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Origins

“The name McCulloch is one of the oldest in Galloway. It is of Celtic origin and indicates that the family of that name sprang from the early British inhabitants of that district. Naturally, a family of such antiquity can boast of a number of fanciful legends concerning its origin.” Thus begins Walter Jameson McCulloch’s “GALLOWAY FAMILIES OF McCULLOCH.”

Horatio McCulloch; Dunstaffnage Castle; Glasgow Museums

It has been said that the name McCulloch is “Ultra memoriam hominium,” or from before human memory. According to SurnameDB: “The first known recording is that of Thomas Maculagh, given in the records of the proceedings of the government of Scotland as being “del counte de Wyggetone” in the year 1296. This was when he gave his allegiance to the government of John Balioll known as “The Interregnum” of 1296, it being overthrown by Robert, The Bruce, in 1306.” However, in the “Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway” Andrew Agnew traces the earliest recording of the name to a Bishop Makwolok who died in 733.

Alternative spellings of the name, such as the Irish “McCullough” may have derived from McCulloch but were interpreted from a local Ulster context, but may even have derived independently.

Whether or not the name McCulloch and apparent variations had a single origin, the lowland Clan McCulloch of Galloway, Scotland has had a history, genealogy, and identified chieftains. Since the unfortunate business involving Sir Godfrey McCulloch and the Gordons in the mid 17th century the McCullochs have been an armigerous clan, having neither a chieftain nor ancestral lands.

To learn more about the McCulloch family history, download a copy of Walter Jameson McCulloch’s “GALLOWAY FAMILIES OF McCULLOCH” and visit our Resources page for DNA, history, and genealogical sources.