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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

The origins of the Reid surname are uncertain. In some instances, it was no doubt derived from the Old English word "read," meaning "red," and was a nickname that came to be a surname. Either way, we may conclude that it meant "red-haired" or "ruddy complexioned." To confuse matters more, there are also instances where the surname Reid is thought to be derived from one of various place names, such as Read in Lancashire, and Rede in Suffolk.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Ried, Reid, Read, Reed and others.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland where the name has been found since the 14th century. Ancient charters show the name as Rufus (Latinized,) records include an Ada Rufus who witnessed resignation of the lands of Ingilbristoun in 1204; and a William Rufus, who was a juror on an inquest on the lands of Padevinan in 1259. For the purposes of Clan identification, the family name Reid is officially a sept of the Clan Robertson and as such is entitled to the Clan Badge and Crest of the Robertsons.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reid research. Another 717 words(51 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1296, 1335, 1362, 1364, 1375, 1494, 1376, 1558, 1543, 1357, 1439, 1639, 1625, 1618, 1721 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Reid History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 149 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reid Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Reid family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 79 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reid Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Gabriell Reid, aged 18, arrived in America in 1635
  • Elizabeth Reid, who came to Maryland in 1674
  • Elizabeth Reid, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • Abraham Reid, who arrived in Maryland in 1678
  • George Reid, who settled in East New Jersey in 1684

Reid Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Christian James Reid, who arrived in Georgia in 1738
  • John Reid, his wife and son, who came to New York in 1739
  • Duncan Reid, who arrived in New York in 1739
  • Henry Reid, who landed in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Charles Reid, who was on record in Pensacola, FL in 1768

Reid Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Reid, who landed in America in 1811
  • Isaiah Reid, aged 52, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Reid, aged 30, arrived in Georgia in 1812
  • Adam Reid, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1816
  • Forest Reid, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817


  • Andy Reid (b. 1958), American NFL football coach, Philadelphia Eagles head coach (1999-)
  • Antonio Reid (b. 1956), American songwriter, producer, and record company executive
  • David Reid (b. 1973), American boxer
  • Alan Reid (b. 1954), Scottish Liberal Democrat politician
  • Alastair Reid (b. 1926), Scottish poet
  • James Scott Cumberland Reid (1890-1975), Scottish judge
  • Robert Paul Reid (b. 1934), Scottish industrial executive
  • Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid (1842-1905), Scottish journalist and biographer
  • Kate Reid (1931-1993), Canadian actress
  • Bruce Reid (b. 1963), Australian cricketer



  • Dunkin-Reid and Garner-McGraw-Mobley Families of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama by Dean Smith Cress.
  • The Nathan Reids Of Virginia in the March of Freedom by Elizabeth Reid Austin.
  • Reid Family, 1776-1974 by Maude Reid Tomlinson.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortitudine et labore
Motto Translation: By fortitute and exertion.


Reid Clan Badge
Reid Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Reid
Read, Reade, Reed, Reede, Reid and more.


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  1. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Reid Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Reid 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 3 June 2014 at 00:53.

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