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

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The annals of the ancient Scottish bards frequently refer to the surname Black and it springs from three separate and distinct sources. In examining the ancient origins, historians are undecided whether the name Black derives from the Old English Blaecor Blac. The former means black the color, but the later means the opposite, that is, pale or bright. However, it is concluded that it is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and one of the first references to the family Black is when Blaecca was a prefect of the city of Lincoln, England in 628 and he and his family were recorded as being converted to Christianity by Paulinus, a missionary.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Black, Blacke and others.

First found in Lincolnshire. The movement northwards appears to have taken place about 1175 A.D. when Hugh Niger is recorded in Angus (Niger is the Latin version of Black). Adam de Black was a juror in an inquisition held at Lanark in 1303 and from this point in time, the more complete records of the period yield no less than twenty one references to members of the Black family in the Scottish lowlands and as far north as Inverness and Aberdeen.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Black research. Another 297 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1756 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Black History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Black Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Black family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Black Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Black, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Henry Black, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1645
  • Richard Black, who landed in New England in 1645
  • Daniel Black, who was banished to America, arriving in Boston in 1652
  • Jacke Black, who landed in Virginia in 1657


Black Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliza Black, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Abraham Black, who settled in Virginia in 1713
  • Abraham Black, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Jacob Black, who came to New England in 1718
  • Thos Black, who arrived in Virginia in 1740


Black Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Margt Black, who landed in America in 1805
  • Edwd Black, who arrived in America in 1806
  • Hugh Black, who arrived in Allegany (ALlegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • William Black, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • W Black, who landed in New York, NY in 1812


Black Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Wm Black, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • William Black, who came to Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1775
  • Mr. James Black U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. Jonathan Black U.E who settled in Augusta Township, Grenville County, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Bristol Black U.E who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 456 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York


Black Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Walter Black, who arrived in Canada in 1821
  • Mary Anne Black, aged 4, arrived in St John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Matty Black, aged 1, landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Sibby Black, aged 45, landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Stewart Black, aged 14, arrived in St John, New Brunswick in 1833


Black Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Robert Black arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • Elizabeth Black arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • Elizabeth Ann Black arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • Pat Black arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847


Black Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Black landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Alexander Black landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • Andrew Black arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • Robert Black, aged 39, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Ellen Black, aged 37, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864


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  • Brigadier-General Garland Cuzorte Black (1894-1951), American Commandant Army Service Forces Training Center (1945-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Frederick Harry Black (1894-1986), American Commanding Officer Artillery 99th Division (1943-1945)
  • Eugene "Gene" Robert Black Sr. (1898-1992), President of the World Bank from 1949 to 1963 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Karen Black (1939-2013), born Karen Blanche Ziegler, an American two-time Golden Globe winning and Academy Award nominated actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter
  • Greene Vardiman Black (1836-1915), American dentist, pioneering professor of dentistry
  • James Black (1823-1893), American temperance leader
  • Hugo Lafayette Black (1886-1971), American judge
  • Sir James Whyte Black OM, FRS, FRSE, FRCP (b. 1924), Scottish pharmacologist, who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
  • Adam Black (1784-1874), Scottish publisher
  • Joseph Black (1728-1799), Scottish chemist

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  • Black Family Record by Doris Louise Black.
  • Climbing Our Family Tree by Edith Black and Lois Jones.
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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: Non crux sed lux
Motto Translation: Not the cross, but the light.

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Black Clan Badge
Black Clan Badge

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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...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Black
Blache, Black, Blacke, Blak, Blitch and more.

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  6. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Black Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Black 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 12 April 2016 at 11:20.

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