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

Origins Available: English, French, Scottish

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

The Porter family name was originally adopted from the original bearers' occupation. Porter was an occupational name for a gatekeeper or watchman deriving its origin from the Old French word "portier," meaning "doorman." In the royal castles, and in some monasteries, the office of Porter was usually hereditary, and lands and privileges were usually connected to the position.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Porter, Pawter, Poreter, Portar and others.

First found in Kyle, where Radulfus the porter witnessed the gift of the church of Cragyn (Craigie) to the monastery of Paisley in 1177.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Porter research. Another 198 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Porter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Porter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 140 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Porter Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Abraham Porter, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • John Porter (c.1605-1674), English settler to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, signer of the Portsmouth Compact
  • Edmond Porter, aged 35, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Edward Porter, aged 21, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Henry Porter, aged 30, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Porter Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hendrik Porter, aged 14, landed in New York in 1710
  • Hannah Porter, who landed in Virginia in 1717
  • Charles Ram Porter, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1752-1756

Porter Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Elitia Porter, aged 44, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Catherine Porter, aged 22, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Farr Porter, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Hugh Porter, aged 24, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • James Porter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808


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  • David Porter (1780-1843), American naval officer
  • Katherine Anne Porter (1894-1980), American Pulitzer Prize (1966) winning author
  • William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), American short story author, who wrote under the name O. Henry
  • Edwin Stanton Porter (1870-1941), American movie director and filmmaker
  • Cole Albert Porter (1893-1964), American composer of musicals and a member of the French Foreign Legion, which honors him with a portrait that hangs in the Legion's official museum
  • Gary Porter, American co-winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
  • Patrick "Pat" Ralph Porter (1959-2012), American distance runner at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Andrew Porter (1820-1872), American army officer, Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923), African American still life painter
  • Fitz John Porter (1822-1901), United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War

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  • Edward Culver, John Porter and Mary Estey: a Line of Descent from Two Puritans and a Salem Witch, with Allied Families by Marilyn V. Squires Mills.
  • A Family History, William Porter, Jr. of Rockbridge County, Virginia (1740-1804) by Mary E. Porter.
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  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  4. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  5. 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.
  6. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  7. 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.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Porter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Porter 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 March 2014 at 11:04.

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