Although originating from Gordon in the Scottish Borders, the Gordons are an important family principally associated with the NE of Scotland, in particular, Huntly (in Aberdeenshire) which became a Gordon Earldom. This was promoted to a Marquisate in 1599 and the Dukes of Gordon were created in 1684, although they died out with the 5th Duke in 1836. The 5th Duke of Richmond and Lennox inherited the estates, adopting the surname Gordon, and his son was created the Duke of Gordon in 1876.
The 10th Countess of Sutherland married into the Gordons c.1500 and thus Gordon became their family name until the 18th century.
Many of the Gordons stayed loyal to their Roman Catholic faith, particularly those of Kildrummy and Wardlaw, who became known as the 'Spanish Gordons'.