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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French, Scottish


The Porter family name was originally adopted from the original bearers' occupation. Porter was an occupational name for a gatekeeper or watchman deriving its origin from the Old French word "portier," meaning "doorman." In the royal castles, and in some monasteries, the office of Porter was usually hereditary, and lands and privileges were usually connected to the position.

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The surname Porter was first found in Kyle, where Radulfus the porter witnessed the gift of the church of Cragyn (Craigie) to the monastery of Paisley in 1177.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Porter, Pawter, Poreter, Portar and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Porter research. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Porter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Some of the Porter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Porter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Abraham Porter, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • John Porter (c.1605-1674), English settler to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, signer of the Portsmouth Compact
  • Edmond Porter, aged 35, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Edward Porter, aged 21, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Henry Porter, aged 30, arrived in Virginia in 1635
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Porter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hendrik Porter, aged 14, landed in New York in 1710
  • Hannah Porter, who landed in Virginia in 1717
  • Charles Ram Porter, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1752-1756

Porter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Elitia Porter, aged 44, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Catherine Porter, aged 22, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Farr Porter, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Hugh Porter, aged 24, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • James Porter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
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Porter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Francis Porter, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Aaron Porter, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Private. John Porter U.E. (b. 1759) born in England who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1782 he enlisted in 1776 serving in the Queen's American Rangers, married to Mary having 1 son, he died in 1783 upon falling from a raft on the Saint John River before his son was born [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Private. Thomas Porter U.E. born in England who settled in Canada c. 1782 he enlisted in 1776 serving in the Queen's American Rangers, brother to John Porter [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Mrs. Anna Porter U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
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Porter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Elisha Porter, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • William Porter, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Michael Porter, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "William" in 1834
  • Matthew Porter, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
  • Rachel Porter, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
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Porter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Jacob Porter, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • James Porter, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Peter Porter, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James Porter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838
  • Jane Porter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839
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Porter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Maria Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Alfred Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Augustine Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Edward Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
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  • Edward Melvin Porter (1930-2016), American lawyer and politician, Member of the Oklahoma Senate (1965-1987)
  • David Hugh Porter (1935-2016), American academic, 5th President of Skidmore College (1987-1999)
  • Charlie Porter (1951-2014), American mountaineer and climate change scientist
  • Major-General William Nichols Porter (1886-1973), American Chief of the Chemical Corps, War Department (1941-1945)
  • Major-General Ray Edison Porter (1891-1963), American Commanding General 101st Airborne Division (1951-1953)
  • Brigadier-General John Andrew Porter (1886-1950), American Commanding General of Army Service Forces Depot, Fort Sam Houston (1943-1946)
  • Peter Buell Porter (1773-1844), American lawyer, soldier and politician, United States Secretary of War (1828 to 1829)
  • Rufus M. Porter (1792-1884), American painter, inventor, founder of Scientific American magazine in 1845
  • James Davis Porter (1828-1912), American politician, 20th Governor of Tennessee (1875-1879)
  • George Bryan Porter (1791-1834), American politician, Territorial Governor of Michigan (18311834)
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Porter Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. Reginald J Porter (b. 1910), English Musician serving for the Royal Marine Band from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Frederick A Porter (b. 1903), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Cyril L D Porter (b. 1922), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Hounslow, Middlesex, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Wilson Porter, British Telegraphist, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Wilfred Porter, British Corporal, who sailed on the HMS Prince of Wales prior to its sinking
  • Mr. Robert Porter, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)

  • Walter Leonard Porter (1953-1988), American Musician from Brooklyn, New York, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Walter Chamberlain Porter (d. 1912), aged 46, American First Class passenger from Worcester, Massachusetts who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
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  • Edward Culver, John Porter and Mary Estey: a Line of Descent from Two Puritans and a Salem Witch, with Allied Families by Marilyn V. Squires Mills.
  • A Family History, William Porter, Jr. of Rockbridge County, Virginia (1740-1804) by Mary E. Porter.
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Citations



  1. ^ 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
  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. ^ 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

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  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. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Porter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Porter 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 8 August 2016 at 14:58.

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