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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Ervin. It was a name for someone who lived in the parish of Irving in the county of Dumfriesshire or from Irvine in Strathclyde. The names have become indistinguishable over time.


The surname Ervin was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. According to family lore, they descend from Duncan "the first of Eryvine," killed at the battle of Duncrub in 965. As far as records are concerned, the earliest listed was William de Irwin, an armor bearer to King Robert the Bruce. He received a grant of lands encompassing the Forest of Drum, on the banks of the River Irvine. And it was here that he had Drum Castle built which would become the family seat of the Clan for centuries. The river originally was named Lar Avon, or West River. Robert de Hirvine, ancestor of that previous William was mentioned in a Charter dated 1226 and he was at that time tenant of the Douglas Clan. From 1331-33 the family received further grants of land and by 1400 had become a very predominant family. The Chief of the Irvines lead his Clansmen in the Battle of Harlaw in 1511. Sir Alexander Irvine was slain there, and it was said of him: 'Gude Sir Alexander Irvine, The much renowned Laird of Drum.'

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Ervin has appeared as Irwin, Erwin, Irvine, Irving, Urwin, Erwine, Ervin, Erwing, Ervynn, Ervine, Erwynn, Irwing, Irwryn and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ervin research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1057, 1376, 1323, 1976, 1411 and are included under the topic Early Ervin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Ervin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Ervin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Ervin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Andrew Ervin, a boy of 16, landed in Barbados in 1684

Ervin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Ervin, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • John Ervin, who arrived in Virginia in 1705

Ervin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Ervin, who arrived in South Carolina in 1814
  • Thomas Ervin, aged 35, arrived in America in 1821
  • Samuel Ervin, who arrived in South Carolina in 1821
  • Christopher Ervin, who landed in New York in 1834
  • George Ervin, who arrived in Arkansas in 1891
  • ...

Ervin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Purl James Ervin, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Spencer Ervin, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Thomas S. Ervin, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Charles Edward Ervin, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1913
  • Ralph Ervin, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1914
  • ...

  • Winfield Ervin Jr. (1902-1985), American politician, Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska
  • Samuel James Ervin III (1926-1999), American jurist, United States federal judge and politician
  • Samuel James "Jimmy" Ervin IV (b. 1955), American jurist, son of Judge Sam Ervin, III
  • Samuel James "Sam" Ervin Jr. (1896-1985), American politician, U.S. Senator from North Carolina (1954 to 1974)
  • Richard Ervin (1905-2004), American jurist, Florida Attorney General (1949 to 1964)
  • Mallory Ervin (b. 1985), American beauty pageant winner, Miss Kentucky 2009, 4th runner-up to Miss America 2010
  • Lisa Ervin (b. 1977), American retired three-time silver medalist figure skater
  • Joseph Wilson Ervin (1901-1945), American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina
  • James Ervin (1778-1841), American politician, U.S. Representative from South Carolina
  • Howard M. Ervin (1915-2009), American scholar and pastor
  • ...

  • Guide to 500 Early Irwin/Ervin etc. Families in the United States with Adult Children Prior to the 1850 Census by L. M. Irwin.

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: Candide et constanter
Motto Translation: Fairly and firmly.


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    Other References

    1. 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).
    2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    3. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
    4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    6. 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).
    7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    9. 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.
    10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Ervin Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Ervin 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 23 May 2016 at 16:25.

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