(Mitchel, Michell, Mitchison, MacMichael)

Mitchell Tartan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Mitchell Tartan

A common surname which was introduced to Scotland by the Normans and derived from the French Michel. It appears in the Treaty of Berwick (1354) and a John Michell was rewarded in 1489 for holding Dumbarton Castle. Mitchells became landowners in Ayrshire and Stirling. The Mitchell Library in Glasgow was established through a bequest by Stephen Mitchell (1789 - 1874) a wealthy tobacco merchant. Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792 - 1855) was Surveyor General of New South Wales. Joseph Mitchell (1803-83) assisted Thomas Telford and was responsible for building the railways of the Highlands.

Other notable members of the family were Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell (1757 - 1806), Edinburgh-based architect Sydney Mitchell (1856 - 1930), James Leslie Mitchell (1901-35), better known as Lewis Grassic Gibbon and paediatrician Prof. Ross Mitchell (1920 - 2006). A line from Clackmannanshire were entrepreneurs and became the Baronets Mitchell of Tulliallan. The Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861 - 1931) was born Helen Porter Mitchell, the daughter of an Angus farmer.

Michie is a diminutive form of Mitchell found in Angus and Aberdeenshire. Ray Michie (Baroness Michie of Gallanach; 1934 - 2008) was a noted Liberal Democrat politician, while David Michie (b.1928) is a painter and John Michie (b.1956) an actor.

Other forms of the name include Mitchison and MacMichael.

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