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Our 2,744 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

I have been researching my family since the late 1980s and have always traced complete family lines rather than my direct ancestors.  I found that with a few of the names I was researching I was studying all or many of the instances of the name to try and work out where my ancestors fitted in.  Some of these names probably originated from the same source while others didn't.  I registered this one name study on the Scoular/Scoullers due to such research.

My interest began with my great great grandmother Margaret Scouller.  She was born in or near Glasgow and migrated to Australia with her parents and siblings in the mid 1850s.  She was the daughter of John Scoular and Janet Scoular (yes they were cousins).  John was the son of John Scoular and Margaret Hamilton and this is where I began to look into all the Scoulars from Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.  There were two John Scoulars who married Margaret Hamiltons in a nine year period in Strathaven, Lanarkshire.  Both couples proceeded to have almost the same named children in similar years.  One John was a miller and the other a weaver. There are many online trees that have these families completely mixed up. I was only able to untangle them by purchasing a very detailed will.

To complicate matters the Scoulars were often non-conformists and were part of the associated congregation anti-burgher church.  My own line were secessionist from the mid 1700s at least.

Scoular's have emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America and I am sure other countries.  During the 1700s the name seems to have been mainly concentrated in Scotland in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Midlothian.  Strathaven and its surrounds in Lanarkshire was home and the origin of many.  Occupations included millers, weavers and  butchers. 

I have collaborated with other researchers in Australia, New Zealand and England.  I look forward to collaborating with more family members through my one name study.  Please get in contact if you have an interest in this family name.

The photo I have included is of John Scouller and probably a brother and their wives. It was taken in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. If anyone has this photo or believes they know who all the participants are I'd love to hear from you.

Variant names

There are many variations for Scoular and Scouller. Within my own family the name seems to have changed from Scoular (mostly) in Scotland to Scouller in Australia. However, having said that, Scouller did appear within my family in Scotland.  Most of the variations listed below are part of the same family group and will be included when they are obviously part of it.

Variations include:

Scouler, Scoullar, Schoular, Scholar, Schoolar, Schooler, Scooler, Scowler, Scowlar, and a K sometimes appears instead of the C.

Name origin

The Oxford Dictionary of Surnames says that it is an occupational surname that derives from the old Scots word for student - scolar.   

Another variation that has been suggested was that it derives from a Germanic name.  DNA would probably solve this. 

I will withhold my own judgement until I have conducted more research.

Historical occurrences of the name

The Oxford Dictionary of Surnames suggests the earliest known variation of the surname was in 1362; Wilelmus filus David (William son of David) Scholar. 

Black's Surnames of Scotland gives the earliest variation of the surname as Henry Scouller in 1525 witnessing a sasine.

I will comment further on this when I have conducted further research.


I would like to begin a DNA project but need descendants with the surname of Scoular / Scouller to participate.  Please get in contact with me if you are willing.


I have a blog for my family history where I tell family stories. This is not specific to my one name study but will and does feature the Scoular family.  It can be found at: