Diack


Select Diack Surname Genealogy

George Fraser Black wrote in his 1946 book The Surnames of Scotland: 

The surname Diack appeared for the first time in Aberdeenshire around the close of the 17th century, principally about the parish of Logie-Durno.  A tradition among bearers of the name is that the family came from Denmark.  Diack is said to have been the Aberdeenshire form of Dick.” 

Diack is also a West African surname, with much larger numbers.  Its meaning there is different.

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Scotland. The Diack surname has come from a specific location in Aberdeenshire, the parish of Chapel of Garioch (formerly Logie-Durno) located six miles northwest of Inverurie.  Three Diack families – those of John, Alexander and James Diack - were listed there in the 1696 poll.

The birth of Patrick Diack was recorded at the Chapel of Garioch in 1769, followed by the birth of eight more Diacks there in the next fifty years.  Other Diacks were born at Rayne a few miles to the north and some further away near Fyvie.  James Diack, born around 1780, was a farmer who died at New Pitsligo near Peterhead in 1844.  There were 180 Diacks listed in Aberdeenshire in the 1891 census. 

New Zealand.
  Some Diacks emigrated, mainly to the South Island of New Zealand.  Early Diacks there were:
  • James Diack who married Eliza Geddes in Dunedin in 1868
  • Alexander Diack who arrived in Southland with his wife Mary around 1875
  • and Francis Diack who married Susan Sherlock in Invercargill in 1881.
James’s son William died of fatal injuries in 1935.  As the Otago Evening Post reported:

“William Diack, aged 54, a farmer of Glenham, died in Southland hospital as the result of internal injuries received when a dray fell on him.  He was driving the dray through a gate when a wheel caught in a post. The dray capsized over a steep embankment, pinning Mr. Diack underneath.”

South Africa. 
The Diack name also extended to South Africa, or more specifically to Johannesburg.  The rugby player Robbie Diack was born there; while James Diack runs the Coobs restaurant based on produce from his family farm in the Magalies mountains.

West Africa
.  The surname Diack in Senegal means “sword” in the local language.  This name is also found in Mauritania; while it is spelt “Jack” in the Gambia.  Prominent Senegalese Diacks have been:
  • Abdoulaye Diack from Kaolack, leader of the Senegalese Democratic Party (SDS) who died in 2009.
  • and Lamine Diack from Dakar, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015.
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Sir Alexander Diack was the senior financial commissioner for the Punjab in the early 1900’s.
Lamine Diack
from Senegal was the President of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015 who came under investigation due to bribery allegations.


Select Diacks Today
  • 500 in the UK (most numerous in Aberdeenshire)
  • 400 elsewhere (most numerous in New Zealand)



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PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 500 surnames.

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