I established McDugald Hörnquist International with the dream of improving the quality of communications both across borders and between disciplines. The company name is a combination of my mother’s maiden name, McDugald, and my own surname, Hörnquist, both of which tell much about my own background. In brief, I am an American from Florida who has familial roots in Sweden and Scotland.
The name McDugald is a version of the surname MacDougall. As one may imagine my mother’s family was part of the Clan MacDougall which still maintains some land holdings in Scotland. According to family tradition, our lineage descends from a number of Scotsman who took part in the last uprising against English rule. Due to their defeat, they were expelled from Scotland to settle in Ulster (Northern Ireland). The English intention was to remove them from the scene while simultaneously bolstering the protestant presence in Ireland. Arriving in Ulster, our ancestors found only hardship and spite from both the English overlords and the Catholic Irish population. Somehow they managed to organize passage to America in the hopes of a better life. They eventually settled in the Appalachian mountains and the spelling of the surname evolved into McDugald.
These Scottish immigrants who arrived in America via Ireland began to play important roles in building up the country during the 19th century. Strangely they were labeled as the “Irish” by most Americans due to the fact that they made up the overwhelming majority of immigrants from Ireland prior to the massive Irish migrations resulting from the Irish potato famine. At that point, many of these Scottish descendants found themselves in powerful positions and no longer wished to be associated, even mistakenly, with the impoverished Irish immigrants who were redefining the perceptions of the “Irish” in America. It was around this time the concept of Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish entered mainstream American vernacular.
My mother’s descendants eventually moved into Florida when the state was still young to establish pine-sap farms and later cattle and orange farms. The McDugalds were not alone in their southward migration as is seen in the numerous towns and cities that share the names of Scottish towns. My mother grew up herself in Dundee, Florida. As an aside, my parents sought out and found a middle-name for me that reflects my Celtic heritage, Gannon. Although I am of no relation, Gannon is itself a surname originating in Ulster.
The name Hörnquist is of course Swedish and originates from villages outside of Örnsköldsvik on the coast of northern Sweden. My father’s father emigrated from Sweden as a boy prior to World War I. His father had moved earlier and eventually with the family’s assistance brought his wife and children over. They left behind most of their close relatives so I have a number of 2nd and 3rd cousins still in Sweden. The name Hörnquist came about in our case as a result of confusion. As is still seen in Iceland, the naming convention of Nordic society used to base surnames on the name of the father with a suffix of –son or –dottir. When this convention ceased to be used, there were so many people with common surnames that confusion often arose. Our branch of the Hörnquists resulted from a name change from the all-too-common Andersson. Hörnquist in English could be translated as Cornerbranch. As an aside, both my grandmothers’ parents emigrated from Sweden late in the 19th century and their ancestors came from Dalarna (the Valleys in central Sweden).
So there you have it. I am a Swedish-Scottish American from Florida and most of my genealogical background is actually Swedish. In a strange turn of fate, I ended up in Sweden on a fluke. Having studied German at university, I applied to a number of international exchange organizations at the tail-end of my studies with the intention of finding an internship in Germany. As it turned out, I was offered a job in Sweden. Arriving with little or no expectations, I was so well received that I got stuck here J I have been working and living in Sweden the larger part of the last ten years. I am currently based out of Stockholm.
If you ever have any questions or comments on this website, the company or our services do not hesitate to contact me! Oh, and I almost forgot the link on which you clicked for this letter is the Clan MacDougall motto of “Victory or Death!”