The home of the Scottish family of GORDON was in Berwickshire where there is a place Gordon, from which the family probably took its name. The earliest member noted is Richerd de Gordun, lord of the barony of Gordon in the Merse (1150-60). His son was Thomas de Gordun. Family names are a fashion we have inherited from the times of the Crusades in Europe, when knights identified one another by adding their place of birth to their first or Christian names. With so many knights, this was a very practical step. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the nobles and upper classes, particularly those descended from the knights of the Crusades, recognised the prestige an extra name afforded them, and added the surname to the simple name given to them at birth. The surname is found early in England: Adam de Gurdan, 1204, Hampshire, who probably came from a French place named Gourdon (Saone-et-Loire) in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The family went to Aberdeenshire in the 14th century, when Sir Adam, Lord of Gordon was granted lands in Strathbogie by King Robert the Bruce. Alexander (1745-1827) was the 4th Duke of Gordon, a Scottish nobleman. He was the author of the well known song 'Cauld Kail in Aberdeen'. His wife, Jane Maxwell was known as 'the beautiful Duchess of Gordon'. George, 2nd Earl of Huntly (died in 1502, his birthdate not documented) was a Scottish nobleman, and high chancellor of Scotland from 1498 until 1501. He married Princess Annabella, daughter of James I of Scotland. Their second son married the Countess of Sutherland, and their third son was progenitor of the turbulent Gordons of Gight, from whom Byron's maternal ancestors were descended.
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