Last name: Duck
This unusual and interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a variant form of Doig, itself an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "MacGille Doig", "son of the devotee of Dog", a foreshortened form of the saint's name Cadog. St. Cadog was a 6th Century abbot, and one of the most outstanding of the Welsh saints. He was widely venerated in South Wales and Brittany, and is reputed to have visited Cornwall and Scotland. Certain clan names evolved as a result of the veneration of a particular saint, and in the Old Gaelic such names were usually prefixed by "Mac", son of, with "Gille" (Scottish) or "Giolla" (Irish), literally meaning "servant", but used here in the transferred sense of "devotee". These prefixes were gradually dropped, and variant forms of the surname indicating devotion to St. Cadog include: Dog, Doge, Dogg, Doig, Doag, Duck and Doak. The surname is particularly widespread in the neighbourhood of places where Cadoc was commemorated, and early recordings include: Alexander Dog, canon of Inchmahome in Menteith (1491); John Doge, witness in Qwchtyreleth, Bamff (1533); and Robert Dook, glessenwright (glazier), in Irvine (1681). On August 28th 1746, the birth of Alexander, son of James Doak and Elizabeth McAllaster, was recorded in Edinburgh parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Doge, vicar of Dunnychtyne, which was dated 1372, in the "Episcopal Register of Brechin", Scotland, during the reign of King Robert 11 of Scotland, 1371 - 1390. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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