This unusual and interesting name is of Scottish origin and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Donnchadh", a personal name composed of the elements "donn", brown and "cath", battle. "donnchadh" translates as Duncan and the Clan Donnachie, better known as Clan Robertson of Atholl, are so name from "Fat Duncan", Donncha (Reamhar) de Atholia, who lived circa 1306. Most Clans of this name eventually became known as "MacConachie", but during the last Jacobite Rising (1745 - 1746) led by Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, small septs connected with the Clan, Robertson adopted the name "Donnachie" in order to conceal their identity. There were also three Argyllshire families that were known as, MacDhonnachie. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dunkan, which was dated 1367, Blacks "Surnames of Scotland", Berwick, during the reign of King David II of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. 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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