The Scottish surname Douglass is an habitational name from any of the various places called Douglas from their situation on a river named with Gaelic dubh ‘dark’, ‘black’ + glas ‘stream’ (a derivative of glas ‘blue’). There are several localities in Scotland and Ireland so named, but the one from which the surname is derived in most if not all cases is 20 miles south of Glasgow, the original stronghold of the influential Douglas family and their retainers. The fair principal stems of the family are: the old Douglas of Douglasdale (the Black Douglas), illustrious in the War of Independence: the line of Morton who were closely connected with Mary Queen of Scots: the house of Drumlanrig and Queensberry, and the House of Angus, the Red Douglas. The family also hold the titles, Earl of Douglas, Earl of Angus and Earl of Forfar.
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