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

Origins Available: German, Scottish

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

The first people to use the name Alt were a family of Strathclyde- Britons who lived in the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from when someone lived at Auld in Ayrshire.

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Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Alt has appeared as Auld, Alda, Alde, Ald, Aulde, MacAuld and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the surname was recorded as Ealda in an Old English charter of 765. The family continued to prosper in this area for centuries and by 1284, John Alde was listed as servitor of the Earl of Carrick. By 1302 they had also acquired estates in Perthshire. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alt research. Another 242 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1477, 1488, 1494, 1501, 1532, 1542, and 1635 are included under the topic Early Alt History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Alt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Alt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 264 words(19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Alt Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Martha Alt settled in Barbados with her servants in 1679

Alt Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johanes Alt, age 40 arrived in Philadelphia in 1738
  • Johanes Alt, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Michael Alt, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Matheus Alt, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Matheas Alt landed in Philadelphia in 1754


Alt Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jacob Alt, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Margar Alt, aged 65, arrived in America in 1851
  • Margareta Alt, who landed in America in 1851
  • Maria Alt, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Johann Alt, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1854


Alt Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Fred Wilhelm Alt, who landed in Alabama in 1926
  • Guillermo Alt, who landed in Alabama in 1926

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  • Carol Alt (b. 1960), American model and actress
  • Donald Robert Alt (b. 1929), prominent New York City advertiser and executive
  • Rudolf Ritter von Alt (1812-1905), Austrian landscape and architectural painter


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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: Virtute et constantia
Motto Translation: By courage and perseverance.

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  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

Other References

  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  10. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  11. ...

The Alt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Alt 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 February 2011 at 10:26.

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