Abberkirdow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Pictish-Scottish family that first used the name Abberkirdow lived in the old barony of Aberkirder, in Banffshire.

Early Origins of the Abberkirdow family

The surname Abberkirdow was first found in Banffshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhanbh), former Scottish county located in the northeasterly Grampian region of Scotland, now of divided between the Council Areas of Moray and Aberdeenshire, in the old barony of Aberkirder, where one of the first of the Clan on record was John Aberkirder who rendered homage to King Edward 1st of England in 1296. [1]

The first Thane of Aberkerder was John de Aberkerder ( fl. 1242). He is thought to have died c. 1286-1289. His descendant Symon, Thane of Aberberder founded the Chaplainry of St. Marnan ("for the souls of his ancestors"). Symon was succeeded by his daughter, Sybil de Aberkerder, who died prior to 1328. (W. Douglas Simpson, 1931).

Aberchirder is a village, in the parish of Marnoch, "derived from Sir David Aberkerder, Thane of Aberkerder, who lived about the year 1400, and possessed great property here." [2]

Kinnairdy Castle, 10 miles south of Banff, is the fortress seat of the Celtic Thane of Aberkerder. The tower portion was built about 1420 by Sir Walter Innes, whose father had married Janet de Aberkerder, heiress to the thanage. Her father Sir David Aberkerder, Thane of Aberkerder (fl.1400) held most of the parish or Aberchirder at that time.

Early History of the Abberkirdow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abberkirdow research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 146 and 1468 are included under the topic Early Abberkirdow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abberkirdow Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Abberkirdow has been spelled Aberkirder, Aberkerdour, Aberchirdour and others.

Early Notables of the Abberkirdow family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Abberkirdow family

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Abberkirdow: James Aberkirder who settled in Virginia in 1690.



The Abberkirdow 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: Pro rege et patria
Motto Translation: For King and country.


  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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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