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The name first appears in Dundee in 1611. A Thomas Deas was cook to the household of the Dowager Countess of Southesk, at whose funeral in 1730 the hospitality was so magnificient that catering for it caused his death, too.

Francis Deas of Falkland had two sons, Lord Deas (1804-1887), a judge of the Court of Session, and Sir David Deas (1807-76), Inspector-General of military hospitals and fleets of the Royal Navy.