Scottish Place Names
- Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
For comparability with other large cities around the world, Charlotte has been defined as the City of Charlotte together with its suburbs in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan and Union Counties in North Carolina and Lancaster and York Counties in South Carolina. The area centred on Salisbury, which is often included in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area, has been excluded from the present analysis because it appears to be detached from the rest of the metropolitan area.
Of the names of the 717 cities, suburbs and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Greater Charlotte, 141 (19.7%) are based in whole or in part on places that can be found in Scotland or on Scottish family names. Of course, many of these names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 65 of them (9.1%) appear to be exclusively or largely Scottish.
Communities, neighbourhoods and suburbs with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:
- Alexander and Julius Alexander - Alexander a Scottish family name, branches of the family being septs of Clans MacAlister, MacDonald or MacDonnell of Glengarry, though the name has since travelled to England, for example, Alexander House in Kent.
- Ballantyne, Ballantyne East and Ballantyne West - Ballantyne is a Scottish family name, probably derived from the lands of Bellenden in the former county of Roxburghshire. Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, lists a number of early references to the name, going back to 1563 and 1630. Famous Scottish bearers of this name include James and John Ballantyne (printers), the author Robert Ballantyne (of Coral Island fame), and James Ballantine (artist and poet).
- Barclay Downs - there is a Barclay in South Ayrshire and Barclayhill and Barclayfield in Perth & Kinross. There is also a Barclay in Wales though Barclay is a Scottish surname - that's their tartan illustrated here. As pointed out by Scarlett (1975) Barclay is a Lowland Scots name, "its bearers claiming descent from the Berkeleys who came to England with William the Conqueror." (p.37). This could account for the presence of the name in a part of Wales that was colonised simultaneously by the Normans.
- Becton Park - there is a Bectonhall near Raeburn Flow in Dumfries & Galloway.
- Bells Crossroads - there are many places in Scotland with Bell as part of the name. The list is too numerous to quote fully, examples being Bell Bay in North Ayrshire, Bell Craig in the Scottish Borders and in Dumfries & Galloway and Bell Wood in Aberdeenshire. The illustration above shows the heather garden supported by Bell's Scotch Whisky company. Although place names starting with this Scottish family name can also be found all over England, it is more likely that the name of the community in Iredell County refers to an individual whose ancestry was probably Scottish.
- Braemar (Aberdeenshire and the Shetland Islands). Braemar in Aberdeenshire is world famous as the venue for the annual Highland Gathering. Patronised by royalty, this Gathering is always held on the first Saturday in September and features a spectacle of highland dancing, pipe bands and highland sporting competitions (tossing the caber, stone putt etc).
- Cameronwood - there are places called Cameron in Fife, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire. Cameron is an ancient Scottish family name, the origin of which has been speculated to mean either 'crooked (or wry) nose' (Gaelic) or 'curved hill-brow' (Old Welsh).
- Carson's Pond - there is a Carsons Hill and Carsons Stone in Dumfries & Galloway, both based, presumably, on the Scottish family name Carson.
- Closeburn (Dumfries & Galloway).
- Coulwood (Highland, near Strathpeffer) and Coulwood East and Coulwood Ridge by association.
- Cowans Ford - there is a Cowan Fell, Cowans and Cowans Farm in Dumfries & Galloway, Cowan's Croft and Cowans Knowe in Scottish Borders, and Cowans Law in East Ayrshire. The name has also travelled to England (Cowan Bridge in Lancashire), probably taken there by a Scottish settler. Cowan is a common surname in Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire and other Lowland counties and may have been a corruption of Colquhoun.
- Craighead (Aberdeenshire, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, Fife, Highland, Moray, North Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, South Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Lothian).
- Dallas (Moray) but possibly recalling Dallas, Texas in this instance.
- Drums Crossroads - Drum is an ancient Scottish family name from Aberdeenshire, apparently of Pictish origin. The illustration here is of Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire.
- Galloway Road - Galloway is the name of an ancient region in south-west Scotland, the name being preserved in the modern county of Dumfries & Galloway.
- Glass - Glass is an ancient Scottish family name, first recorded in Bute and derived from the Gaelic word 'glas' (grey or grey-haired). Glass is also a fairly common Jewish surname.
