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

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

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland, made up the ancient Dalriadan kingdom, the ancestral home of the Robertson family. Their name comes from the personal name Robert. Known as the Clan Donnachaidh, the family's origins are very distinguished, as the senior branch of the line were the hereditary abbots of Dunkeld, who traced their descent from Iona. In addition, Abbot Duncan of Dunkeld, the Robertson progenitor, was killed in battle in 964, as he led the warriors, bearing, a reliquary of St. Columba. His grandson, Abbot Crinan of Dunkeld, married the Kings daughter and then fathered King Duncan I of Scotland who was killed by MacBeth (of Shakespearean fame). Crinan is buried at the Isle of lona, burial place of Scotland's early Kings.


Many spelling variations of Robertson have been recorded over the years, including These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. Robertson, MacConachie, Maconachie, MacConaghy, MacConchie, MacConckey, MacConkey, MacDonnachie, MacDonachie, MacDunnachie, MacInroy, MacLagan, Mac Raibeirt (Gaelic) and many more.

First found in Atholl. King Duncan's younger son, Maelmore, sired Madadh, Earl of Atholl, and his grandson, Earl Henry, was father to Conan who held vast territories in this area. Conan of Glenerochie was the first Chief of the Robertsons and gave his name to the Clan Connchaidh or Duncan. His successor, Duncan, the 5th chief, led the Clan in the army of King Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314 against the English. For this service, and his subsequent staunch support of the Scottish Crown, his grandson Robert of Struan was granted the lands and barony in 1451.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Robertson research. Another 805 words(58 lines of text) covering the years 1745, 1587, 1703, 1715, 1723, 1727, 1745, 1749, 1784, 1746, 1668 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Robertson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Robertson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Robertson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 115 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Robertson family emigrate to North America:

Robertson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Francis Robertson, who landed in Maryland in 1664
  • Anders Robertson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1693

Robertson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Daniel Robertson, who settled in Virginia in 1716 along with Francis, Isabella, James, John, and Donald
  • Daniel Robertson, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Archibald Robertson, who arrived in Virginia in 1746
  • Henry Robertson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774
  • Helen Robertson, aged 16, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775

Robertson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Robertson, who arrived in North Carolina in 1808
  • Gilbert Robertson, aged 50, landed in New York in 1812
  • Eleanor Robertson, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Catharine Robertson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Duncan Robertson, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1820

Robertson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Harriet L Robertson, who landed in Arkansas in 1903

Robertson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Christian Robertson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Donald Robertson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Duncan Robertson, aged 42, a farmer, arrived in Pictou, N.S. aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Isabella Robertson, aged 31, arrived in Pictou, N.S. aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Alexander Robertson, aged 6 1/4, arrived in Pictou, N.S. aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803

Robertson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Robertson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Robertson, a tailor, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Andrew Robertson, a blacksmith, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • David Robertson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia

Robertson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Robertson, aged 23, a shoemaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Margaret Robertson, aged 20, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Alfred Robertson, aged 23, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Emma Robertson, aged 20, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • George Robertson, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841


  • David Robertson (b. 1958), American conductor
  • Howard Percy Robertson (1903-1961), American mathematician and physicist
  • Jerry Robertson (1943-1996), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Oscar Robertson (b. 1938), American basketball player
  • Patricia Hilliard Robertson M.D. (1963-2001), American physician and former NASA astronaut
  • Lawson Robertson (1883-1951), American bronze medalist for high jump at the 1904 Olympic games
  • Mr. Andrew Robertson (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Douglas Moray Cooper Lamb Argyll Robertson (1837-1909), Scottish ophthalmologist and surgeon
  • George Croom Robertson (1842-1892), Scottish philosopher
  • Jeannie Robertson (1908-1975), Scottish American folk singer



  • Children of Nashville by Sarah Foster Kelley.

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: Virtutis gloria merces
Motto Translation: Glory is the reward of valour.


Robertson Clan Badge
Robertson Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Robertson
Coleer, Coleier, Coleyar, Coleyear, Coleyer, Coliar, Colier, Colleer, Colliar, Collier, Collyar, Collyear, Collyer, Colyar, Colyear, Colyer, Conachy, Conaghie, Conckey, Conkey, Conky, Connachie, Connachy, Connaghie, Connaghy, Connaughey, Connaughy, Connochie, Conochie, Coolier, Coolyar, Coolyear, Coolyer, Coulier, Coulyar, Coulyear, Coulyer, Cowlier, Cowlyar, Cowlyear, Cowlyer, Cunnison, Dawbie, Dawby, Dishan, Dishand, Dishane, Dishant, Dishen, Dishend and more.


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  5. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Robertson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Robertson 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 26 February 2015 at 09:25.

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