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Thread: Surnames Tordoff and Shaw

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    Surnames Tordoff and Shaw

    Can you tell me more about these two surnames, origins, distribution, etc.?

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    I'm assuming these are British Isles names?

    Tordoff allegedly comes from a Scandinavian name "Thjodulf" which has components of "Thor" and "ulfr" in it.

    Shaw is either an English or Scottish surname either derived from Old English sceaga meaning "dweller by the wood". The Gaelic etymology allegedly stems from a Gaelic name of sitheach meaning "wolf".

    Shaw is also a Scottish clan, that is documented to have been part of the Clan Chattan Confederation, and the chiefs of Shaw have some connection to the Mackintosh clan chiefs, who also were part of the Clan Chattan Confederation.
    Y-DNA: I-A14097 [Big Y: Complete] (Scotland), Big Y: I-Z140>F2642>Y1966>Y3649>A13241>Y3647>A14097 (1,850 YBP)
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     Tomenable (09-26-2018)

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    Yes. They are my new matches on Y-DNA. Other close matches include Scottish Chisholms and Olivers.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 09-26-2018 at 06:59 AM.

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    There's also Torduff in the Pentland Hills. Now the site of a reservoir supplying Edinburgh City with water.
    https://canmore.org.uk/site/269909/e...duff-reservoir
    I think the "tor" bit is one of the insular celtic terms for a rocky hilltop (or possibly yet another mangled version of Brythonic "tref" = a sort of small farmy villagey thing), and the "duff" bit is "dubh" =dark or black. Fits the site as a description.
    https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos...9_c15b1627.jpg
    Next to Torphin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glentane View Post
    There's also Torduff in the Pentland Hills. Now the site of a reservoir supplying Edinburgh City with water.
    https://canmore.org.uk/site/269909/e...duff-reservoir
    I think the "tor" bit is one of the insular celtic terms for a rocky hilltop (or possibly yet another mangled version of Brythonic "tref" = a sort of small farmy villagey thing), and the "duff" bit is "dubh" =dark or black. Fits the site as a description.
    https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos...9_c15b1627.jpg
    Next to Torphin.
    That is also a suitable alternative!

    I've wondered about Torphin, I've seen in some old Scottish charters the patronymic "mac Torphin" which has been translated to mean "mac Thorfinn". However, obviously that is a different etymological route that resulted in the name for Torphin Hill, trr fionn.
    Y-DNA: I-A14097 [Big Y: Complete] (Scotland), Big Y: I-Z140>F2642>Y1966>Y3649>A13241>Y3647>A14097 (1,850 YBP)
    mtDNA: pending (Westeremden, Netherlands)
    Other lines:
    R-M222 x2 (Ireland), R-L21 x2 (Ireland & Scotland), I-M223 (Ireland), R-S1141 (Scotland), R-U198 & R-U106 (Netherlands), mtHg J1c3 (Ireland)
    Known ancestry
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    Maternal: Netherlands

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    Chisholme is an old estate derived from its situation on a flat riverside meadow on the south side of the Borthwick Water, east of Hawick. It means "Cheese-holm : holm is the english equivalent of Gaelic-derived "inch"<"inish" or Anglian "anna" or "ea", Scots "haugh"). Local stories tell of a couple of knights who had a sort of trial-by-combat joust on it (because flat land suitable for that is hard to come by in Scotland). Hard by the Churnton Burn. Smells like dairy country to me ..
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ch...9!4d-2.9201431

    Also a local surname. The Highland bit is a result of translocation by eager cadets of Border noble houses to the northeast when those lands were thrown into play by the usual mediaeval dynastic chaos, as with the Frasers, Gordons (a village north of Kelso) and Comyn/Cumming families, among others.
    Last edited by glentane; 09-29-2018 at 11:56 PM. Reason: too many languages in this island!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    The Chisholm Clan is well known as Anglo-Saxon. The earliest records were de Chesehelme.
    It's fairly possible they were Anglo-Saxon, however they could have been of Norman origin instead. The earliest Chisholm ever recorded was in the 1250s and he was called John de Chesehelme, admittedly that's a rather ambiguous name at the time, and it sounds more Norman, however the Norman names of Richard, Robert, John, etc were spreading. In the 1290s a Richard de Chesehelme was recorded in Roxburgh.

