The family of WHITE held its allegiance to Clan MacGregor and Clan Lamont. The name White was derived from the Old English HWIT - meaning white. The name has been spelt in many ways over the years including QUHEIT, QUHEITT, QUHIT, QUHYT, QUYT, QWHYTH, QWYT, QWITE and WHYT. 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 names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland. Early records of the name mention Uuiaett hwite who witnessed King Eadgar's charter of Coldingham in 1097-1107. Gilbert Qwhyt was bailie of the burgh of Rutherglen in the year 1376. Thomas White held land in Irvine in 1426. Patrick Quheyt rented the land of Kendy Hyll in 1525. Robert Whytte was the first provost the town of Kirkekaldie ever had, in 1658.
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