This is a transposed variant of the great Olde Scottish name Douglas - a compound of the Gaelic elements 'dubh' meaning 'black', plus 'glas' - a stream. There is a spot South of Glasgow called Douglas from which the surname derives, and where the original territory of the family lay. Described by Lang as 'the great, turbulent, daring and too often treacherous house', various members distinguished themselves throughout Scottish history. The Black Douglas of Douglasdale was illustrious in the War of Independence, and a line of the family the Earls of Morton, had close connections with Mary Queen of Scots. The family also bears the title Earl of Douglas and later Earls of Angus. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Duglas which was dated C. 1175 Witnessed a confirmation charter by Jocelin. during the reign of William the Lion 1165-1214 Bishop of Glasgow. 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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