The origins of the ancient Scottish surname Wauchope are perhaps lost in antiquity. There are two locations in the Borders region of Scotland named Wauchope from which it may have sprung (i.e., first Dumfriesshire and later Roxburghshire). The place-name likely refers to the "valley of the foreigner" or to a small secluded valley. The early charters have been lost or destroyed. The earliest recorded instance of the patronymic is for one Ada de Waleuhope in 1165. It has been said the Wauchopes had their first rise from a French (i.e., Norman) knight in the service of Scottish King Malcolm III, Canmore, in about the year 1062. This is by no means certain. They may still very well trace their roots to the Normans of the 1066 Conquest; or to the Scandinavians of the Danelaw (c. 9th century); or to Celtic Britons of the kingdom of Strathclyde (c. 6th century BC); or even further back to those arriving after the last glacial age (c. 4,000 BC). Y-DNA testing conducted thus far simultaneously supports all these multiple origins, including one not previously contemplated by researchers, that is a Roman soldier serving in Britain (c. AD 43-410). This pattern has been found to be common amongst influential Scottish families tested thus far, that is a central male line (i.e., the original ancient aristocratic line, most likely represented by the last surviving line of the Wauchopes of Niddrie) plus a number of unrelated male lines (followers) which carry the same surname. Though never found as tenants-in-chief (e.g., Earl) of the King, the Wauchopes had their own feudal tenants and vassals, and at one time held great power along the Borders. In general, the Wauchopes seem to have had a very chequered history. Many were involved in feuds throughout the centuries. Later generations transformed this martial bent into distinguished military service.George Black in his master work 'The Surnames of Scotland' (1946) states that:
- Bauchop is believed to be a corruption of Wauchope
- Waugh is an abbreviation of Wauchope
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