- Glenkirk (Scottish Borders and Highland).
- Glenwood Acres - Glenwood is the name of a village in Aberdeenshire. It has become an extremely popular place name throughout North America.
- Grier Heights and Griers Fork - Grier is a Scottish family name originating in Dumfries-shire.
- Hamilton Circle - The name Hamilton has been associated with Scotland since the thirteenth century, probably having been taken there by Walter Fitz Gilbert (Sir Walter de Hameldone). Hameldome/Hamelton was the name of Sir Walter's estate in Leicestershire, central England. The original Hamilton is today an outlying suburb of the City of Leicester with a population that is far smaller than that of Hamilton in Scotland. According to the Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names (Room, 2003), Hamilton in Old English means 'farmstead in broken country'. Hamilton is one of the most frequently recurring Scottish place names around the English-speaking world. The graphic here is of the Hamilton family mausoleum in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
- Harris-Houston - Harris is an island in the Outer Hebrides as well as a town in Highland. Harris is also found as an element in place names in both England and Ireland, but as a family name its origin would be either English or Welsh. Houston, on the other hand, is decidedly Scottish, though the Charlotte neighbourhood may have taken its name directly from Houston, Texas.
- Heatherwood - there is a Heatherwood Park in Highland.
- Hemphill Heights - there is a hill and small village in East Ayrshire called Hemphill. Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, states that the surname Hemphill is probably derived from the locality near Galston in Ayrshire.
- Highland Creek - possibly recalling the Highlands of Scotland.
- Homewood Acres - possibly based on the Scottish family name Home or Hume.
- Houston (Renfrewshire; also Bellahouston, a district of the City of Glasgow). Although Houston is a very Scottish name, it is unlikely that the Charlotte neighbourhood took its name directly from Scotland, but rather more indirectly through Houston, Texas, which was named for General Sam Houston whose ancestry was Scottish on both sides of the family. The plaque shown here commemorates the Houstons in Paisley, Renfrewshire, going back to the 12th century.
- Howie Acres - Howie is a Scottish family name from Ayrshire.
- J.H. Gunn - Gunn is a Scottish family name. The clan claims descent from Olave the Black, the Norse King of Man and the Isles.
- Johnston Road - there are several places in Scotland called Johnston. The list includes Johnston in Aberdeenshire and Fife, Johnston Mains and Lodge in Aberdeenshire, Johnston's Point in Argyll & Bute, Johnstonlee in Dumfries & Galloway and Johnston Loch in North Lanarkshire. However, there is also a town called Johnston in Pembrokeshire, Wales. As a family name, Johnston is considered to be more Scottish than English, which increases the chances that the name of this Charlotte neighbourhood may have a Scottish connection.
- Lake Wylie - Wylie is a Scottish family name from Dumfriesshire.
- Leslie Woods - there is a place called Leslie in Aberdeenshire as well as a Lesliedale in the Orkney Islands. The Leslies are an ancient Scottish family dating from the end of the 12th century. They took their name from Leslie in Aberdeenshire.
- Lesslie - possibly a variant spelling of Leslie (see Leslie Woods above).
- Loray and Loray Mills - Loray is a Scottish family name from Dumfries-shire, variants being Lawrie, Laurie, Larry, Larrie, Lowrie and several others.
- Lowell - The House of Names website lists Lowell as a variant of Lovel, a name that originated in Somerset, England. Black (1996) confirms the southern English origin of the name, stating that a family named Lovel were barons in Somerset and held lands in Roxburgh but moved to Angus in the 13th century and were important in Dundee. The male line died out in 1607.
- McAdenville - McAden is a Scottish family name originating in Annandale in the south of Scotland.
- McAlpine - the MacAlpines are a group of clans all claiming descent from Kenneth MacAlpin (see graphic), the king under whom the Picts and Scots were first united in 843.
- McDowell Meadows - the MacDowells (often spelt MacDowall), are a sept of the MacDougall clan.
- McLean Road - there is a McLean Museum in Greenock, Inverclyde. MacLean/McLean is a well-known Scottish family name derived from the Gaelic MacGhille-Eoin, meaning 'son of the servant of John'.
