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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The distinguished surname Pittman emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Pittman family originally lived in any low-lying area resembling a pit or hollows. The surname Pittman is derived from the Old English words pytt, which means pit, and mann, which means man. The surname Pittman belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.


Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Pitman, Pittman and others.

First found in Devon, but we must look to Normandy, France to find the earliest record of the name. There we found Maingot Piteman who was listed in 1198 in the Magnum Rotulum Scaccarii Normanniae... [1] Uban Piteman was listed in the Assize Rolls of Norfolk in 1203 [2] and John Piteman was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Buckinghamshire. [3]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pittman research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pittman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pittman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Pittman:

Pittman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Christo Pittman, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Christopher Pittman, who came to Virginia in 1623
  • Sarah Pittman, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Elizabeth Pittman, who came to Virginia in 1663
  • John Pittman, who arrived in Maryland in 1668

Pittman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • M Pittman, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Pittman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Pittman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Ann Pittman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Caroline Pittman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Emilia Pittman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • John Pittman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839


  • Joseph Wayne "Joe" Pittman (1954-2014), nicknamed Shoes, an American Major League Baseball backup infielder/outfielder who played from 1981 to 1984
  • Vail Montgomery Pittman (1880-1964), Democratic Governor of Nevada
  • Sergeant John Albert Pittman (1928-1995), United States Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor
  • Frank Smith Pittman III M.D. (b. 1935), American psychiatrist and author
  • Antonio Pittman (b. 1985), American NFL football running back
  • Al Pittman (1940-2001), renowned poet and playwright from Newfoundland and Labrador
  • David Pittman (b. 1969), former Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League


  • Sills & Cliburn & Pitman By Isom L. Stephens.
  • Descendants of William Pitman, 1647-1700, of Boston, Mass. & Portsmouth, N.H. by Harold Minot Pitman.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Flower Wilkins and George Pitman: Somersetshire, England, 1796 to the United States, 1985 by Oscar Truman Johnson.

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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Pittman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pittman 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 27 June 2015 at 10:30.

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