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SHAND - Some Notices of the surname of SHAND, particularly of the County of Aberdeen
By Rev George Shand
Norwich 1877.

PART ONE - THE HISTORY OF THE SURNAME.

As in the case with most other ancient proper names, the surname Shand has been spelt differently, at different times. (In the Fasti Abredonenses another old name of the district, Strachan, is spelt in no less than twenty-two different ways) In the older writings it appears under the form of Schawand, Schaand, Schande, Schand and Shan. The Latin form was, latterly, at least Schandeus (Fasti Abredonenses); but, as we shall see by and by, it has been maintained, though probably on insufficient evidence, that De Campo was the Latin equivalent in earlier times. Originally it would appear that the surname was entirely confined to the northeastern counties of Scotland, particularly Aberdeenshire, and it is believed that, widely spread as it now is throughout the different parts of the Empire, although the name has never been particularly numerous, there is not a family of Shands which cannot easily connect itself directly with the part of Scotland to which we have just referred.

There can, therefore, we apprehend, be little doubt that all the families of this name are derived from one commonstock, and judging from the frequency of the name, and the earliest authentic notices in older times, its original habitat seems to have been in the district comprising the parishes of Turriff, Forgue, Drumblade, Auchterless, Culsamond, Fyvie, King Edward (Kinedart), Gamery and adjacent localities.

In the year 1539, Robert Schand was the co-owner if the lands of Udoch, (now Idoch) in the said parish of Turriff, along with Forbes of Brux and Con of Auchry. In the same parish the lands of Shand’s Cross are situated, but so far as we are aware the precise origin of this name has not been preserved. In the middle ages, as it is well known, crosses were set up to mark the limits and boundaries of girths, jurisdictions, and franchises; the marches of the lands, and the spots where any incident had happened, such as seemed worthy of commemoration or remembrance, in the more simple and credulous manners of the day.

On the 16th January 1460, the Bishop of Aberdeen, Thomas Spens, granted a precept for the institution of Mr. Gilbert Hay as Predendary of Turriff in the Cathedral, an office then vacant by the death of Master John de Campo, the last incumbent. It has been suggested that the name of Shand’s Cross may be connected with this ecclesiastic, in whose name of De Campo or De Campis some antiquarians have recognised the older form of Shand, passing through the changes of Deschamps, Dechamp and Champ pronounced Shan, which has always been the local pronunciation of the name, all these names being met with in the older records of that part of Scotland. This origin of the surname has been advocated with considerable plausibility by contributors to Notes and Queries, and the local sound of the name which, as we have seen, rejects the final d, may be thought to support the theory. But, till further evidence is produced, we think the verdict ought, in the language of the country itself, to be "Not Proven". We are the more inclined to arrive at this conclusion from the fact that word "Schand" is given by Dr Jamieson in his Dictionary of the Scottish Language as the form of an adjective of Teutonic origin, signifying elegant, bright" etc. It is well known to every archaeologist, that very many surnames have had their sources in the personal traits and characteristics of individuals, and we confess that it appears to us that we have here a very natural and probably origin of the name. There seems little doubt that this attributive still lingers in our ordinary language in such words as Shandwick, beautiful bay, and a few others. (It has been stated that "Shan" or "Shand" is the cant or slang word for bad money. This is a mistake. The word is "Sheen". See Slang Dictionary 1874. There is a Shanville in the parish of Crathie, a Shandstone in the parish of Beharm, and a Shandbothy in Lanarkshire.)

In the Poll Book of Aberdeenshire of the year 1696, we find the name well represented in the same part of the country, and this has ever since continued down to our own time.

As might naturally be looked for, the attractions of commerce and town life caused persons of this name, like other individuals, to gravitate towards the towns on the coast. Accordingly, in the records of the city of Aberdeen, and the towns of Banff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, and others similarly situated, we find many persons of the surname engaged in commerce, and filling municipal and public offices of every description, for centuries past. Notices of many of these Worthies will be given in the sequel.

It is believed that the well-known and eminent Antiquary, the late George Chalmers of London, had prepared a pedigree of the Shands, but the result of his inquiry cannot now be found, although diligent search has been made for it, both at home and in India, where it is understood some of the Shands, with whom he was connected by blood, have been for some time resident. This is much to be regretted, for there are very few persons so well qualified as the author of "Caledonia" to collect and put together the archaeological notices of a Scottish family. The late Mr. John Shand and Mr. William Shand, the owners of the beautiful estates of The Burn and Arnhall in the county of Kincardine, were, we believe, nearly connected, by the mother’s side, with George Chalmers, and from this circumstance it is probable that his interest in the name of Shand took its origin. We are, not without hope, that his Account of the surname may yet be discovered.

(From the Appendix - "De Campo" with reference to the theory that this was an early Latin forrn of the name;, it may be noted that the ancient Border Family of Schaw were in Latin De Chatto or Shatto)


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