Show ContentsBlackadder History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Blackadder family

The surname Blackadder was first found in Berwickshire, Scotland, where the family claim descent "from the lands of Blackadder on the stream of the same name in the Merse division of Berwickshire. "Blakadir de eodem in the Earldom of March in 1426. Adam of Blacathathir was one of those sent to conduct the envoys with Princess Cecilia's dower to Edinburgh in 1477, and Charles Blakater had a protection and safe conduct to travel in England in 1486. " 1

But before these entries, Adam Blacater (fl. 1319), "was descended from a family of good position in Scotland, and after studying at several universities on the continent became successively professor of philosophy at Cracow in Poland, professor of the same subject at Bologna, and rector of one of the colleges of the university of Paris. " 2

Cuthbert Blackadder (d. 1485), was "a chieftain of the Scottish border, received his surname and estate from James II in 1452 for his success in repelling the English marauders on the Scottish frontier. By his prowess he earned for himself the title of the 'chieftain of the south.' He and his seven sons who accompanied him on his expeditions were also named, from the darkness of their complexions, the 'Black band of the Blackaders.' When the kingdom was placed in a posture of defence against Edward IV, the Blackaders raised a force of two hundred and seventeen men, and also planted their castle with artillery, and left in it a strong garrison. " 2

Early History of the Blackadder family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blackadder research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1461, 1477, 1494, 1508, 1615, 1622, 1626, 1664, 1670, 1685, 1686 and 1729 are included under the topic Early Blackadder History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blackadder Spelling Variations

Although the name, Blackadder, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Blackadder, Blackader, Blackater, Blacketter, Blaicketter, Blacader and many more.

Early Notables of the Blackadder family

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was

  • Robert Blackadder (died 1508) a medieval Scottish cleric, diplomat and politician, who was Abbot of Melrose, Bishop-elect of Aberdeen and Bishop of Glasgow
  • Sir Alexander Blackadder
  • John Blackadder (1615-1686), Scottish Covenanting minister
  • John Blackadder (or Blackader) (ca. 1622-1685), a Scottish eminent Presbyterian Covenanter preacher
  • Sir John Blackadder, 1st Baronet (1626-c. 1670)
  • Robert Blackadder (c.1461), a medieval Scottish cleric, diplomat and politician, who was abbot of Melrose, bishop-elect of Aberdeen and bishop of Glasgow, first Archbishop of Glasgow

United States Blackadder migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Blackadder family name Blackadder, or who bore a variation of the surname were

Blackadder Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Blackadder, who landed in New England in 1700 3
  • Donald Blackadder who settled in New England in 1720
Blackadder Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alex Blackadder, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 3
  • Alexander Blackadder, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 3
  • Agnes Blackadder, aged 17, who settled in America from Coatbridge, in 1893
Blackadder Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Blackadder, aged 32, who landed in America from Paisley, in 1904
  • Alexr. Blackadder, aged 8, who immigrated to the United States from Blackwood, Scotland, in 1911
  • Agnes Blackadder, aged 64, who immigrated to the United States from Blackwood, Scotland, in 1911
  • James Blackadder, aged 65, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
  • George Blackadder, aged 27, who immigrated to America from Johnstone, Scotland, in 1922
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Blackadder migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Blackadder Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Blackadder, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Dakota" arriving in Port Chalmers, South Island, New Zealand on 10th March 1873 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Blackadder (post 1700) +

  • Dame Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, RA, RSA (1931-2021), Scottish painter and printmaker, the first woman to be elected to both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy.
  • Todd Blackadder (b. 1971), New Zealand rugby player
  • Major General Charles Blackadder (1869-1921), British general in the First World War

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Robert C Blackadder, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking 5

The Blackadder 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: Vise a la fine
Motto Translation: Look to the end.

  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. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook