The following is from The Scotch-Irish or the Scot of North Britan,
North Ireland and North America, by Charles A. Hanna
When King David I ascended the throne of Scotland in 1124, he is said to have been
following at successive periods by no fewer than a thousand Ango-Normans.
Out of Ayrshire came the Dunlops, with twelve others, who were endowed with large
grants of land. In Ayrshire, the mass of inhabitants were purely Celtic, but as in
other distracts, Saxon emigrants with whose followers the towns and villages were
crowded. This infusion of foreign blood (following William the Conquerors conquest
of England in 1066), was not effaced without some difficulty. The Celtic population
was greatly opposed to the new system and they broke out into frequent insurrections.
When William was made prisoner at Almwyck in 1174, a general uprising took place against
the strangers who were compelled to take shelter in the King's Castles. During the reign
of Edgar, Alexander I, David I, and Malcomb IV, various disturbances occurred in
consequence of the prejudices entertained by the old for the new races (Celtic versus
The repeated irruptions of the Galwegians, whose territory included not only Carrick, but
Kyle and Cunninghame, at the commencement of the reign of David I (1124), must have involved
what now constitutes Ayrshire in the struggle. On the capivity of Williams (1174), Galway
arose in revolt, slew the English and Normans, expelled the King's officers and destroyed
his castles. King David died in 1153.
Family names were first adopted in England during the latter part of the 11th century,
reaching Scotland about the year 1100.
As the Dunlops arrived in Scotland from England previous to 1135, they evidently had not
adopted a family name, as the name they did adopt was said to come from the name of the
place they lived, which indicates they probably chose their name at a later date than many
others. As Dunlop is a Celtic name, they probably adopted the name of their home, which
had been given to it by the Celts previous to their coming, and which place they fell "heir"
to, or which fell to their lot upon the confiscation of the estates by the Normans, who came
to Scotland under the reign of David I, as previously told.
The first man by that name we have any record of is Dom. Gullielmus de Dunlop, whose name
appears in the Charter Crest of the borough of Irvine in 1260, in a cause betwixt the burgh
and Dom. Godfredus de Ross, whose family is mentioned as receiving a large grant from Hugh
Among the Dunlops whose names are taken from the Muster Rolls of Scots Men-at-Arms and Life
Guards in France, 1480-1730, are found:
Bernard Dunlop 1460-1476 Archer
Henry Dunlop 1486-1498 Archer
Alexander Dunlop 1050-1508 Man-at-Arms
John Dunlop 1543-1564 Archer
(The distinction betwen Archer and Man-at-Arms is but that of age; the Archer is younger)
The DUNLOPS of Dunlop, Scotland, from Burkes Landed Gentry of Scotland.
This family is of ancient origin, as are almost all those whose patronymics are derived from
locality, for there can be little doubt that the district of Dunlop gave the name to the family.
Chambers is no doubt correct in ascribing the etymology of the parish to the Celtic "Dunluib,"
which signifies, "The hill at the bend." Arthur, in his dictionary of English and Scottish names,
says "Dunlop (Gaelic), a parish in the district of Cunningham, Ayrshire, Scotland, from 'dun', a
castle, fort or hill, and 'lub', a bending or a curve. 'The castle or hill at the bend.' There is
a hill or "dun" in the vicinity of the village of Dunlop, near which a small stream, called the Glazert,
describes such a bend as to render the place characteristic of it's Celtic (Gaelic) etymology.
It is impossible, however, to trace the line of succession accurately in the more early parts of it's
history. Several breaks occur, and in some instances the links have to be supplied more by induction
than by direct evidence. The district of old belong to the Rosses, whose seat is supposed to have
been the ancient stronghold of Boarland. It is a tradition that the Dunlops were servitors or vassals
of this family. Pont says, "Dunlop, one ancient stronghouse, fortified with a deep boat of water,
and planted with goodly orchards. It is named Hunthall because, say they, the ancient bounds and
grounds thereabout, and all Macharnoch Moore, as of olde, a mighty forest." The castle or stronghouse
of Dunlop stood on the banks of a little rivelet called Clerklandburn, which divided the parish from
Stewartson. It is unknown at what time the original square tower was erected. Once of the more
modern additions bore the date 1599. The site is now occupied by the handsome modern mansion, built
by the late Sir John Dunlop, Baronet, in 1835.
