From ScotsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Clan Darroch

(Badge copyright Gaelic Themes Ltd.)

Clan Darroch is a Scottish chiefly family


The name Darroch is said to derive from Macdara which is Scottish Gaelic for son of oak. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 116</ref> 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 origin legend the chief's arms bear three oak trees. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

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. <ref>Black, George Fraser (1946), The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History, New York: New York Public Library, p. 201</ref>

Middle Ages

John Darroch was Baillie of Stirling in 1406.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref> John Dararch de Cruce is mentioned in 1445 and may be the same person as the John Darraugh who was a Commissioner for Parliament for Stirling in 1450.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref> Mariote Darrauch was a nurse of Lady Margaret, second daughter of James II, in 1442.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref> Jacobus Darroch was a notary public who appears as a witness to a charter relating to the lands of the Stirlings of Keir around 1477.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

Islay and Jura

The Darrochs were most numerous on the Isle of Islay and Isle of Jura.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>Here they were part of the larger Clan Donald. These Darrochs were known as the Clann Domhnuill Riabhaich which is a corrption of dath riabhach, which is Gaelic for brindled colour.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>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.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

The Mic ille Riabhaich appear in 1623 on a bond acknowledging as their overlord, Sir Donald MacDonald, 1st Baronet of Sleat. In the bond MacDonald promises in return due protection.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

The Gaelic patronymic of the Darroch chief became McIllreich.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

In 1659 Dugald Darroch, Minister of Campletown, published fifty Gaelic psalms in Glasgow.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref>

Barons of Gourock

From McIlliriech of Jura descended the family who became Barons of Gourock, the port on the Clyde.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 116</ref> Duncan Darroch, who was born on Jura sometime before the middle of the eighteenth century, left to make his fortune abroad, ultimately settling in Jamaica. He later returned to Scotland wealthy and in 1784 acquired land in Gourock, as well as matriculating arms and being designated 'Chief of the ancient name, the patronymik of which is McIlliriech'. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 117</ref>

In 191 he married Janet, daughter of Angus Mclartie, a Greenock merchant, and had several children. He was suceeded by his son, again Duncan, who pursued a military career, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General. The family continued to make advantageous marriages throughout the nineteenth century. Duncan Darroch, sixth Baron, was another soldier who served in both world wars and was also a member of the monarch's symbolic bodyguard. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 117</ref>