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

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

An ancient Scottish people known as the Picts were the forefathers of the Workman family. Workman is a name for a laborer. The surname Workman comes from the Old English word work, or weorc, both of which mean "work." In the Middle Ages, the word workman was also applied to ambidextrous people as a nickname. The more common derivation, however, is the occupational one, which was a name given to a laborer.


During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Workman include Workman, Wortman, Wartman, Wergman, Wirgman and others.

First found in the Orkneys, were they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The name is believed to be derived from the lands of Work, from the parish of St. Ola.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Workman research. Another 246 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1563 is included under the topic Early Workman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Workman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Workman:

Workman Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Workman, who arrived in Virginia in 1643
  • Richard Workman settled in Virginia in 1648
  • John Workman settled in Virginia in 1653
  • John Workman, who landed in Virginia in 1653
  • William Workman settled in Virginia in 1655

Workman Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Fra Workman, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Hendrick Workman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749

Workman Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Workman, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1804
  • Jane Workman, who landed in America in 1805
  • Jas Workman, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Margaret Workman, aged 16, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805
  • Agnes Workman, aged 13, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805


  • Reggie Workman (b. 1937), American jazz musician
  • Peter Workman (1968-2013), American founder of Workman Publishing Company
  • Raymond "Sonny" Workman (1909-1966), American Champion and Hall of Fame jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing
  • John Workman (b. 1950), American editor, writer, artist, designer, colorist and letterer in the comic book industry
  • Lyle Workman, American guitarist, composer, session musician and music producer
  • Haywoode Wilvon Workman (b. 1966), retired American NBA basketball player
  • Shanelle Workman -Gray (b. 1978), American actress
  • Harry Hallworth "Hoge" Workman (1899-1972), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Andrew Boyle Workman (1868-1942), American politician and businessman, President of the Los Angeles City Council (1919 to 1927)
  • Thomas Workman, Irish entomologist and arachnologist



  • Some Branches of the Workman Tree by Ralph Hall Sayre.
  • Workman Family History by Thelma C. Anderson.

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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  9. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Workman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Workman 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 11 June 2013 at 23:39.

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