- McGregor Downs - there is a water feature based on this well-known Scottish surname called Macgregor's Leap as well as a McGregor's Cave, both in Perth & Kinross. Probably the most famous member of the clan Gregor was Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous cattle rustler. The MacGregors were persecuted by their more powerful neighbours over many centuries, the very name being outlawed by an act of the Scottish Parliament between 1603 and 1774.
- Monroe - the name of this community in Union County most probably commemorates James Monroe, the 5th President of the United States (1817-1825). Monroe is an alternative spelling of the Scottish surname of Munro, and is derived from the Gaelic 'Rothach' or 'a man of Ro'. According to Black (1996) their ancestors probably came from Ireland, from the foot of the river Roe in County Derry, which produced the place name 'Bunrotha' from which 'Munrotha' was derived.
- Morningside (Dumfries & Galloway, City of Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire and Perth & Kinross).
- Murrays Hill - Murray is one of the best known Scottish family names, derived from the name of the area (Moray) in which the Pictish founder of the clan was granted land. Examples of places in Scotland based on this name include Murray's Hill (Perth & Kinross), Murrayfield (Edinburgh), Murraythwaite (Dumfries & Galloway) and many others. The name has also travelled to England, e.g. Murray's Rock in Devon and is claimed as an Irish name as well.
- Nevin - According to Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, Nevin is an alternative spelling of Niven, which is derived from the Gaelic 'Naomhin', meaning "little saint", subsequently Latinised to 'Nevinus'. Nevin became a popular personal name in Galloway and Ayrshire. The name was recorded in Scotland as far back as 13th century. It is therefore quite probable that the name of this Charlotte neighbourhood has a Scottish origin, but it is perhaps relevant to note that a district of Dublin, Ireland is called Glasnevin and there is also a village in north Wales called Nefyn (pronounced 'Nevin').
- Olivers Crossroads - Oliver is a Scottish family name from Roxburghshire.
- Orchard Park (East Renfrewshire) though this is probably a purely descriptive name.
- Oswalt - Oswalt is a Scottish family name of Norse origin, first found in Caithness. The family claims descent from the Viking Asbaldr.
- Piper Glen Estates - there is a Piper's Burn in Highland, Piper's Knowe in Scottish Borders, Pipercroft in Dumfries & Galloway, Piperdam in Angus, Piperhall in Argyll & Bute, Piperhill in Highland, Piperstones Hill in Perth & Kinross and Piperton in Angus. However, names beginning with 'Piper' or 'Pipers' are just as common in England. The name of this Charlotte neighbourhood nevertheless has a distinctly Scottish ring about it owing to the inclusion of the element 'Glen'.
- Raeburn (Dumfries & Galloway). There is also a place called Raeburn just over the border in Cumbria but considering the proximity of Raeburn to Becton Park in Charlotte and the proximity of Raeburn Flow to Bectonhall in Dumfries & Galloway, a Scottish connection seems almost a certainty.
- Reid Park - there is a Reidhall in Angus, Reidside, Reidstack and Reidswell in Aberdeenshire and Reidston is East Ayrshire. Reid is a common Scottish family name (ranked 11th in a 1976 survey of surnames in Scotland), and is a sept of Clan Robertson.
- Ridgeloch - although there is no trace of this name in Scotland or in any other part of the British Isles, it certainly looks Scottish because of the element 'loch' (the Scots word for a lake or arm of the sea).
- South Point (Argyll & Bute).
- Sterling - possibly a corrupted spelling of Stirling in central Scotland.
- Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire).
- Viewmont (East Lothian).
- Wallace Crossroads and Wallace Woods - there are many places in Scotland based on the Scottish surname of Wallace, examples being Wallaceton in Dumfries & Galloway, Wallacetown in South Ayrshire and Wallacestone in Falkirk. One of Scotland's most famous Wallaces is Sir William Wallace, the thirteenth century patriot who championed Scotland's independence when this was being threatened by King Edward I of England's expansionist policy. Wallace means 'Welshman', a Saxon term for 'foreigner' that was applied by the Saxons to the descendants of the Celtic-speaking Ancient Britons in Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria and Strathclyde.
