Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ancient History of the Surname -- Dickey

The family name Dickey has contributed much to the spirit of the Highland Scot whose influence over world history has been second to none. From the bleak, sea -swept Hebridean Islands and the snow capped mountains of the western coast, this sur-name has emerged as one of the great families whose tradition is romanticized by the skirl of the bagpipes, the broad sword, the skean dhu, the tartan, and the highland games.
Historical researchers, using some of the oldest manuscripts, including Clan genealogies, the Exchequer Rolls of Scot-land, the Ragman Rolls, the Inquisitio, the Black Book of the Exchequer, parish cartularies, baptismal records, the tax records, and many other documents found the name Dickey in Renfrewshire where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD
The name Dickey, occurred in many manuscripts with many variations. From time to time the surname was spelled Dickie, Dickey, Dikkie, and these changes in spelling occurred even between father and son. Frequently, a clansman was born with one spelling, married with another, and yet another to appear on his headstone.
The surname Dickey is believed to be of Dalriadan origin. The Dalriadans were of Irish descent, specifically from King Colla de Crioch, who was banished from Ireland in 327 AD., along with 350 clan chiefs. Dalriadan King Fergus Mor MacEarca defeated the Picts, in 498 AD. Kenneth MacAlpine, first King of Scotland, or Alba, or Caledonia as it was known, was half Dalriadan, half Pict.
The surname Dickey emerged as a Scottish Clan or family in their terrritory of Renfrewshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire.. The family was first found in in the vicinity of Glasgow in the county of Renfrew. Robert Dickie founded an estate there in early times, and the family name flourished in Glasgow for several generations to come. In the nearby county of Lanarkshire the family purchased land and established a barony at around the same time. In later years, the Dickie name was to align itself with the Crawfords of Ayrshire . The Ayrshire Dickies as Highlanders, were not touched by the problems between England and the Scottish border clans in the early part of their history. Consequently, their numbers thrived as their holdings increased. The branch of the family who settled in Glasgow included Sir Archibald Dickie, who held the rights to the toll booth dues. The family purchased terri-tories and estates in Clonaleenan and there the senior branch of the family was maintained. The family made an early purchase in Brechin in the county of Angus. This famous religious centre with its twelfth century cathedral and Round Tower became the home of David Dickie who was appointed Burgess of Montrose in 1627. The surname Dickie was one of several interchangeable variants of the nickname from “Richard”. These included Robert Dikky, David Dickey, and John Dickie. The Dickie family became associated with the Crawfords of Ayrshire when Agnes Dickie of the Ayrshire Dickies married Robert Crawford, a doctor. The family holdings in Ayrshire , Renfrew, and Angus continued to bear the Dickie name in the following years. Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Burgess of Montrose.
Many clansmen of Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries. They were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. There is no evidence that this distinguished family migrated to Ireland, but this does not preclude the possibility of their scattered migration to that country.
Back in Scotland, it was a time of turbulence. Religious differences frequently inflicted banishment to the New World or worse, and many people who failed the ‘Test’, the oath of belief and loyalty to the new church, were burned at the stake or hanged.
The Highland Clearance denuded the north of manhood. The Highland Regi-ments were a means of eliminating the misery as the poverty stricken braes of the Highlands became deserted, unable to support man nor beast forcing many to a diet of kelp, a Scottish seaweed.
Clansmen sailed aboard the small sailing ships known as the ‘Whiter Sails’ which plied the stormy Atlantic, ships such as the Hector, the Rambler, and the Dove. Many arriving with only 60 to 70% of their overcrowded passenger list, the rest dying at sea of cholera, typhoid, dy-sentery, and small pox.
To North America, the highlander settled Virginia, the Carolinas, Nova Scotia, and the Ottawa Valley. One of the first migrants which could be considered a kinsman of the name Dickey, of that same Clan or Family, was in 1650 Daniel Dickey who settled in Virginia. Other members of the family made their homes in Amherst, New York, and Nova Scotia, Canada. They were classified as Colonial Gentry. Later, the name was to be found in New England in 1718., and Charleston South Carolina, Hector Dickie landed in 1767. By 1850, John Dickie had travelled as far west as San Francisco.
The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was ; Black with a silver chevron at the top, three five leafed flowers.
The crest is; a ferret.

This a reprint of information that Denise D. and Virginia A. of Flint Michigan had procurred from a genealogist in approx. 1985.

