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

Origins Available: English-Alt, English, Irish, Scottish

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

From the historical and enchanting region of Scotland emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished White family. Originally, the Scottish people were known only by a single name. Scottish surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Often they adopted names that were derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The name White is a nickname type of surname for a pale or fair haired person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word "hwit," meaning "white."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: White, Whyte, Wight and others.

First found in at Coldingham, a village in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where "Uuiaett Hwite" witnessed King Eadgar's charter of Coldingham, sometime between the years 1097 and 1107. It appears the name may have actually predated the Norman invasion as Old English personal names such as "Huita, Huuita, Hwita" are known to have predated 1066. One Old English charter dated before 925 (the Cartularium Saxonica), there is a "Wulfnoo hwita" listed. Whyte was also used as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic MacGhillebhain. By the mid 12th century, however, most of the bearers of this name in Scotland were of Norman descent. They held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our White research. Another 339 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1236, 1376, 1426, and 1658 are included under the topic Early White History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the White family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 110 words(8 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:

White Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William White and his wife Susannah, who immigrated to Plymouth in 1620 with their sons Resolve and Peregrine (the latter born in Cape Cod Harbour on board the Mayflower in 1620, thus becoming the first child of English descent born in New England)
  • Anthony White, aged 27, arrived in New England in 1634
  • William White, who came to Virginia in 1635
  • Charles White, aged 18, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Ellin White, aged 26, arrived in Virginia in 1635


White Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • George White, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Abigail White, who landed in North Carolina in 1701
  • Adam White, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Dennis White, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Ellinor White, who landed in Barbados in 1738


White Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Alice White, aged 50, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Catherine White, aged 22, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Eleanor White, aged 18, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Donald White, who arrived in North Carolina in 1811
  • Archibald White, aged 36, landed in Maine in 1812


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  • Jaleel White (b. 1976), American television actor best known for his role as Steven Urkel on the show "Family Matters"
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Higgins White II (1930-1967), American astronaut killed in the Apollo 1 capsule when it caught fire during practice
  • Rod White (b. 1977), American archer who co-won a Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games
  • Canvass White (1790-1834), American civil engineer
  • Elwyn Brooks "E.B." White (1899-1985), American essayist/children's novelist awarded a special citation in 1978 by the Pulitzer Prize board and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Leslie Alvin White (1900-1975), American cultural anthropologist
  • Minor White (1908-1976), American photographer and editor
  • Paul Dudley White (1886-1973), American cardiologist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Pearl Fay White (1892-1938), American cinema actress
  • Richard Grant White (1821-1885), American Shakespearean scholar

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  • The Ancestors of Daniel White, 1777-1836 and His Wife, Sarah Ford by Paula Porter Griffin.
  • Ancestral Chronological Record of the William White Family, from 1607-8 to 1895 By Thomas and Samuel Whit.
  • Family Ties of Roy Harold Murray: Ancestors and Descendants of the Murray, White, Waybright Families by Miriam Adams Cloud Murray.
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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: Labore parta
Motto Translation: Acquired by work.

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  1. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  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. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. 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).
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The White Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The White 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 28 August 2014 at 15:54.

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