Burke, in his Landed Gentry of Ireland and Great Britan, says, "Of the establishment of the family
of Dunlop of that Ilk, we have no authentic accounts. The first is in the reign of Alexander the Third"
DOM. GULLIELMUS de DUNLOP, who appears in a notarial copy of an inquest, in the Charter Chest in the
borough of Irvine, in 1260, in a cause betwixt the burgh and Dom. Godfredus de Ross (the English name for
"Gullielmus" was William, so our first known ancestor was William Dunlop). The next is
NEIL FITZ-ROBERT de DUNLOP (DULAP is the vernacular pronunciation in the district at this day, the
"N" is not sounded), who in 1296 appears in the Ragman Roll, and whom Neshet conjectures to have been of Dunlop.
The properly shortly after this period seems to have been alienated from the Dunlops, probably as had been
conjectured, on account of their having taken part, along with their superiors, the Rosses, on the side of
Baliol, in the conquest for the Scottish crown.
JAMES DUNLOP was in possession of Dunlop, as appears from a valuation of the County of Ayr, in the
year 1351. He was succeeded by
JOHN de DUNLOP, who in 1407 has a charter from Hugh de Blair. The next in succession probably was
ALEXANDER DUNLOP of Hunthall, whose identity is ascertained by a transaction of his grandson, as after
stated. (John, Earl of Buchan, had a charter of the lands of Dunlop in 1413. This Alexander Dunlop was
therefore probably the first of the Dunlops who re-acquired the property). He is mentioned by Rymer, as of
that Ilk in the reign of James I. He was possibly the son of John de Dunlop, and the father of
JOHN DUNLOP of that Ilk.
CONSTANTINE DUNLOP of that Ilk is presumed to have been the son of the preceeding. In 1483 he had a
transaction respecting the entry of the lands of Hunthall, that had been in arrears since the time of his
grandfather Alexander Dunlop.
ALEXANDER DUNLOP of Dunlop, brother of Constantine Dunlop, whose retour as Dunlop of that Ilk,
is dated 1476, was succeeded by his son. In 1489 he was appointed by Parliament, among other Lords, or Barons,
as they were called, to collect the bygone rents and casualties of the Crown in Stewartson and Kilmarnock,
along with Alexander Boyd, doubtless of the Kilmarnock family, as we find him soon after permanently established
as a member of an inquest of the retour of Matthew, Earl of Lennox. Constantine Dunlop died in 1505,
leaving (with a daughter, Janet, married to James Stuart, sheriff of Bule, great grandson of King Robert II), a
son and successor,
JOHN DUNLOP of that Ilk, whose enfoeffment is not dated until 1507. This gentleman married in 1492, to
Marion Douglas, and had one son, Alexander, and a daughter who married Hugh Maxwell, of Auldhouse. He died in
1509 and was succeeded by his son.
ALEXANDER DUNLOP, who in 1537 is in possession of the lands of Hunthall, or Dunlop, and of the presentation
of the parish and patronage of Dunlop church. He married Helen Cunningham, of the house of Glencairn. By a charter
under the Great Seal, in the reign of Queen Mary, and protectorship of Arran, he settled his estate on his five sons
succession: James, William, Constantine, Robert, and Andrew. He died about the year 1549. Margaret Dunlop, of the
family thereof, who was married to Archibald Lyon,, a son of the Family of Glammis, in 1540, was probably a daughter
of this laird of Dunlop.
JAMES DUNLOP, the eldest son, succeeded. His retour is dated in the year 1549. He married Isabel, daughter of
Galvin Hamilton, or Orbieston, and had two sons, James and Allan. He was succeeded at his decease by the elder, James
Dunlop, and the account continues with the lineage of the Dunlops to the present owner of the estate of Dunlop,
but we are more interested in Allen, the younger.