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Meaning and Origin of: Douglass

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old English : Dark water

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • Scottish : variant spelling of Douglas.
  • William Douglass, a physician recognized for his identification and description of an epidemic of scarlet fever, was born in about 1691 in Gifford, Haddington County, Scotland, and settled in Boston in 1718. The abolitionist, orator, and journalist Frederick Douglass assumed the name after escaping from slavery in 1838 and traveling to Massachusetts. Son of a white father and a slave with some Indian blood, he was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey about 1817 in Tuckahoe, MD.