Short Online History of the Earl's of Lennox
The ancient history of the Sprouls is intimately tied into the history of the Earls of Lennox in Scotland. As the Sproul DNA indicates a 'Germanic' (possibly Saxon) ancestry, I have been looking into the earliest history of the Earl's of Lennox for clues. It has intrigued me that very early generations of the Lennox have likely Saxon first names (Alwyn). The name Alwyn MacArchill also appears in a number of charters of King David I in the 12th century. Arkil (Archill) is not a Gaelic name and is perhaps AngloDanish. Although the relationship is unclear between these early figures, It has been suggested that perhaps the early family of the Lennox included Saxon nobility from Northumbria - possibly fleeing from William the Conqueror's Harrying of the North (1069–70), or AngloDanish members. On the other hand, the surname Lennox is a toponymic surname that relates to the Scottish lands of the Earls in the valley of the River Leven and adjacent areas. This apparently comes from the Old Gaelic word leamhan which means elm. This later became becomes Leven which became Levenax which becomes Lennox. Were the ancestral Sprouls Saxons or AngloDanes who come north to Scotland with the ancestors of some of the early Lennox family? Who can say.
By the way - Walter, the first name of the earliest Spreull lairds is itself of Germanic origin and appears as Wealdhere in Old English, while the Normans used Waltier. By the time we meet Walter Spreull in Lennox charters of the late 13th century, the Earls of Lennox are going by Gaelic first names such as MaelColuim/Malcolm.
The earldom and later dukedom of Lennox have a fair number of twists and turns (along with a load of interesting first names) and is hard to keep straight on one's head. I recently came across a summary outline (with citations) that is sort of a cheat-sheet for the Earls of Lennox. I wanted to share the link for those interested in the ancient Scottish history of our family -
As my research continues I will share any interesting results.
Ancient Seal of the Earl's of Lennox