Etter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Etter family. Their name comes from the Gaelic form Mac-an-Tsaoir, which denotes son of the carpenter or wright.

Early Origins of the Etter family

The surname Etter was first found in on the Isle of Iona, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Etter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Etter research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1372, 1564 and 1564 are included under the topic Early Etter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Etter Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Etter has been spelled MacAteer, MacTear, MacTeir, MacTire, MacAtee, MacAtter, MacAttur and many more.

Early Notables of the Etter family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Etter family to Ireland

Some of the Etter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Etter migration to the United States +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Etters to arrive on North American shores:

Etter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catharina Etter, who landed in America in 1718 [1]
  • Gerhard Etter, who landed in America in 1718 [1]
  • Johannes Etter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735 [1]
  • Daniel Etter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742 [1]
  • Martin Etter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Etter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Etter, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 [1]
  • Jacques Etter, aged 60, who landed in New York in 1849 [1]
  • Maria Etter, aged 16, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]

Canada Etter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Etter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Peter Etter U.E. (b. 1715) born in Riggisberg, Switzerland from Braintree, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia c. 1776 he served in the Defence Force at Boston, died in 1794 in Halifax, married to twice with 10 children [2]
  • Peter Etter, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778

Contemporary Notables of the name Etter (post 1700) +

  • Carrie Etter (b. 1969), American poet
  • Bob Etter (b. 1945), American NFL football placekicker
  • Bill Etter (b. 1950), American CFL football quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1973 to 1975)
  • Sara M. Etter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932 [3]
  • Samuel M. Etter, American Democratic Party politician, Illinois Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1875-79 [3]
  • Roy Etter (1900-1967), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1944 [3]
  • John O. Etter, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Frederick, Oklahoma, 1955-57 [3]
  • Jacob Etter, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1900 [3]
  • J. W. Etter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arizona, 1932 [3]
  • Frances Etter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1972 [3]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Etter Motto +

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: Per ardua
Motto Translation: Through difficulties.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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