Douglas Family History & Genealogy

70 photos and 52,901 biographies with the Douglas last name. Discover the family history, nationality, origin and common names of Douglas family members.

Douglas Last Name History & Origin

Updated Oct 28, 2020


The Douglas family originated in Scotland (but it may actually be of Flemish origin, but there is no hard documentary proof), with the first known Douglas, William Douglas (bef. 1157 - abt. 1214). He would have many descendants, and together they would become one of the most ennobled families in what is now the United Kingdom. The current heir to head of the family of Douglas is His Grace Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, the 16th Duke of Hamilton, but he needs to assume the singular name Douglas before he can do so.

It is important to note that not all people of the name are descendants of the noble line, because many people in Scotland took up the surname of their Lord when swearing allegiance to them in exchange for protection. Sometimes, these people might become knights in the service of their Lord and be called to battle, and they might even become a Lord themselves. Some families might also take the surname Douglas from their wife's maiden name, especially if the wife was part of the noble line.

In the United States, the name Douglas also appears in the Black population. There were some Douglases who ended up becoming slave masters, and some of them assigned their surname to the slaves, not to mention that undoubtedly some were actually the children of the master and a slave. It was also not uncommon for ex-slaves to use the surname of their ex-master by choice. Frederick Douglass also played a part in the relative commonality of the name in Black families, changing his name from Frederick Bailey to Frederick Douglass after a friend recommended it because of the poem Lady of the Lake by Scott. Many Black people were inspired by him and so changed their surname to Douglas as a result.

Name Origin

The surname Douglas is a Scottish locational surname from Lanarkshire which means "Black Water" or "Black Stream".

Spellings & Pronunciations

Dawglas, Dawglass, Dawgless, Dawgliss, Dogles, Douglas, Douglase, Douglass, Dougles, Dougless, Douglis, Dougliss, Douglles, Dowglas, Dubhghlas, Dueglas, Duglas, Duglass, Dugless, Dugliss, Dulglace, Dulglas, Dulglass, Dulgless, Dulgliss, Duueglas

Nationality & Ethnicity


Famous People named Douglas

There are far to many famous people to name.

Early Douglases

These are the earliest records we have of the Douglas family.

Douglas Family Tree

Discover the most common names, oldest records and life expectancy of people with the last name Kroetch.

Search Douglas biographies:

Most Common First Names

Sample of 20 Douglas Biographies

Unknown - Unknown
Jul 9, 1912 - July 1979
May 13, 1905 - Jan 23, 2000
Jul 11, 1927 - Sep 9, 2010
Feb 15, 1929 - Nov 8, 2010
Feb 7, 1921 - Jun 27, 2003
Sep 21, 1942 - Jun 20, 1997
Sep 13, 1928 - Jun 23, 2009
Apr 1, 1888 - April 1969
Sep 21, 1922 - Apr 23, 2009
Feb 14, 1969 - Jan 29, 2011
Jul 12, 1918 - Dec 30, 1990
Nov 27, 1899 - February 1969
c. 1980 - Unknown
c. 1962 - Unknown
c. 1959 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1836 - 1899
Unknown - Unknown
c. 1907 - Unknown

Douglas Death Records & Life Expectancy

The average age of a Douglas family member is 68.6 years old according to our database of 37,519 people with the last name Douglas that have a birth and death date listed.

Life Expectancy

68.6 years

Oldest Douglases

These are the longest-lived members of the Douglas family on AncientFaces.

Feb 12, 1872 - January 1988
115 years
Apr 1, 1863 - September 1977
114 years
Feb 26, 1888 - Mar 14, 1995
107 years
Jun 8, 1888 - Aug 6, 1995
107 years
Aug 30, 1898 - May 14, 2005
106 years
Jan 20, 1863 - June 1969
106 years
Jun 6, 1890 - Jul 21, 1995
105 years
Aug 19, 1871 - April 1977
105 years
Dec 10, 1894 - Sep 18, 2000
105 years
Apr 20, 1896 - Feb 12, 2001
104 years

Other Douglas Records


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Christopher Douglas
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The National Park Service's Soldiers and Sailors Database of the American Civil War lists 1296 Douglas in the Union Army, and 1280 Douglas in the Confederate Army. This is only an approximation because the site also lists people with the first name Douglas, but it does give a general idea.
Jan 29, 2019 · Reply

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