What is the origin of the last name Dunlap?

The last name Dunlap has its origin in Scotland, specifically from the Gaelic language. The name derives from the place name "Dunlop," which means "hilltop." It is derived from the Gaelic words "dun," referring to a hill or fortification, and "lub," meaning a bend or curve. Over the centuries, the name evolved and eventually became Dunlap, as it is known today.

Countries of origin for the last name Dunlap

The last name Dunlap has a Scottish origin. It is derived from the Gaelic word “dun” which means fortress or hill. The name Dunlap is classified as a locational surname, indicating that it originated from a specific place.

The name Dunlap can be traced back to the ancient Clan MacGhille na Brathan who lived in the region of Strathclyde, which is now part of modern-day Scotland. The Strathclyde Britons, a Celtic tribe, inhabited this area in the early medieval period.

The surname Dunlap is primarily associated with Scottish and Irish ancestry. It is more commonly found in Scotland, particularly in the southern regions. However, it is also prevalent among Scottish and Irish diasporas in North America, particularly in the United States.

During the Scottish Highland Clearances in the 18th and 19th centuries, many Scots emigrated to various parts of the world seeking better opportunities. This resulted in the spread of Scottish surnames, including Dunlap, to countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

As with many surnames, variations in spelling have occurred over time. Some alternative spellings of Dunlap include Dunlope, Dunlop, Dunlapp, and Dunleap.

The last name Dunlap carries historical significance as it represents the ancestral link to the Clan MacGhille na Brathan and the ancient Strathclyde Britons. The name holds a connection to Scottish heritage and serves as a reminder of the cultural and historical legacy of the region.

While the origins and historical associations of the last name Dunlap are well-documented, individual interpretations and personal connections to the name may vary. Each family with the surname Dunlap may have unique stories, traditions, and experiences that contribute to their understanding and appreciation of their ancestral name.

The name Dunlap, like many surnames, has the power to evoke a sense of belonging and identity. It serves as a link between generations and provides a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human history. Delving into the meaning and origins of a surname fosters an appreciation for the vastness and diversity of the human experience.

Interesting facts about the last name Dunlap

  • The surname Dunlap originated from Scotland.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name “Mac Dhunshleibhe,” which means “son of Dunslieve,” indicating a geographic association with a hill or mountain.
  • The Dunlap family is believed to have arrived in the United States in the 18th century, primarily settling in Pennsylvania and eventually spreading throughout the country.
  • Dunlap is a relatively uncommon surname, ranking as the 2,203rd most common surname in the United States.
  • There are several notable individuals with the surname Dunlap, including William Dunlap, an American playwright and painter, and Robert A. Dunlap, a former mayor of San Francisco.
  • The name Dunlap has variations in spelling across different regions, including Dunlop, Dunlappe, Dunleap, and Dunnlap.
  • The Dunlap tartan, a pattern used to identify Scottish clans, features vibrant green and blue colors.
  • Some genealogists speculate that Dunlap may have originally been a sept or branch of the larger Scottish clan Lamont.
  • The Dunlap coat of arms depicts a silver shield with a red diagonal stripe, accompanied by a stag and a peacock.
  • The surname Dunlap is found not only in Scotland and the United States but also in countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, hinting at widespread emigration of the Dunlap family.

Name Rank


There are around 39063 people with the last name Dunlap in the US

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