Friday, 19 March 2010

Ulster Surnames Scurlock

Scurlock is an Ulster surname, somewhat rare in Ulster, more common in points south, Meath and around Waterford and Wexford. Like so many good Ulster surnames there is some mystery and argument about its meaning and origins. The name Scurlock on the face of it is Old English, perhaps Danish or Flemish. The etymology is thought to be from the words scirr locc meaning 'bright hair,' but some sources say that it means 'short hair.'

The name came to Ireland from Wales with the Cymro-Normans. Now that is not to say that families with this name are all Norman in origin, many may be southern Welsh in origin and their DNA will be the same haplogroup (DNA signature) as the majority of the Irish. Celts, both Irish Gaels and Cymry of Wales, were fond of adopting names from cultures they came into contact with. For these reason, just having a surname of non Irish origins does not mean the family is of non Irish origins.

We do know that a prominent family of Scurlocks came to Ireland in the 1180s from Wales, with a Welsh and Norman settlement (military adventure would be a better description) and from that time on the surname Scurlock has been in Ireland. In Gaelic the surname is Scurlog and it has several anglicised forms with Sherlock being perhaps the most familiar to people.

In the 1700s several Scurlock families emigrated from Ulster to the Colonies and followed the frontier west with what history likes to call the Scots-Irish. By the early and mid 1800s Scurlock families had settled in the Old Southwest (Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana) and in Texas. Scurlock is another fascinating Ulster surname.

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