The earliest record of the name RUSSELL in Scotland was Walter Russell, who witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Paisley in the year 1164. Andread dictus Russell was baillie of Aberdeen in the year 1310. Adam Rossel was received to the king of England's peace in the year 1321. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Ashiestiel, County Selkirk. This is the name of a prominent English family originally established in Dorset. Their earliest recorded ancestor was Stephen Russell, bailiff of Weymounth in 1388, who is also known to have owned property in Dorchester. Henry Russell was a merchant in the Bordeaux wine trade in the 15th century. The family rose to prominence with his great-grandson, John Russell, who attracted the attention of Henry VIII when he accompanied the shipwrecked King of Castile to court. He was eventually created Earl of Bedford by Edward VI. 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.
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