Christians History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Christians family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The family name comes from the Latin given name Christianus, which means "belonging to Christ." Christianus was also the name of the 12th century Irish saint and Bishop of Candida Casa, and brother of St. Malachy of Armagh. Thus, the surname Christian became an extremely popular name, particularly in regions of Celtic or Irish influence such as Scotland, northern England, and the Isle of Man. It was also a common given name amongst the Danes and was the name of several Danish kings.

The name is "very common in some parts of Scotland. Sir Walter Scott tells a story of an unsuccessful gaberlunzie woman who in the bitterness of her disappointment exclaimed: "Are there no Christians here?" and was answered: "Christians! nae, we be a' Elliots and Armstrangs !" [1]

"Christianus was the name of a bishop of Candida Casa (Whithorn) who died at Holm Cultram in 1186." [2]

Early Origins of the Christians family

The surname Christians was first found in the north of England, "a familiar North-English font-name, though not wholly confined to the North." [3]

As one would expect the early rolls had mixed entries for the name as both a forename and surname. By example, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Jordan filius Cristine, Kent; Agnes filius Cristine, Cambridgeshire; Brice Cristian, Somerset; and Cristina Alayne, Buckinghamshire.

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Cristiane Lyttester; and Cristiana atte Tounead. [3]

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the Christian family from the Isle of Man in more detail. On the infamous side, the mutineer Fletcher Christian was from this stock, but notably, the rear-admiral Sir Hugh Cloberry Christian (1747-1798), the Max writer Thomas Christian (d. 1799) and William Christian (1608-1663) the Receiver-General of the Isle of Man claimed the Isle of Man as their homeland.

Early History of the Christians family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Christians research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1663, 1608, 1643 and are included under the topic Early Christians History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Christians Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Christians include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Christian, Cristian, McChristian, McChristianston and others.

Early Notables of the Christians family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was William Christian (1608-1663), receiver-general of the Isle of Man (famous in Manx history under the name of Illiam Dhône, 'Brown-haired William'), born on 14 April 1608. "He was the third son of Ewan Christian, one of the deemsters or judges of the Isle of Man and deputy-governor of Peel Castle. In 1643 his father made over to him the estate of Ronaldsway. The circumstances of this transaction throw some light on Christian's...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Christians Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Christians family to Ireland

Some of the Christians family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Christians migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Christians or a variant listed above:

Christians Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christian Christians, who arrived in Virginia in 1656 [4]
  • Grietje Christians, who landed in New York in 1659 [4]
Christians Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • David Christians, who arrived in South Carolina in 1738 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Christians (post 1700) +

  • Henry C. Christians, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1916 [5]
  • Harry Christians, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 19th District, 1957-60 [5]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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