Clan Darroch History
The name Darroch is thought to either derive from the Gaelic ‘Macdara’ which means ‘son of oak’ or the Gaelic ‘Dubh Dara’ meaning ‘Black Oak’. The Coat of arms of the clan chief has three oak trees and there is evidence to suggest that an oak grove stood near where they first settled near Stirling.
Between 1406 and 1477 the Darroch appear on several records; John Darroch is recorded as a baillie of Stirling in 1406, another Darach de Cruce is recorded in 1445 and subsequent recordings of the name appear in records from 1450, 1462, 1471 and finally a witness on a charter in 1477 mentions Jacobus Darroch.
Most of these records relate to an early settlement of Darroch’s around Stirling. However the islands of Islay and Jura contained a large number of Darrochs where they were absorbed into the MacDonald Clan.
In the latter half of the 18th century. Duncan Darroch returned to Scotland having made his fortune in the West Indies. He acquired the barony of Gourock from the Stewarts of Castlemilk in 1784 and was granted arms by the Lyon and designated as Chief of McIliriech. He married the daughter of a wealthy Greenock merchant in 1791. One of his sons, Duncan rose to the rank of lieutenant general in the Glengarry Fencibles. His eldest son who was also named Duncan became the third Baron of Gourock and also married the daughter of a wealthy merchant, Laird of Fairlie in Ayrshire.
It was from this time that the family tradition of naming the Heir to the chiefship ‘Duncan’ was adopted.
The northern estates of Torridon in Ross-shire were acquired by the fourth Baron in 1873. The Clan was united in marriage to the Clan MacKintosh when Margaret Darroch of Gourock married Rear-Admiral Lachlan Mackintosh, chief of the clan. She later published a well respected history of the MacKintosh Clan.
The sixth Baron followed a military career, serving in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders over both world wars and was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers. His son is the present Chief.
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