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

Origins Available: Scottish, Swedish

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

Peterson is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from the personal name Peter. Peterson is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. This particular surname was taken from the popular religious given name, Peter a shortened form of St. Peter. Other patronymic names were derived from the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while still others came from the names of secular heroes.

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Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Peterson has appeared Peterson, Petersone, Petterson, Piterson and others.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peterson research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1317, 1377, 1378, 1411 and 1327 are included under the topic Early Peterson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 87 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Peterson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 35 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Peterson name:

Peterson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Peterson settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Henricke Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • William Peterson settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Ann Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Barnett Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1650


Peterson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Cerveses Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Bernard Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Cornelius Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Kirstin Peterson, who arrived in New York in 1738


Peterson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Hans C Peterson, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1828
  • Gumull Peterson, aged 40, landed in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1831
  • Gustavus H Peterson, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1837
  • Gustoff Peterson, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1837
  • Jacob Peterson, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1837


Peterson Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Axel Peterson, who landed in Arkansas in 1905
  • Antion Peterson, who landed in Mississippi in 1905
  • Gustave Peterson, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906
  • Fred Emil Peterson, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1908
  • Louis Peterson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1910


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  • From Norway to North America: the Descendants in Canada and the United Stated of Olaf and Caroline Pederson who came from Norway about 1867 to Manitoba and North Dakota by Jean E. Peterson.
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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: Nihil sine Deo
Motto Translation: Nothing without God.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Peterson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Peterson 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 26 August 2014 at 16:41.

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