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Their are many theories regarding the origin of the name, one popular belief is that the name derives from the Gaelic Dail-gheal, thought to translate "white dale". This is certainly one of the longer running explanations.
There are also some contradiction regarding the earliest recorded reference of the name, some report that records of the first reference of Dalzell in 1259 are of a Thomas de Dalzell who is said to be recorded as having fought at the legendary battle of Bannockburn. Other report that "the first Dalzell to appear on record was one Hugo de Dalzell, Sheriff of Lanark in the time of Wallace".
It is also reported that In the Ragman's Roll, the rolls of deeds on parchment in which the Scottish nobility and gentry subscribed allegiance to Edward I. of England, A. D. 1296, Thomas de Dalzell is mentioned, but not surprisingly perhaps, someone also reports that Thomas swapped sides to fight with Bruce at Bannockburn.