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

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

Although the Scottish Olyphant surname is known to derive from the Medieval Latin word "olifantus," meaning "elephant," its origins as a surname are quite uncertain. David de Olifard is the progenitor of the House of Oliphant. He was one of the many Anglo-Norman nobles that were invited northward by the early Norman kings of Scotland. He settled in Northamptonshire, but when he saved King David I during the siege of Winchester Castle, he received a small grant of lands in Roxeburghshire. Under later rulers, the Oliphant lands were significantly extended as King Malcolm granted the family Bothwell in Lanarkshire and King William I granted them Arbuthnott in Mearns.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Oliphant, Olifant, Olifard and others.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where William Oliphant is recorded in the Ragman Rolls, as he was taken prisoner at Rochester in 1296. He was then forced to swear allegiance to King Edward I of England during the latter's brief conquest of Scotland. However, eight years later, he was appointed Warden of Stirling Castle by Robert the Bruce of Scotland to whom he had willingly pledged allegiance. And yet Edward of England again took him prisoner.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olyphant research. Another 352 words(25 lines of text) covering the years 1456, 1498, 1583, 1631, 1680, 1691, 1715, 1725, 1745, 1748, 1767, 1780, and 1792 are included under the topic Early Olyphant History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olyphant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: William Oliphant who was banished to New Jersey in 1685; James Oliphant arrived in Georgia in 1775; Lawrence Oliphant arrived in St. Christopher in 1716..

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  • Timothy David Olyphant (b. 1968), American actor


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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: Tout pour voir
Motto Translation: Provide for all

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  1. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  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. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  11. ...

The Olyphant Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Olyphant 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 16 March 2010 at 07:55.

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