WEEMS and WEMYSS
Ancient Scottish surname associated with the caves around the area of Fife, Scotland.
Spellings of the name:
Wemyss - typical spelling in Scottish history
Weems - typical spelling in America
Infrequent variations in the spelling of "wemyss"
Origin of the name
Apparently derived from the Gaelic language "Uamch" (or "uamh") meaning "Caves." This is directly related to the geography of the coast of Fife, Scotland, in which a series of caves are found at the location of the modern towns of East Wemyss, West Wemyss and Coaltown of Wemyss.
"WEMYSS: Local: From the town of Wemyss in Fifeshire. The family are descended from John, son of MacDuff, Thane of Fife, who assumed the name from his lands."
From the 1862 The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames, published originally by J. Munsel, New York.
"...The name Wemyss is derived from the Gaelic uaimh which means "cave" and is believed to refer to the two caves with their Pictish markings on the rockfaces below "MacDuff Castle" at East Wemyss near Kirkcaldy in Fife. The Wemyss are descended from a younger son of the MacDuffs, Gillemichael MacDuff, Earl of Fife who obtained the lands from his father in around 1160."
From page 253, The Handbook of Clans and Tartans of Scotland,by Maria Costantino published 2003 by Barnes and Noble.
Clan MacDuff: The Wemyss are a "Lowland Family" directly descended from the Celtic nobles, the Macduff Earls of Fife.
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