Earnside History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Earnside comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name for a person who because of his physical characteristics and strength was referred to as iron-side. [1]

"A title of valour, well-known amongst us, from the days of the Saxon Edward, to those of Cromwell's ' Ironsides,' and since, whenever we speak of a robust person." [2] "Old Ironsides" was a nickname of Oliver Cromwell due to the name given to his troopers in the Parliamentarian cavalry.

Early Origins of the Earnside family

The surname Earnside was first found in Durham where the best-known bearer of this nickname was Edmund II (died 1016), better known as Edmund Ironside, King of England from 23 April to 30 November 1016. He was not expected to be king, but his two older brothers had died, making him the oldest male heir.

He earned his nickname "Ironside" because of his valour in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut the Great. Björn Ironside was a legendary king of Sweden who lived sometime in the 9th century.

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. In Lincolnshire, we found Hugh Irinside and Thomas Irensdie listed there in 1297 and later John Irenside was listed as a Freeman or York in 1333. [3]

Further to the north in Scotland, "there is a place Ironside at New Deer, Aberdeenshire, and a farm called Earnside in Moray. At Black Ironside, or Earnside, near Newburgh, Fife, Wallace is said to have gained a victory over the English and drove them out of Fife. The surname most probably originated from the Aberdeenshire place. In the eighteenth century the surname was very common in the district of New Deer. Mage Irynsyd was banished from Aberdeen in 1570, Patrick Irnesyde in Tarnehill was a victim of the Aberdeen witches in 1597, and James Irnesyde, at the old mill of Foveran, was accused in 1627 of being an 'idle and masterless man' " [4]

Early History of the Earnside family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnside research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1260, 1870, 1297, 1333, 1570, 1588, 1671, 1661, 1671, 1588, 1550, 1609, 1550, 1581, 1577, 1580, 1581, 1632, 1701, 1667, 1692, 1632, 1650, 1652, 1655, 1664, 1666, 1671 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Earnside History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Earnside Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Earnside has undergone many spelling variations, including Ironside, Earnside and others.

Early Notables of the Earnside family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Gilbert Ironside the Elder (1588-1671), Bishop of Bristol (1661-1671.) He was the "elder son of Ralph Ironside, by Jane, daughter of William Gilbert, M.A., of Magdalen College, Oxford, superior beadle of arts, was born at Hawkesbury, near Sodbury, Gloucestershire, on 25 Nov. 1588. His father, Ralph Ironside (1550?-1609), born at Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, about 1550, was third son of John Ironside of Houghton-le-Spring (d. 1581); matriculated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 20 Dec. 1577, and graduated B.A. in 1580-1581." [5] His...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Earnside Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Earnside migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Earnside were among those contributors:

Earnside Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Earnside, who settled in Delaware Bay in 1783


The Earnside 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: In hoc signo vinces
Motto Translation: Under this sign thou shall conquer.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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