Named after their lands south of Edinburgh, the Dundas clan derive their name from the Gaelic ‘dun deas’ which means ‘south fort’.
The clan itself was founded when the lands were granted to Helias, a kinsman of the proprietor of the area, in a charter dating from around 1180. Helias took his surname from his lands, becoming the first of the Dundas family.
The first written mention of the family came during the reign of William the Lion when a Serle de Dundas was mentioned on deeds and the family was also mentioned on the Ragman Rolls of 1296 – a document in which the Scottish nobility and gentry subscribed allegiance to King Edward I of England as his army advanced north into the country in order to keep their lands.
The family would go on to build Dundas Castle, the clan’s historic seat, in the 15th century. However, it was sold in the late 19th century.