- Wilkinson Boulevard - Wilkinson is a Scottish family name, a sept of Clan MacDonald.
- Witherspoon Crossroad - Witherspoon is a Scottish family name originating in Renfrewshire.
As in other cities around the world, not all of the above place names are necessarily based directly on their namesakes in Scotland. The connection with Scotland may be more indirect in some instances, for example, based on the name of an early Scottish settler. Examples where this may be the case would be gratefully received from readers in Greater Charlotte, for incorporation in future updates of this web page.
Some of the following localities are also likely to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection, but most of these names are associated with other parts of the British Isles as well:
- Beatties Ford-Trinity - The Beattie part of the name is possibly Scottish. According to the House of Names Heraldic website, Beattie is a largely English family name, though the name was apparently first recorded in the former Scottish Borders county of Roxburghshire. Trinity is found as a place name in both the City of Edinburgh and in Angus, but being a religious name, it also occurs in England and Ireland.
- Berryhill (Aberdeen City, Angus, Scottish Borders, East Ayrshire, Fife, Highland, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross and Stirling). The name is also found just over the border in Northumberland and further south, but not nearly as commonly as in Scotland.
- Berwick (Aberdeenshire, and the name of a former border county of Scotland; also North Berwick in East Lothian - that's the Seabird Centre at North Berwick shown here - but the name also occurs frequently in England and Wales, the best-known example being Berwick-upon-Tweed on the Scottish/English border.
- Blackburn (Aberdeenshire, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, Moray, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian) but Blackburn is found just as frequently in northern England.
- Boyd Hill - there are places called Boydston (South Ayrshire) and Boydstone (Renfrewshire) that are based on this Scottish surname. The earliest record of Boyd as a family name in Scotland is in 1205 and a number of members of the family are known to have settled first in Ulster and later in the American colonies. This increases the probability that the name of the Charlotte suburb in York County, South Carolina, has a Scottish or Scots-Irish origin, but Boyd is also an English family name of Norman origin and the name occurs in several places in south-west England.
- Brown Town - there are many places in both Scotland and England that have 'Brown' as an element in their name. The surname Brown is also very common in both countries but is essentially an English family name from Cumbria.
- Caldwell (East Renfrewshire; also Caldwell Burn in Dumfries & Galloway, Caldwells in Fife and Caldwellside in South Lanarkshire) but the name is also frequently found in northern England.
- Cardinal Glen - there is a Cardinal Steps in Fife, as well as a Cardinal's Green in Cambridgeshire, England.
- Davidson - there is a Davidson's Mains in the City of Edinburgh, also Davidson's Burn and Davidson's Linn over the border in Northumberland. Davidson is considered to be both a Scottish and an English family name.
- Goshen Grove - there is a village in East Lothian called Goshen, though the name of this community in Gaston County was taken, more probably, directly from the Bible, as it no doubt was in Scotland itself.
- Graham Heights - there are many places in central and southern Scotland beginning with Graham, also a few just over the border in Northumberland and Cumbria. There were many powerful families in Scotland with the name Graham. Sir John Graham of Dundaff was described as the "richt hand" of William Wallace and John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, gained the title of both "Bloody Clavers" and "Bonnie Dundee" - that's his statue in Montrose shown here.
- Henderson Circle - there is a Henderson's Rock in Argyll & Bute as well as a Henderson's House in Durham, England. Henderson (meaning 'Henry's son') is both a Lowland Scottish family name and a northern English one.
- Hunter Acres, Hunters Gate and Huntersville - Hunter occurs in many place names throughout Scotland. The list includes Aberdeenshire (Hunter's Hill and Lodge), Angus (Hunter's Path and Hunters Hill), Argyll & Bute (Hunter's Quay), Scottish Borders (Hunter Hill and Huntershall), Dumfries & Galloway (Hunter House, Hunter's Gate, Hunterheck), East Ayrshire (Hunter's Meadow, Hunterston), North Ayrshire (Hunterston, Hunterston House, Hunterston Sands), Perth & Kinross (Hunterhall) and South Lanarkshire (Hunterlees). Hunter is found even more commonly throughout England.
