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The Gordon name is not Gaelic in origin, but is instead said to originate from Normandy. Many attribute the name Gordon to the Macedonian city of Gordonia. Due to its foreign origins, Clan Gordon is often also referred to as the House of Gordon.
The first Gordons were welcomed to Scotland by King David I, and by the start of the 12th century they had set up home near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, under the watchful eye of the nearby Earl of Dunbar. In the centuries that followed, Clan Gordon would rise to become a powerful name further north, in the Aberdeenshire area of the Scottish Highlands.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Clan Gordon originally backed William Wallace but subsequently switched sides to become staunch supporters of Robert the Bruce and his bid to free Scotland from English rule. Sir Adam of Gordon’s dedication to Bruce’s cause earned Clan Gordon land at Strathbogie in Aberdeenshire, including Huntly Castle which would become the clan’s ancestral home.
The clan chief is the Earl of Huntly and, as of April 1599, also the Marquess of Huntly. Legend has it all Gordons are descended from Sir Adam Gordon, but many argue that not all 150 houses which claimed the name Gordon were descended directly from the original Earl of Huntly himself.
There are a number of names associated with Clan Gordon, including the septs: Ackane, Adamson, Addie, Addison, Adkins, Aiken, Aitchison, Aitken, Akane, Akins, Atkin, Atkinson, Badenoch, Barrie, Connor, Connon, Cote, Craig, Crombie., Cullen, Culane, Darge, Dorward, Duff, Durward, Eadie, Eddie, Edison, Esslemont, Garden, Gardiner, Garioch, Garroick, Geddes, Gerryie, Harrison, Haddow, Huntley, Jeffrey, Jessiman, Jopp, Jupp, Laing, Laurie, Lawrie, Leng, Ling, Long, MacAdam, MacGwyverdyne, Mallett, Manteach, Marr, Maver, McGonigal, Meldrum, Mill, Mills, Milles, Milne], Milner, Moir, More, Morrice, Muir, Milnes, Mylne, Pittendriegh, Shellgren, Steele, Teal, Todd, and Troup