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

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

The chronicles of the Hemphill family show that the name was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for a person who lived in Galston, in the county of Ayrshire.


The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Hemphill has been spelled Hemphill, Hempill, Hempsill, Hempshall, Hemshall and many more.

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 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hemphill research. Another 155 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hemphill History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Hemphill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 296 words(21 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Hemphill Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Nathaniel Hemphill, who arrived in New England in 1728
  • Samuel Hemphill settled in Philadelphia in 1734
  • David Hemphill, who arrived in New England in 1769
  • Christiana Frederica Hemphill, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
  • John Hemphill settled in New Jersey in 1792

Hemphill Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John Hemphill, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Joseph Hemphill, aged 20, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Matthew Hemphill, aged 24, landed in Delaware in 1813
  • Hugh Hemphill, who landed in Mississippi in 1838
  • Samuel Hemphill, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848


  • John Hemphill (1803-1862), American Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
  • John Michael Hemphill (b. 1966), American actor and comedian
  • Arlo Hemphill (b. 1971), American explorer, ocean conservationist and film actor
  • Ryan Hemphill (b. 1981), American NASCAR driver
  • Shirley Ann Hemphill (1947-1999), American comedic actress
  • William Arnold Hemphill (1842-1902), American businessman and politician
  • Henry Hemphill (1830-1914), American malacologist who specialized in land and freshwater mollusca
  • Charles Judson "Eagle Eye" Hemphill (1876-1953), American Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1899 to 1911
  • Doug Hemphill, American Academy Award winning and multiple Academy Award nominated sound mixer who has worked on more than 140 films
  • Robert Witherspoon Hemphill (1915-1983), American politician, U.S. Representative from South Carolina



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: Constanter ac non timide
Motto Translation: With constancy, not timidity.


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  1. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  6. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Hemphill Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hemphill 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 11 October 2014 at 14:44.

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