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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Black family come from? What is the English Black family crest and coat of arms? When did the Black family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Black family history?

The origins of the Black surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a person associated with the color black. The name Black may have referred to someone with black hair or clothing, or to somone who worked in a profession such as chimney sweeping, which left its practitioners covered in soot.


The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Black has been recorded under many different variations, including Black, Blacke and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. It is said that the first family of Black were converted to Christianity by Paulinus, the head of the family being Prefect of Lincoln, about 628. They moved northward, however, and were well established in Scotland by 1175 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Black research. Another 339 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1756, 1760, 1778, 1797, 1854, and 1886 are included under the topic Early Black History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 40 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Black Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Black family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 150 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Black or a variant listed above:

Black Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Black, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Henry Black, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1645
  • Richard Black, who landed in New England in 1645
  • Daniel Black, who was banished to America, arriving in Boston in 1652
  • Jacke Black, who landed in Virginia in 1657

Black Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Black, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Abraham Black, who settled in Virginia in 1713
  • Abraham Black, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Jacob Black, who came to New England in 1718
  • Thos Black, who arrived in Virginia in 1740

Black Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Margt Black, who landed in America in 1805
  • Edwd Black, who arrived in America in 1806
  • Hugh Black, who arrived in Allegany (ALlegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • William Black, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • W Black, who landed in New York, NY in 1812


  • James Black (1823-1893), American temperance leader
  • Greene Vardiman Black (1836-1915), American dentist, pioneering professor of dentistry
  • Karen Black (1939-2013), born Karen Blanche Ziegler, an American two-time Golden Globe winning and Academy Award nominated actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter
  • Hugo Lafayette Black (1886-1971), American judge
  • Eugene "Gene" Robert Black Sr. (1898-1992), President of the World Bank from 1949 to 1963 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Brigadier-General Frederick Harry Black (1894-1986), American Commanding Officer Artillery 99th Division (1943-1945)
  • Brigadier-General Garland Cuzorte Black (1894-1951), American Commandant Army Service Forces Training Center (1945-1946)
  • Mr. Alexander Black (d. 1912), aged 28, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. D. Black (d. 1912), aged 41, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Conrad Moffat Black (b. 1944), Baron Black of Crossharbour, Canadian-born, British biographer, financier and newspaper magnate



  • Black Family Record by Doris Louise Black.
  • Climbing Our Family Tree by Edith Black and Lois Jones.

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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Black Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Black Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 July 2014 at 19:07.

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