    The Davidian Revolution brought a fair number of Anglo-Normans and Flemings into Scotland who seemingly married into the Gaelic noble houses and others relatively quickly. Scotlands burghs also attracted a number of English, French, and Flemish speakers.
    Last edited by spruithean; 09-30-2018 at 01:00 AM.
    Y-DNA: I-A14097 [Big Y: Complete] (Scotland), Big Y: I-Z140>F2642>Y1966>Y3649>A13241>Y3647>A14097 (1,850 YBP)
    mtDNA: pending (Westeremden, Netherlands)
    Other lines:
    R-M222 x2 (Ireland), R-L21 x2 (Ireland & Scotland), I-M223 (Ireland), R-S1141 (Scotland), R-U198 & R-U106 (Netherlands), mtHg J1c3 (Ireland)
    Known ancestry
    Paternal: Britain & Ireland, France and Germany
    Maternal: Netherlands

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    That is also a suitable alternative!

    I've wondered about Torphin, I've seen in some old Scottish charters the patronymic "mac Torphin" which has been translated to mean "mac Thorfinn". However, obviously that is a different etymological route that resulted in the name for Torphin Hill, trr fionn.
    Oh righty-ho. There you go. A classic toponymic dyad. In the same language! Bonus. trr fionn/trr dubh. They're right next to each other. Torphin used to be a very good golf course.
    Thanks, that'll be most likely it. Although whether it's the source of the surname ...
    For ex., Corstorphine (now an Edinburgh suburb) is reckoned to mean Cros-Torfinn, Thorfinn's Cross, a christianised Norse name (although how "Norse" the bearer was is much in doubt).
    There's some "tor" names in the "Landward Areas"(=out in the sticks) south and east of Edinburgh. Torbothie, Torphichen, and even Tarbrax (more likely a "tref-" name?) come to mind. It's an inextricable linguistic soup out there, with a definite Gaelic/Gall-Gael/Scandinavian seasoning over the Old English or Cumbric, or church-and-aristocracy-led French(later) and (older and later) Latin. Often words from several different romance, celtic and germanic languages shoved together in a mad mediaeval mash-up. Then posh men from the Ordnance Survey trotted up, and tried to phonetically transcribe the inebriated garglings of whichever peasants they could bribe or waylay in the locality. I imagine a lot of periwigs were scratched, over the claret later in the evenings while writing up.
    Last edited by glentane; 09-30-2018 at 12:10 AM.

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    I'm only festering on about this because Tomenable indicted some Scottishness in the results. So, I would like to jam a Billy de Ockham blade in here.
    Throw a lassoo over those Names (Border folk lived and died by their Names, or "grains" (means "tributary stream")). Draw it in, richt snug.

    Shaw (every other wood round here is a "shaw" plus differentiating element due to there being so many of them), Oliver (more Yetam (Yetholm) way) but Neil Oliver of Dumfries (he of the hair) may demur, prominent Eastern March hauliers to the farming community, suspected of being actual Romani, like the Nobles (c.f. Ross Noble, Geordie comic, have a look at those boys, and tell me what like they are, French maybe?), but going back to high mediaeval times and "weel-kent" (=notable and prominent).

    Tordoff? Russian? Or southeast Scotland gentry? Like the rest of them? Chisholm? Teribus! I'm sure I could find ye a fight with any amount of Mos(s)crops/Scropes, Musgra(/o)ves, Ker(r)s, Turnbulls, El(l)iot(t)s, Homes/Humes, or even Rutherfords in the Square or the Horsemarket of Kelso on a Saturday night.

    How many Scots pedlars and packmen left their wretched homeland to trade/beg in Great Poland, Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia before 1603? or even after?(Lermontov). How many to Scandinavia (Greig)?.
    An element of subsequent and unexpected linguistic confusion not often addressed.
    Last edited by glentane; 09-30-2018 at 01:24 AM.

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    Ye cannae forget MacLea or some similar name becoming "Makelij" in the Netherlands either!

    There are certainly a number of possible origins for all surnames.
    Y-DNA: I-A14097 [Big Y: Complete] (Scotland), Big Y: I-Z140>F2642>Y1966>Y3649>A13241>Y3647>A14097 (1,850 YBP)
    mtDNA: pending (Westeremden, Netherlands)
    Other lines:
    R-M222 x2 (Ireland), R-L21 x2 (Ireland & Scotland), I-M223 (Ireland), R-S1141 (Scotland), R-U198 & R-U106 (Netherlands), mtHg J1c3 (Ireland)
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    Maternal: Netherlands

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