The origins of the Douglas family are lost in the mists of time. It is said that “In the margin, about one-third into The Book of Clan Douglas, Volume III, are written the words: `This is about the time when the Earth began’.” (Mary Murray, nee Mary Douglas, of Earltown: 1991).
Perhaps, at the time when surnames were first used, a family took the name of the river that flows though what became known as Douglasdale, possibly descendnats of Flemish settlers.
There is the following tradition in regard to the origin of the name. In the year 770 Solvathius king of Scotland, obtained a victory over Donald Bain of the Western Isles, by the assistance of a man who was unknown to him. After the battle, being desirous to see one who had done him so signal a service, he was pointed out to him with these words: ” Sholto Dhuglass,” behold that swarthy man.
One of this family, Sir William Douglas, entered into the service of Charlemagne and was the founder of the family of Douglassi in Tuscany.
Sir James de Douglas took the heart of Robert Bruce to the Holy Land, to commemorate which his descendants have ever since horn a crowned heart in their arms. Before the death of Bruce in 1329 the arms of the family were azure, three mullets argent. (Ane Historie of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus, David Hume of Godscroft, Edinburgh 1646).
The first recorded Douglas to stride across the stage of Scottish history was Sir William Douglas who fought and died for William Wallace. His son, Sir James Douglas was a supporter and lifelong friend of Robert the Bruce. “Good Sir James” died taking Bruce’s heart on a crusade to the Holy Land. The 2nd Earl of Douglas died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 as his army defeated an English force led by Prince Henry “Hotspur”. In 1402 the 4th Earl was defeated by the same Henry Hotspur at the Battle of Homildon Hill. Not many Douglases died in their beds.
But there is so much more to learn and the best place to go to learn anything and everything Clan Douglas this website is the place to go.
Here you can learn our rich history, connect with Douglases worldwide and even learn more about your own family history. It is an online database without compare.