- Mayfield Park - Mayfield is found in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Highland, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands and South Lanarkshire. Mayfield is also found throughout England but less commonly so than in Scotland while Mayfield Park itself is a district of the City of Bristol in the west of England.
- Midland (East Ayrshire and Orkney Islands) also in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
- Miller Crossing - there is a Millerhill in Midlothian plus numerous other places in Scotland with Miller as an element in the name, but this is also the case in England.
- Mount Mitchell - there is a Mitchell Hall in East Lothian, a Mitchell Hill in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, Mitchellhill in Aberdeenshire and Mitchellslacks in Dumfries & Galloway, but place names based on Mitchell are even more numerous throughout England, including Mitchell itself in Cornwall. The name Mitchell is found frequently enough in Scotland, however, for there to be a family tartan - see illustration.
- Mountain View (Scottish Borders) also across the border in Cumbria.
- NoDa - the name of this neighbourhood can arguably be claimed for either Scotland or England since it is derived from "North Davidson Street" (analogous to Manhattan's SoHo in this regard). Davidson is a Scottish and northern English family name.
- Randolph Park - there is a water feature in Moray called Randolph's Leap but place names featuring Randolph are encountered more commonly in south eastern England. Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, was a companion-in-arms of Robert the Bruce and he and Edward Balliol were chosen as regents of the kingdom, during the minority of King David II. The family name is of Norman origin, and like many of the nobles of early Scotland (including Bruce), the Randolphs could have had estates in both Scotland and England. Thus, despite the strong historical pedigree of the name in Scotland, the origin of the name of the Charlotte neighbourhood could be either Scottish or English.
- Scotts - the origin of the name of this community in Iredell County is probably, but not necessarily Scottish. According to Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, there are more people with this Border Scottish surname in Northumberland than in the whole of Scotland. There are also many places in England with Scott as part of the name. Scottsdale, for instance, is the name of a place in Somerset, while Scott's Green is a district of Dudley, Greater Birmingham and Scott Hall is a district of the City of Leeds. The surname 'Scott' has nevertheless consistently appeared among the top 9 to 13 most numerous family names in four surveys conducted in Scotland between 1858 and 1976. Surveys in England, on the other hand, place Scott in roughly the 40th position, though their numbers would exceed those in Scotland by virtue of the size of England's population relative to that of Scotland.
- Silverwood (East Ayrshire) but there is also a Silverwood Farm in Cambridgeshire, England.
- SouthPark and Southpark Coalition - there is a Southpark in both Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway, but the descriptive name 'South Park' is also used in England.
- Southside Park - there is a Southside in Aberdeenshire, Scottish Borders, Midlothian, Orkney Islands and South Ayrshire as well as just over the border in Northumberland.
- Wilson Heights - there are several places in Scotland based on the surname of Wilson. The list includes Wilsonhall (Angus), Wilson Burn and Wilson's Pike (Scottish Borders), Wilson's Noup (Shetland Islands) and Wilsontown (South Lanarkshire). Wilson is even more commonly found in England, including the town of Wilson itself in Herefordshire and Leicestershire. The Scots Wilsons are a sept of Clan Gunn and now have their own family tartan - see graphic. Like Scott (see Scotts above), the surname Wilson is very common in both Scotland (ranked 3rd in a 1976 survey of family names) and in England (ranked 6th in a 1975 survey).
A third category of names comprises places that definitely exist in Scotland, but the likelihood that the Greater Charlotte counterpart was named for Scotland or for a Scots settler is greatly reduced because these names are associated far more commonly with other parts of the British Isles. Most of the names of these neighbourhoods have an 'international' flavour and several may also have been borrowed from other American cities and towns.
- Barberville - there is a Barberswells in Angus, Barbershall in Dumfries & Galloway and Barberfield in East Lothian. Places featuring the family name Barber are found even more commonly throughout England, however.
- Beechwood (Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and Highland) but Beechwood is more common in England and is also found in Ireland and Wales.
