Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

This is a place holder for this One-Name Study profile page.

Name origin

The entry for Runciman in Black's, The Surnames of Scotland reads:

RUNCIEMAN, Runciman. This name denoted an individual who had charge of the 'rouncies' or hackney-horses (LL. runcinus, a saddle horse). Patrick Runsyman was indweller in Roxburghshire in 1488, and John Runsyman witnessed an instrument of sasine in 1496 (Laing, 217; Home, 27). James Runsiman and William Runsiman were tenants in Birnie, Elginshire, in 1565 (REM., p. 441), Johne Runsyman, reidare at Une, Aberdeenshire, 1574 (RMR.). Alexander Rounseman was tenant of the marquis of Huntlie in 1600 (SCM.k iv, p.267), George Runsieman in Newlandis is in record in 1633 (SCM., m, p. 100), and David Runsiman was retoured heir of John Runsiman in Croylet in the regality of Kinross in 1653. Alexander Runchiman, weaver in Bassiden, 1666 (Edin. App.). Runchyman 1751, Runshiman 1686, Runsoman 1506.

Distribution of the name

As a new (Jan 2010) One Name Study hard data on the name distribution is lacking.

However, general family history research has led me to believe that the name originated on the Scottish Borders, with a subsequent spread of descendants of researched families being found in America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Spain (at least).


As stated above, this is a new One Name Study, so at this stage data held is much more family based, with particular emphasis on the RUNCIMAN families of Earlston, and Wanton Walls in particular.

As I have always squirrelled away any RUNCIMAN data I came across, I may well surprise myself on what all I have once I start getting a little more systematic about organising it outwith families.


The RUNCIMAN Surname DNA Project was set up in Oct 2007 and welcomes any RUNCIMAN (and variant surnames) representatives.

We already have two distinct families, both with Scottish Borders origins.

There is still a lot of research to do, particularly to find and target representatives of other known lines.

project summary results

further dna information