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

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

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Irvin. It was a name for someone who lived in the parish of Irving in the county of Dumfriesshire or from Irvine in Strathclyde. The names have become indistinguishable over time.

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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. Irvin has appeared as Irwin, Erwin, Irvine, Irving, Urwin, Erwine, Ervin, Erwing, Ervynn, Ervine, Erwynn, Irwing, Irwryn and many more.

First found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. According to family lore, they descend from Duncan "the first of Eryvine," killed at the battle of Duncrub in 965. As far as records are concerned, the earliest listed was William de Irwin, an armor bearer to King Robert the Bruce. He received a grant of lands encompassing the Forest of Drum, on the banks of the River Irvine. And it was here that he had Drum Castle built which would become the family seat of the Clan for centuries. The river originally was named Lar Avon, or West River. Robert de Hirvine, ancestor of that previous William was mentioned in a Charter dated 1226 and he was at that time tenant of the Douglas Clan. From 1331-33 the family received further grants of land and by 1400 had become a very predominant family. The Chief of the Irvines lead his Clansmen in the Battle of Harlaw in 1511. Sir Alexander Irvine was slain there, and it was said of him: 'Gude Sir Alexander Irvine, The much renowned Laird of Drum.'


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irvin research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1057, 1376, 1323, 1976, 1411 and are included under the topic Early Irvin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Irvin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 275 words(20 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:

Irvin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Irvin, who arrived in America in 1802
  • Charlotte Irvin, aged 45, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • George Irvin, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Irvin, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Archibald Irvin, aged 25, landed in South Carolina in 1812


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  • Michael Jerome Irvin (b. 1966), American former NFL football player for the Dallas Cowboys, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2007)
  • James Irvin (1800-1862), American politician
  • Leslie Leroy Irvin (1895-1966), American stunt-man who made the first free-fall parachute jump in 1919
  • Byron Edward Irvin (b. 1966), retired American professional NBA basketball player
  • Marissa Irvin (b. 1980), American former tennis player
  • Sandora Lavett Irvin (b. 1982), American professional basketball player for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin (b. 1919), American former left fielder and right-handed batter in the Negro leagues and later a Major League Baseball player
  • Sam Irvin, American film and television director, producer, screen writer
  • Shirley June Fry Irvin (b. 1927), former a World No. 1 American female tennis player, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970
  • James Dickinson "Dick" Irvin Sr. (1892-1957), Canadian ice hockey player and Stanley Cup winning coach, active 1919 to 1929, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

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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: Candide et constanter
Motto Translation: Fairly and firmly.

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  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. 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. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  10. 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).
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The Irvin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Irvin 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 October 2014 at 08:12.

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