For other uses, see Livingstone (disambiguation).

The surname Livingstone is toponymic. It is one of the habitual surnames eventually adopted by members of the Scottish branch of the Irish Dunleavy (Gaelic language Duinnshléibhe)/MacNulty[1] royals, including the ancestors of the African missionary doctor and African explorer David Livingstone.[2][3] Variants of this surname include Livingston (surname), Levingston, Levingstone, Levinston, Levenston, Levinson, Levenson and Levingstown. There may be a relationship between the Livingstones and Clan MacLea.[4][5]

Notable people with this name


Given name


See also


  1. Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 35 MacCarwell - Maltby (Sidney Lee Ed.). (1893) New York: MacMillan & Co., p. 52, "As the family originally came from Ulidia, the lesser Uladh, or Ulster, the members of the family are often called in Irish writings, instead of MacDonlevy, Ultach, that is, Ulsterman, and from this the name of MacNulty, Mac an Ultaigh, son of the Ulsterman, is derived."
  2. George F. Black, The Surnames of Scotland, New York, New York Public Library, 1946, p 230, ISBN 0871041723, "William Livingston (Highland Livingston), the Islay bard, always wrote his name in Gaelic M'Dhunleibhe and Dr. David Livingstone, the African traveler, was a Mac Dunleavy of Ulva
  3. John O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees; or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, 5th edition, in two volumes, originally published in Dublin in 1892, reprinted, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976, Vol. 1, p. 426, “MacDunshliebhe and O’Dunsleibhe, anglicized Dunleavy, Dunlief, DunlapDelap, Dunlevy, Don-Levi, Donlevy, Levingstone, Livingstone, and Levenston (original emphasis).”
  4. Genetic profiling has established that the Highland Mac Dunnshleibhe actually branched to become both the Livingstone and the Clan MacLea, their name presumably having been also slurred, first, to Maconlea and, then, to Mac Lea, Mac Lay and McClay
  5. Highland Papers. II. Edinburgh: Scottish Historical Society. 1916. p. 255. Note on list of Stuart loyalists massacred at the 1647 Battle of Dunaverty in Kintyre, Scotland, “Of the surnames appearing in the second column the M'onleas were originally M'Dunleas ; the D disappears through euphonistic elision in Gaelic. Although Niall 10th Duke of Argyll, thought it quite possible that their eponymic ancestor was Dunsleve, the son of Aedh Alain, the O'Neill Prince evidence now leads to the conclusion that they are descendants of the Ruaidhri Mac Duinnsleibhe, the last king of Ulidia.”
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