Show ContentsChisolm History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the surname Chisolm were thought to have been a Boernician family in ancient Scotland. They lived in the Barony of Chisolm in the Parish of Roberton, Roxburghshire. The Gaelic form of the name is Siosalach and together the Clan is known as An Siosalach.

Early Origins of the Chisolm family

The surname Chisolm was first found in Roxburghshire, from the barony of Chisholm. One of the first times the name was listed was John de Chesehelme, in Roxburghshire in 1254. Robert de Chesholme was custodian of Urchard Castle in the 1300s. By the mid-14th century, much of the family had moved north: Robert de Chesholme appears as the sheriff of Inverness in 1359. Many feel that Robert was the founder of the Clan.

Early History of the Chisolm family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chisolm research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1715, 1564, 1486, 1527, 1527, 1593, 1527, 1564, 1561, 1629, 1684, 1647 and 1785 are included under the topic Early Chisolm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chisolm Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries and printing presses went into use in the last few hundred years, spelling, particularly of names, was a largely intuitive matter. Consequently, many spelling variations occur in even the simplest names from the Middle Ages. Chisolm has been spelled Chisholme, Chisum, Chissum, Chissolm, Chissholm, Chisolt, Chism, Chisholm, Chisham, Chiseholm, Chisam and many more.

Early Notables of the Chisolm family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was William Chisholm (d. 1564), Bishop of Dunblane, the second son of Edmund Chisholm of Cromlix, near Dunblane, a son of Chisholm of that Ilk in Rhoxburghshire and half-brother of James Chisholm, who was Bishop of Dunblane from 1486 to 1527, when he resigned his see, with the consent of Pope Clement VII and King James V, in favour of William Chisholm. William Chisholm was consecrated bishop at Stirling on 14 April 1527. [1] Another William Chisholm (d. 1593), was Bishop of Dunblane and Bishop of Vaison, a son of Chisholm of Cromlix...
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chisolm Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chisolm Ranking

In the United States, the name Chisolm is the 3,380th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Chisolm family to Ireland

Some of the Chisolm family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Chisolm migration to the United States +

The east coasts of the United States and Canada are still populated by many of the descendents of the Boernician-Scottish families who made that great crossing. They distributed themselves evenly when they first arrived, but at the time of the War of Independence those who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. This century, many of their ancestors have recovered their past heritage through highland games and other Scottish functions in North America. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that many immigrants bearing the name Chisolm or a variant listed above:

Chisolm Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Chisolm, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1809 [3]

Australia Chisolm migration to Australia +

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

Chisolm Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Chisolm, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" in 1849 [4]

New Zealand Chisolm 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:

Chisolm Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Chisolm, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Colin Chisolm, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863 [5]

West Indies Chisolm migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Chisolm Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Dr. Chisolm, who settled in Jamaica in 1774

Contemporary Notables of the name Chisolm (post 1700) +

  • Henry Clay Chisolm (b. 1859), American Republican politician, Physician; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 33rd District, 1897-1900 [7]
  • Kathryn Chisolm Nadeau, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 2008

The Chisolm 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: Feros ferio
Motto Translation: I am fierce with the fiercest

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIR EDWARD PARRY 1849. Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 7th November 2010). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from on Facebook