Dewar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The people known in ancient Scotland as the Picts were the forefathers of the Dewar family. It is a name for a pilgrim from the Gaelic word deoradh. The deoradh kept the relics of saints. The family have been the hereditary custodians of St. Fillan's Crozier. [1]

Early Origins of the Dewar family

The surname Dewar was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. Dewarton is a village, in the parish of Borthwick, county of Edinburgh. It is here that the Dewar family have held the estate of Vogrie since early times. [2]

Early History of the Dewar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dewar research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1296 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Dewar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dewar Spelling Variations

When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Dewar has been written Dewar, Dure, Dewyer, Dewer, McIndeor, McJarrow and many more.

Early Notables of the Dewar family (pre 1700)

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


United States Dewar migration to the United States +

The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Dewar:

Dewar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William and his wife Jane Dewar and two children settled in Antigua in 1774
Dewar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Dewar, aged 60, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • Thomas Dewar, aged 55, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • John Dewar, who arrived in New York in 1823
  • Robert Dewar, who arrived in Maryland in 1844 [3]
  • John Dewar, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Dewar migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dewar Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Peter Dewar, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • David Dewar, who landed in Canada in 1841

Australia Dewar migration to Australia +

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

Dewar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • David Dewar, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Princess Royal" in 1848 [4]
  • Margaret Dewar, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [5]
  • Eliza Dewar, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [5]
  • Margaret Dewar, aged 48, a housekeeper, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [5]
  • Mary Dewar, aged 22, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

New Zealand Dewar 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:

Dewar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Dewar, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" in 1842
  • Janet Dewar, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Mr. J. Dewar, Sr., British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [6]
  • Mrs. Dewar, British settler travelling from London with 4 children aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [6]
  • Mr. J. Dewar, Jr., British settler travelling from London with 4 children aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dewar (post 1700) +

  • Robert Berriedale Keith Dewar (1945-2015), American computer scientist, founder, CEO and president of AdaCore software company
  • James Alexander Dewar (1897-1985), American baker, inventor of the Twinkie
  • Helen Dewar (1936-2006), American reporter for The Washington Post for 25 years
  • Michael James Steuart Dewar (1918-1997), American theoretical chemist
  • R. A. Dewar, American Republican politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate 38th District, 1921-22 [7]
  • Joseph K. Dewar, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1952, 1956 [7]
  • Burt Dewar, American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Twenty-First Middlesex District, 1923-24 [7]
  • Struan Douglas Dewar (b. 1989), Scottish rugby union player
  • George "Geordie" Dewar (1867-1915), Scottish footballer
  • Lord Arthur Dewar (1860-1917), Scottish politician and judge, Solicitor General for Scotland (1909–1910)
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Dewar 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: Quid non pro patria
Motto Translation: What would not one do for his country.


  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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCESS ROYAL 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848PrincessRoyal.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Friday 26th August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Magdalena 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/magdalena1853.shtml
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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