- Belmont, North Belmont and South Belmont - Places called Belmont can be found in the Scottish Borders, Shetland Islands and South Ayrshire. However, the name is a favourite in England as well and can also be found in Ireland and Wales. The origin of the name is ultimately French - 'beautiful mountain'. There appear to be two localities called Belmont in the Charlotte area - one in the City of Charlotte and the other in Gaston County.
- Belvedere Homes - there is a place called Belvedere in West Lothian. However, the name also occurs in England and there is the famous Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. Belvedere was a popular choice of name for localities during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a belvedere as a "raised turret to view scenery from" (a word formed from the Italian words for 'beautiful' and 'see').
- Bentons Crossroads - there is a Benton in Argyll & Bute but the name is more commonly associated with places in England.
- Brookfield (Renfrewshire) also all over England and on the Isle of Man.
- Burtons - there is a place called Burton in South Ayrshire, but the name occurs far more frequently in England since Burton is an English family name from Yorkshire.
- Carmel Estates, Carmel Forest, Carmel Park, Carmel Station and Carmel Valley - there are places called Carmel Bank and Carmel Water in East Ayrshire and Carmelhill in the City of Edinburgh but Carmel on its own occurs frequently throughout Wales as well as the USA; its origin is most probably biblical.
- Churchill Downs - Churchill is a district of the City of Edinburgh (Churchill Theatre is illustrated here) but the name is found more commonly in England and also occurs in Wales.
- Claremont (Fife; also Claremont Gardens in Edinburgh) but places with Claremont as an element in the name are fairly common in England as well, and County Clare in Ireland could be another source for the name.
- Cooks Crossing - Cook is a Scottish as well as an English family name. The Scottish Cooks are a sept of the Stewarts; their ancestral lands were on the Isle of Bute.
- Druid Hills North and Druid Hills South - there is a place called Druid in Perth & Kinross. However, there is also a Druid in Devon, England and Denbighshire, Wales, and several places in England with Druid as part of the name. Druids were priests and soothsayers in ancient Celtic societies.
- Eastfield and Eastfield Ridge - there are many places in Scotland called Eastfield, in Aberdeenshire, Angus, Scottish Borders, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross and South Lanarkshire. However, this descriptive name is also used in at least eight English cities and counties.
- Fairfield Park - there are places in Clackmannanshire, Shetland Islands and Stirling called Fairfield, but the name is even more commonly found throughout England and is also found in Ireland.
- Fowler Crossroads - there is a place called Fowler in East Ayrshire; also Fowler Rock (Dundee City) and Fowlershill (Aberdeenshire). However, the name also occurs in England and Fowler is said to be an English family name from Norfolk.
- Gardner Park - there is a Gardner's Hall in West Lothian. However, since Gardner is an English family name from Oxfordshire, Gardner occurs far more frequently as an element in English place names.
- Harrisburg - Harris is a large island in the Outer Hebrides (see graphic), though the name is used as an element in English and Irish place names as well. The Isle of Harris is famous for its Harris tweed (twilled woollen fabric with unfinished surface). Harris is also a common surname in both England and Wales.
Graphic courtesy of PhotoNet.
- Harwood Lane - there are places in the Scottish Borders and West Lothian called Harwood; also Harwood Burn in the Scottish Borders and East Ayrshire, Harwood Moss, Harwood-on-Teviot, Harwood Rig and Harwoodmill in the Scottish Borders, and Harwood Water in West Lothian. Places with Harwood as an element in the name are even more numerous throughout England, especially in the north.
- Huntington (Scottish Borders and East Lothian) also commonly found in England.
- Jenkins Heights - there is a Jenkins Park in Highland but Jenkins can be found as an element in place names in England and Wales as well, being a common Welsh surname first found in Monmouthshire.
- Kingswood (Perth & Kinross) but found throughout England and is also used in Ireland and Wales.
- Landis - according to the House of Names Heraldic website, Landis is both a Scottish and an English family name. It is not listed as a surname in Black (1996), however. Black does mention Landes and Landass, and states that there is (or was) a place in New Abbey parish called Landis, but modern gazetteers of Scottish place names do not list it.
