The name Dalzell/Delzell/Dalziel (pronounced like the letters DL) originates from the old barony of Dalziel (now Hamilton) near Glasgow, originally meaning "the shining white dale" in, probably, the Brythonic language of the Strathclydes, although the family were likely Scots from Ireland. The legend says that Dalzell means "I dare" (the family motto) and comes from a Dalzell "daring" to rescue from a gibbet the body of a son of Kenneth McAlpin from the Scots' enemies. This information is paraphrased from The Dalzell Survivors of Ancient Scotland by John Malcolm Delzell, head of the Dalzell Family Association of North America). According to John, there is nothing to the legend of Dalzell having a French origin or the family being Norman.
The Dalzells are, technically, a lowland baronial house, but are often treated as an actual clan and have affiliated family names (although those names tend to be of English origin). The Dalzell tartan is considered an "ancient" tartan meaning, one of the earlier tartans. Dalzell arms are noted for their uniqueness among the arms of Britain being one of few with a sable (black) shield and being the only instance of a fully naked man (outstretched as if hanging from a gibbet).
My lineage is maternal from Scotland through Ireland and is as follows:
Christoher William Dalzell (me) (b. 1975) Amy Dalzell (b. 1955) William Campbell Dalzell (b. 1923 - d. 1971) William Campbell Dalzell (b. 1889 - d. 1960) James Alexander Dalzell (b. 1857 - d. 1949)
Thomas Gelston Dalzell (b. 1816 - d. 1903) Robert Dalzell (b. 1774? - d. 1817?)
I have confirmed Robert as the name of Thomas G. Dalzell's father, but am not sure if the Robert I have is correct. Robert's father may be named James Dalzell who was from Ardquin or a John Dalzell, but I have not been able to trace the line further. Any info would be greatly appreciated.