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ORIGIN OF THE EWING NAME--page 2
Continuing to quote from (E.W.R. Ewing, Chapter XI of Clan Ewing of Scotland):
Our Ewings are "traceable to the localities known to have been occupied by the early clan" known as Ewing long before the Otter McEwens had a clan existence; and so measured by McEwen's own rule, we do not get our family name from the Otter clan. Hence as to us "other evidence" points a conclusion different from his. For the same reason, among others, nothing warrants that too broad assertion that the widely scattered and long numerous Ewings of "the Lowland districts" are explained by the Otter blood mixing "largely with that of the Lowland inhabitants." As I have shown, our Ewing ancestors were numerous in the Lowlands and in the Glasgow Loch Lomond region before the first Otter McEwen existed. Ewing, certainly, was a Lowland name long before 1047. Ewin, father of Bishop Kentigern, lived nearly 600 years earlier-and it was in 1047 that Aodha Alain died; and Barrister McEwen, his expounder and the authorities upon which they rely say that Alain was the grandfather of Ewen, the ancestor of the McEwens of Otter.
Hence, the evidence, an epitome of which I have given as ground of my conclusion, leads me to conclude that our name, as well as that of the clan, is of Cymric Lowland origin, and so I concur, certainly as to our family, with those authorities who hold that the surname Ewing is among the earliest Saxonized names ending in g. It is, therefore, a Celtic name Teutonized. Ewin, the father; Ewing, the son. The g of the name is an important part of the evidence of its Briton origin. It was the Cymric Britons, not the Highlanders, who were earliest Anglo-Saxized. Eoghan of the Highlands became McEwen. Eoghan, Ewen, the father; McEwen, the son. Eoghan, Ewen, McEwen, Gaelic, (Macbain's note to p. 251 of Skene's Highlanders); Engenius, Urien, Owen, Ewene, Euin, Ewin, meaning "well born" quite as much in the Cymric, Celtic Briton, and have the same meaning in the Cymric tongue as Eogan (or Eoghan) in the Gaelic. (Id.) So as a result of the contact by the Saxons and Angles with the Celts of the Lowlands, a sketch of which has been given that we may better appreciate this fact, we have the present form of our surname-the Highlands having escaped almost to this day that Saxon-Angle influence.
Another important fact of history that we may consider in this connection is that the Ewings of Scotland were of the Covenanter faith. From that source our family during its earlier days in America got its Presbyterian proclivities. It is quite probable that most Ewings of our branches are Presbyterians yet; though many, for reasons discussed in my Pioneer Gateway of the Cumberlands (manuscript at writing this), in later years very devoutly have become identified with other churches. As far as I have been able to discover, from the very earliest days of the "Solemn League and Covenant for the Defense and Reform of Religion" against popery and prelacy, in the midst of its great fight from 1638 to 1643, our people gave it support without stint, and now and then at the price of life. Earlier they were what would now be called Protestants; and, true to the family traditions, those near Londonderry at the time of its heroic and epochal defense, joined the fighting Protestant ranks or otherwise supported the Protestant movement. Some recent English writers say:
It is a significant fact that this Strathclyde region was the stronghold, or, as it might be otherwise put, the hotbed, of the Covenantry movement. . . This Strathclyde region is even now (1907) the greatest stronghold of dissent (against the established and the Roman Catholic Churches). Proportionately to its inhabitants dissent is a good deal more powerfully represented in Glasgow than in the eastern capital (Edinburgh).
It is true that some of the Ewings adhered, with disastrous results, to the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart which terminated at fatal Culloden April 27, 1746. That Charles, we know, was a Catholic; but he was a Scotchman and, from the Scotch standpoint, the rightful heir to the throne. The comparatively few Ewings who did join his standard, like heroic flora McDonald, who aided him to escape, finally landing her in London Tower, and thence by happy fate an exile to America, were actuated rather by motives of patriotism than by sentiments of religion. But our direct ancestors, as we have said, then had long been out of Scotland.
Some additional information about the name Ewing is taken from a research report that was done in Stirling, Scotland, in 1991 for Clan Ewing in America. The following is taken from that report (John G. Harrison, "A WEB OF KINSHIP - The Ewing family in the Stirling Area in the 17th Century" pp. 5-7):
The Name Ewing in 16th and 17th Century Stirling
I'm afraid we must begin with a complication. It has been suggested that the name Ewing may be related to Ewein (which is certainly true) and McEwan (which is possible). More surprisingly, it is also related to Hewingson and perhaps also to Young.
Yogh and the Zowings
The letter ‘yogh', written [similar to a numeral 3, except slightly dropped and with a straight line at the top of the character] was in common use amongst Scots scribes from an early date and we can think of it as pronounced like a Y. When printing first emerged in Scotland, about 1500, the printers did not have this letter in their cases and so used the letter Z which looked rather like it. In some cases people later assumed that the letter was really a Z and so changed the way they pronounced the word; the Scots name McKenzie was once pronounced McKenyie. The old Scots word for a female sheep or ewe was "zow", pronounced yow to rhyme with cow.
Even at the end of the 17th century many Scots could not write and, even if they could, most records about them were made by clerks and other professionals; spelling, in any case, was not fixed. A clerk might use one form in the morning and another later in the day. We now think of the names Ewing and Young as quite distinct; and by the end of the 17th century there is no real confusion in the Stirling area. However, at the beginning of that century, though some people are always called Ewing and others always called Zoung (or Zowing, or Zong or Zung or even Zwng!) others tend to change from one to another. Clerks cross out one form and replace it with another; Thomas Ewing is recorded in the Stirling Council Minutes in November 1603 and on the same day, his name is spelled Zoung in the Guildry Minutes.
When I began this research, it soon became clear that, to a very great degree, people called Zoung etc and people called Ewing were found in the same parts of the Stirling area; in Cornton and its surroundings and in Denny and the middle Carron Valley, around Buckieside and Dundaff. And Ewings and Zoungs etc were in frequent contact, in a way characteristic of family relationships in a society where even fairly distant cousins are recognised as relatives.
I would suggest that, in the Stirling area at least, the names Ewing and Zoung are only just becoming distinct in 1600 and that earlier they were indistinguishable. Certainly, some people were entirely consistent. So Robert Zoung, who entered as a burgess and guildbrother of Stirling in 1612 is usually called Zoung till about 1642; after that he is always called Young. He has not changed his name; new clerks in Stirling have dropped the old-fashioned yogh and taken up the new-fashioned Y. The family who I will introduce as the Maurice and John Ewings were always called Ewing.