- Maiden - Maiden occurs quite commonly in place names in both Scotland and England and in parts of Wales. Scottish examples include Maidens in South Ayrshire (see picture above), Maiden Law in the Scottish Borders and Maidens Paps in West Dunbartonshire, among many others. Maiden is also an Irish family name.
- Newell and Newell Place - there is a place in Aberdeenshire called Newells, and according to the House of Names Heraldic website, Newell is a Scottish family name from Dumfries-shire. However, it is also an English family name, and Newell features in several English place names.
- Newport (Highland) also in England, Ireland and Wales - Newport is Wales' third largest city and is also one of the best known towns on the Isle of Wight in southern England.
- Newton (Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Midlothian, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Western Isles. There are also many other places such as Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, Newton of Ardtoe in Highland, Newton of Balcormo in Fife, etc.) Newton is just as commonly found throughout England and, to a lesser extent, Wales. There are in fact very few counties in the whole of Great Britain which do not have at least one Newton. Surprisingly, the name is not used in Ireland.
- Old Georgetown - places called Georgetown can be found in Dumfries & Galloway, Moray and Renfrewshire. However, Georgetown is also found, less commonly, in Wales. It is quite probable that the name of this neighbourhood is related in some way to the Hanoverian Georges and would therefore not have a Scottish origin.
- Paradise Point - although this community in Gaston County is most likely to have been named for descriptive reasons, Paradise occurs as an element in place names in both Scotland and England.
- Shepherds - there is a Shepherdscleuch in the Scottish Borders, Shepherdlands in Fife, Shepherd's Point in Argyll & Bute, Shepherd's Seat in Angus, Shepherd's Taing in the Shetland Islands and Shepherds Croft in Perth & Kinross. Being an occupational name, Shepherd is found even more commonly in English place names, especially the more hilly or mountainous areas. Shepherd, like many other common surnames such as Smith, Brown, Green and Taylor, can be either English or Scottish.
- Smithville - Smith is the most common surname in both Scotland (where it has a tartan) and England; it is also the 5th most common surname in Ireland and 13th in Wales.
- South End (Argyll & Bute) also in England.
- Spencer Mountain - there is a Spencerfield in Fife, but Spencer is encountered far more frequently in England.
- Springwood (Scottish Borders) also in Staffordshire, central England.
- Stanley (Perth & Kinross) but also found in eleven English counties.
- Todd Park and Toddville - there is a Todd's Hole in Angus. Todd occurs even more frequently in place names in England, particularly in the north. Todd is nevertheless reckoned to be a Scottish family name.
- Westport (Aberdeenshire and Argyll & Bute) also in Somerset, England and County Mayo, Ireland.
- Wilton Wood - there is a Wilton, Wilton Burn, Wiltonburn Hill and Wilton Dean in Scottish Borders, but Wilton occurs far more frequently in English place names.
Other localities that have a certain Scottish ring to them, but whose possible links with Scotland have not yet been established include:
Arbor Glen, Boger City, Boogertown, Croft, Greylyn Drive, Hardins, Nims, Troutman and Woodburn.
Both North and South Carolina were major destinations for Scots-Irish settlers during the first half of the eighteenth century. Many of these Protestant settlers arrived directly from Northern Ireland while others came from Pennsylvania. It is therefore not surprising that Charlotte and other cities in the Carolinas generally have a fairly high proportion of Scottish place names compared with the average American city. The USA's first gold rush was centred on Charlotte, and would have resulted in a further wave of settlers including people from Scotland. Charlotte has become the second largest banking centre in the USA after New York City, with Scotsmen and their descendants no doubt having played their role in this achievement.
- Scarlett, James D. (1975). The Tartans of the Scottish Clans. (Collins, Glasgow and London).
- Black, George F. (1996). The Surnames of Scotland. (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh).
- Room, Adrian (2003). The Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names. (Penguin Books, London).
- The House of Names Heraldic website.
- Mapquest.com world-wide maps and Maps.yahoo.com North American maps.
- Wikipedia article on Charlotte, North Carolina.
- www.charmeck.org for a list of neighbourhoods in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County.
- Websites, place name gazetteers and published Ordnance Survey maps of British and Irish cities, towns, villages and counties.
© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, September 2006
If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is email@example.com.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>