness (related surname)
  • Jackson of the Hon. East India Company (related surname)
  • Kennedy of Benburb in the county of Tyrone. Claims to descent from the earl of Cassillis persist, with branches in Ardmillan, Ayrshire and Castle Kennedy in Dumfries & Galloway. — Please note that the claim to the Cassillis line remains unproven.
  • Kirkpatrick of Glasgow
  • McGowan of Dumfries (related surname)
  • Marshall of Dumfries (related surname)
  • Pattison of Edinburgh (related surname)
  • Ralston of Glasgow (related surname)
  • Renny and Glasgow of Falkirk (related surnames)
  • Steele of Greenock, Renfrewshire (related surname)
  • Stevenson of Beith, Ayrshire (related surname)

Notes :

Please note that many more surnames occur in our lateral lines, i.e., as second, third, etc. cousins, removed once, twice, or even several times.

If you have a family history connection to one of the family lines listed above, please consider getting in touch via the contact page.

Updated 1st Oct. 2023.

Source citation for this page: — Kilpatrick, Alison. “Family history: Index of surnames out of Scotland.” Published to Arborealis, online at, accessed [insert date of access].

Footnotes :

  1. Protestant Householders Returns, County Londonderry, 1740. Records held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Belfast. Archival ref. T808/152258. Summary with annotations by William Macafee; hosted online at Bill Macafee’s Family & Local History Website (accessed 2011-05-08). ↩︎
  2. Hearth Money Rolls for County Antrim, 1669. Records held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Belfast. Archival ref. [unstated]. Summary with annotations by William Macafee; hosted online at Bill Macafee’s Family & Local HIstory Website (accessed 2011-05-08). ↩︎