Porteous is a modern tartan, being designed during the mid 1970s by Captain T. S. Davidson of the Scottish Tartans Society for the Porteous Family Association.  Comparatively little is known about the origins of this name.  The name is first documented in the Borders in 1439, where the family seat was Hawkshaw Castle near Tweedsmuir in Peebleshire, where the family were ‘Sma Lairds’ and included Sir Patrick and Rev Beilby Portious, Bishop of London.  A family of this name held land in Glenkirk for several generations, beginning in 1443 with John Pertus, who also owned lands in Fife.  

George Portwis held the lands of Glenkirk in 1478-84, whilst John Portus was chaplain in the parish church of St. Bega of Kilbucho.  The name may derive from a place like ‘Porthouse’, although there is also claim to a Roman connection back to 234BC.  

The name has been rendered in various ways over the centuries: Pertuuss, Porteousse, Portews, Portowis, Portows, Portuis, Portuiss, Portuus and Portuuss.  This name has no known clan connection and appears to be restricted to the Lowlands.

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