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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Black family come from? What is the Scottish 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 annals of the ancient Scottish bards frequently refer to the surname Black and it springs from three separate and distinct sources. In examining the ancient origins, historians are undecided whether the name Black derives from the Old English Blaecor Blac. The former means black the color, but the later means the opposite, that is, pale or bright. However, it is concluded that it is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and one of the first references to the family Black is when Blaecca was a prefect of the city of Lincoln, England in 628 and he and his family were recorded as being converted to Christianity by Paulinus, a missionary.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Black, Blacke and others.

First found in Lincolnshire. The movement northwards appears to have taken place about 1175 A.D. when Hugh Niger is recorded in Angus (Niger is the Latin version of Black). Adam de Black was a juror in an inquisition held at Lanark in 1303 and from this point in time, the more complete records of the period yield no less than twenty one references to members of the Black family in the Scottish lowlands and as far north as Inverness and Aberdeen.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Black research. Another 297 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1756 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Black History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 52 words(4 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.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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)
  • Sir James Whyte Black OM, FRS, FRSE, FRCP (b. 1924), Scottish pharmacologist, who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
  • Joseph Black (1728-1799), Scottish chemist
  • Adam Black (1784-1874), Scottish publisher



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

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: Non crux sed lux
Motto Translation: Not the cross, but the light.


Black Clan Badge
Black 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 Black
Blache, Black, Blacke, Blak, Blitch and more.


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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).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  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 17 May 2014 at 14:39.

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