This most interesting and rare surname is of Scots-Gaelic origin, and is a locational name from the lands of Carnduff in the old lordship of Avondale, in Lanarkshire. The placename derives from the Gaelic elements "carn", a cairn, which was a pile of stones raised as a boundary marker or a memorial, and "dubh", black; hence the "black cairn". The surname itself is also found in Northern Ireland, where it is of Scottish extraction, having been introduced there by Scottish settlers during the Elizabethan plantations. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more frequent, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Several individuals called Carnduff are recorded in the Commissariot Records of Glasgow between 1618 and 1688, and William Carneduff is mentioned in the Commissariot Record of Hamilton in 1671. John Carnduff is recorded as a feuar in Strathaven in 1684. Scottish settlers of the name gave their name to a town in south-eastern Saskatchewan, Canada. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Cornduf, Carnduff, which was dated 1524, witnessed charters by Andrew, Lord of Avandale, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. 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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