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

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

The saga of the Abernathy family begins among the people of the ancient tribe of the Picts. They lived at the place named Abernethy in southeastern Perthshire. The place name is of Pictish origin, meaning "mouth of the river Nethy." [1]


Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Abernathy has been written Abernethy, Anernethie, Abernathy, Abernathie, Albirnyth, Abirnethie, Abernettie and many more.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from ancient times. The Abernethy family appear in ancient records as lay abbots of the Culdee Monastery of Abernethy in Strathearn.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abernathy research. Another 423 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1189, 1196, 1296, 1399, 1465 and 1560 are included under the topic Early Abernathy History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Abernathy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Abernathy:

Abernathy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Abernathy, who arrived in Connecticut in 1718
  • John Abernathy who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1767

Abernathy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William and Anne Abernathy settled in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Florence Abernathy, aged 1, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Lizzie Abernathy, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1896

Abernathy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Mary Abernathy, aged 28, who settled in America from Co Derry, in 1900
  • Thomas Abernathy, who emigrated to America from Co Derry, in 1900
  • Charlotte Abernathy, aged 35, who emigrated to America from Belfast, in 1904
  • Alfred Abernathy, aged 20, who landed in America from Belfast, in 1905
  • Miss E. Abernathy, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1906


  • Lee Roy Abernathy (1913-1993), American vocalist and composer
  • Ralph David Abernathy (1926-1990), American civil rights leader, close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Robert Abernathy (1924-1990), American science fiction writer
  • Ted Wade Abernathy (1933-2004), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Brent Abernathy (b. 1977), American Major League Baseball player
  • Donzaleigh Abernathy (b. 1957), American actress who won the Tanne Foundation 2012 Artist Award
  • Virgil Woodrow "Woody" Abernathy (1915-1994), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1946 to 1947
  • Anne Abernathy (b. 1953), American luger at the 2006 Winter Olympics
  • Charles F. Abernathy (b. 1946), American professor at Georgetown University Law Center
  • Constance Abernathy (1931-1994), American architect from Detroit, Michigan



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: In Christo salus
Motto Translation: Salvation is in Christ.


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

Other References

  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  4. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Abernathy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Abernathy 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 15 July 2015 at 21:18.

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