Abernethy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Abernethy. It comes from at the place named Abernethy in southeastern Perthshire. The place name is of Pictish origin, meaning "mouth of the river Nethy." [1]

Early Origins of the Abernethy family

The surname Abernethy was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland at Abernethy, a parish that " derives its name from Aber, signifying in Gaelic, in conjunction with Nethy, the 'termination of Nethy' which is descriptive of the situation of the church, near the entrance of that river into the Spey." [1] The Abernethy family appear in ancient records as lay abbots of the Culdee Monastery of Abernethy in Strathearn in the 12th century. [2]

Early History of the Abernethy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abernethy research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1189, 1196, 1296, 1399, 1465, 1560, 1680, 1740 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Abernethy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abernethy Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Abernethy has appeared Abernethy, Anernethie, Abernathy, Abernathie, Albirnyth, Abirnethie, Abernettie and many more.

Early Notables of the Abernethy family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Abernethy family to Ireland

Some of the Abernethy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Abernethy migration to the United States +

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Abernethy name:

Abernethy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Abernethy, who arrived in Connecticut in 1718 [3]
Abernethy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Abernethy, who landed in America in 1804 [3]
  • William Abernethy, who arrived in America in 1804 [3]
  • William Abernethy, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Abel Abernethy, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • William Abernethy, who landed in New York in 1818 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Abernethy migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Abernethy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Abernethy, aged 26, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"

Contemporary Notables of the name Abernethy (post 1700) +

  • Virginia Deane Abernethy (b. 1934), American professor of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Bob Abernethy (b. 1927), American NBC News correspondent for over forty years
  • Arthur Talmage Abernethy (1872-1956), American journalist, scholar, theologian and poet, the first North Carolina Poet Laureate (1948)
  • George Abernethy (1807-1877), American pioneer,entrepreneur, and first Governor of Oregon
  • Thomas Abernethy (1803-1860), Scottish seafarer, gunner in the Royal Navy, and polar explorer; as member of the James Clark Ross's team of six, Abernethy was in the first party ever to reach the North Magnetic Pole in 1831
  • James Abernethy FRSE (1814-1896), Scottish civil engineer, responsible for the Swansea docks, Aire and Calder Navigation and the Cardiff Docks
  • John Abernethy (1764-1831), English-born surgeon, born in London 3 April 1764, the son of John Abernethy, a London merchant belonging to an Irish family of Scotch extraction [4]
  • Roy Abernethy (1906-1977), American businessman, CEO of American Motors Corporation from February 1962 to January 1967
  • Glen Abernethy (b. 1971), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories (2007)
  • Thomas Gerstle Abernethy (1903-1998), American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II


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


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  5. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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