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

Origins Available: Jewish, Scottish

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

The ancestors of the first families to use the name Glass lived in ancient Scotland in the kingdom of Dalriada. The name was then used as a nickname for a person with gray hair. The surname Glass is derived from the Gaelic word glas, which means gray, however, it may also be a shortened Anglicized form of the surname MacGille Glais, which means son of the gray lad.

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In various documents Glass has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Glass, Glas, MacGilleglas, Glasse and others.

First found in Buteshire (Gaelic Siorrachd Bhid), an island region of western Scotland within the ancient Kingdom of Dl Riata, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Glass research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Glass History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Glass family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 158 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Glass family emigrate to North America:

Glass Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Duncan Glass who settled in Virginia in 1651 with his wife Mary
  • Dunkin Glass, who landed in Virginia in 1652
  • Robt Glass, who landed in Virginia in 1664
  • Joyce Glass, who landed in Maryland in 1678

Glass Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Glass settled in New England in 1709 with his wife, two sons and two daughters
  • Dark Glass, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Sophia Glass, aged 28, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Friderich Glass, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Martin Glass, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749


Glass Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Isabella Glass, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Alex Glass, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Isaac Glass, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • James, Glass Sr., aged 73, landed in New York in 1812-1813
  • Samuel Glass, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812


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  • Hiram Bentley Glass (1906-2005), American geneticist and noted columnist
  • Philip Glass (b. 1937), Academy Award-nominated American composer
  • Joanna McClelland Glass (b. 1936), Canadian-born, American playwright
  • Julia Glass (b. 1956), American writer awarded the National Book Award in 2002
  • Presley Thornton Glass (1824-1902), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Rear Admiral Henry Glass (1844-1908), American naval officer best remembered for his role in the bloodless capture of Guam in the Spanish-American War
  • Hermann Glass (1878-1961), American Olympic gold medalist for gymnastics at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Brigadier Harold Patrick Lepel Glass (1909-1990), British Acting Commanding Officer 21st East African Brigade, Ceylon (1943)
  • Joe Glass (1920-2012), one of the last surviving Canadian members of the legendary Devil's Brigade, a joint US/Canadian task force during World War II


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  • Glass: A Genealogist's Collection by Lucille Barco Coone.
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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: Luctor
Motto Translation: I struggle, but am not overwhelmed.

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  1. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. 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.
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  11. ...

The Glass Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Glass 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 23 April 2014 at 11:06.

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