The following information is transcribed from papers that Mary Guthrie Dickey Winters gave me in 198? who lives in Salida,,Colorado. I have re-assembled them and added to the chart to bring all up to date. I apologize for the chart in the 1st edition. It


At August 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM , Blogger GirlinLA said...

Thanks - this is interesting. Always thought we were mostly Irish but maybe we're a bit Scottish too!
Trish Dickey, Los Angeles

At March 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM , Blogger Don said...

I think that makes us Scots-Irish. I saw our name in an Irish book of names that said it originated in the northernmost county in Ireland and that's where the Scots were banished to for religious persecution in the mid 1800's... I'm still researching it, though.

Don Dickey, Martinez

At October 24, 2011 at 9:06 PM , Blogger CC said...

Very interesting, a well written and insightful view into a clan that seems to have a general lack of information about it's past.
Thank you very much.
Chris Dickie, Vic Australia.

At April 15, 2014 at 9:27 AM , Blogger jhbrew631 said...

How does this name Dickey have meaning to the name Dicie?

At October 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Michael Adams said...

For those Dickeys in America and in further fields, All the dickeys i know and have researched on the island of Ireland are protestants and so Ulster Scots or Scots Irish generally. Majority of the have strong connection to the Orange Order.

At November 19, 2015 at 4:27 PM , Blogger Devlin Dickey said...

My grandfather always told my dad and I that our branch of the family immigrated here and that my specific branch of the family sided with the king in the American revolution, and we were confederate in the American civil war but I've tried researching and keep coming up with nothing. Maybe some one can help me

At March 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM , OpenID John said...

For those researching ancestors who fought in the War Between the States, has a very comprehensive archive of Confederate and Union soldiers. If you at least know the state of residence, you can obtain the enlistment records and other documents.

At May 10, 2016 at 12:54 PM , Blogger MommaBubba said...

Robert Dickey was the first father to the Dickeys, from Scotland. research Clan Dickey in Scotland, not Ireland.

At October 14, 2016 at 1:28 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I thought we were Scottish, who spent time in Northern Ireland, then came to America.

At October 14, 2016 at 1:29 PM , Blogger K E Dickey said...

I thought we were Scottish, who spent time in Northern Ireland, then came to America.

At December 19, 2016 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Debbie Bowling said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At January 23, 2017 at 10:52 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

My mother's great grandparents came from Northern Ireland around 1879 to America.
They resided in Chicago, Illinois for a while until my mother's great grandfather passed away.
Her great grandmother ended moving in with one of her children in Colorado a little later in life.
I hope I can assist someone or perhaps they can assist me on the Dickey lineage.
At this time all I know of our Dickey lineage is they were from Northern Ireland and Protestants. Their religion was Nazarene.

At February 1, 2017 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Debbie Bowling said...

My mothers maiden name was Dickey. I have been working on our family history and discovered that they came from Scotland but previously from Ireland. They were of royal lineage. Such a fantastic history they had.

At April 7, 2017 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Brandon Dickey said...

Another Dickey here! I have traced our line back to an unnamed Dickey in 1380, who had a son named Adam (Asam) De-Co-Dickey. My own research has confirmed what Debbie Bowling said, the Dickey line originate from Royal Lineage in Ireland in ancient times but were removed from there after the King at that time was disposed. This has been buried in history and is very hard to prove but stories persist. What we do know for sure is from there we moved to Scotland and found ourselves as Nobles. We were well known and good friends with The Good Sir James Douglas, one of the chief commanders in the Scottish War of Independence, the Dickey's are in fact a sept of Clan Douglas. Of note this is the first instance of "secret war" (guerrilla warfare) to have been used in history, more on that later.

My line specifically splits off at Generation 5 on, though my research goes back further then theirs. Rather then being descended from Thomas Dickey who stayed in Ireland, I am descended from William Dickey II who emigrated to the New World and settled in New Hampshire. His child Elias Dickey 1 came with him and continued my line. The first Dickey of this line born in the New World was Elias's son James Dickey, a decorated Patriot of the American Revolution! This tickles me pink as the though of being descended from Red Coat sympathizers makes me sick. Of note, the American Revolution was won using guerrilla warfare tactics, no doubt due to the long memory of the Scots-Irish who fought in the Scottish War of Independence. This line continues to Almerin Dickey who served with distinction in the American Civil War in the 4th Maine. He was on the front line at Gettysburg and one of the last off the field.

This is getting long winded, but there is much more. Feel free to contact me for more information!


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