This most interesting surname is a patronymic, most commonly associated will Scotland and deriving from the Scots Gaelic words 'mac' meaning son plus 'cuindleas', possibly referring to a hound. The surname is found in Ireland, chiefly in the Province of Ulster, under the forms of MacAndles, MacCanliss etc.. It was already noticed in Parish Records of Scotland, for Wigtownshire in 1684. The spelling with 'Mac' is supposedly now extinct in Scotland. The spelling Candless, Candlish, was a later development of the surname and is found in the early 17th Century. One Jannet Candlish is recorded as marrying John Garroch on April 22nd 1729 at Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland. One famous Candlish, Robert Smith Candlish merited an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was the principal of the Free Church Collage, Edinburgh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robart Candless married Mary Chester, which was dated 23rd April 1617 at St. Brides, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of King James 1 of the England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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