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

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

The distinguished surname Pittman emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Pittman family originally lived in any low-lying area resembling a pit or hollows. The surname Pittman is derived from the Old English words pytt, which means pit, and mann, which means man. The surname Pittman belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.


Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Pitman, Pittman and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pittman research. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pittman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pittman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Pittman:

Pittman Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Christo Pittman, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Christopher Pittman, who came to Virginia in 1623
  • Sarah Pittman, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Elizabeth Pittman, who came to Virginia in 1663
  • John Pittman, who arrived in Maryland in 1668

Pittman Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • M Pittman, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Antonio Pittman (b. 1985), American NFL football running back
  • Frank Smith Pittman III M.D. (b. 1935), American psychiatrist and author
  • Sergeant John Albert Pittman (1928-1995), United States Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor
  • Vail Montgomery Pittman (1880-1964), Democratic Governor of Nevada
  • Joseph Wayne "Joe" Pittman (1954-2014), nicknamed Shoes, an American Major League Baseball backup infielder/outfielder who played from 1981 to 1984
  • Al Pittman (1940-2001), renowned poet and playwright from Newfoundland and Labrador
  • David Pittman (b. 1969), former Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League


  • Sills & Cliburn & Pitman By Isom L. Stephens.
  • Descendants of William Pitman, 1647-1700, of Boston, Mass. & Portsmouth, N.H. by Harold Minot Pitman.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Flower Wilkins and George Pitman: Somersetshire, England, 1796 to the United States, 1985 by Oscar Truman Johnson.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Pittman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pittman 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 12 October 2014 at 18:27.

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