Show ContentsErskin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The chronicles of the Erskin family show that the name was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name for a person who lived on the Clyde river, near Glasgow. The town name comes from the Gaelic air an sgian, meaning "upon the knife." According to legend, a Scotsman under the command of Malcolm II uttered that phrase after slaying a Danish leader at the Battle of Murthill.

Early Origins of the Erskin family

The surname Erskin was first found in at Erskine in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland.

In the year 1225, King Alexander II granted Henry de Erskine, who held the baroncy of Erskine, lands in Renfrewshire. Sir John Ireskin also swore an oath of allegiance to King Edward I of England in 1296. Members of the Erskine family appear in many other documents and records dating from throughout the 13th century and afterward.

A few of the more interesting records show that Henry de Erskyn bore official witness to the Earl of Lennox's grant of a church to the Abbey of Paisley, and that in 1491, Robert Erschin held the office of Canon of Glasgow. [1]

Early History of the Erskin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erskin research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1552, 1558, 1572, 1592, 1615, 1616, 1624, 1634, 1662, 1671, 1677, 1685, 1695, 1696, 1715, 1743, 1768 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Erskin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Erskin Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Erskin has been spelled Erskine, Arskine, Arskin, Erskin, Irskine, Hirskine, Ersken and many more.

Early Notables of the Erskin family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine (died 1552), a Scottish nobleman
  • John Erskine, 17th Earl of Mar (died 1572), Regent of Scotland
  • John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar (ca.1558-1634), Scottish politician
  • William Erskine (died 1685), Master of Charterhouse Hospital
  • Alexander Erskine of Gogar, (died 1592), Scottish laird and keeper of James VI of Scotland at Stirling Castle
  • Lady Margaret Erskine (died 1572), a mistress of King James V of Scotland
  • David Erskine, 2nd Lord Cardross (1616-1671), a Scottish Royalist
  • John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar (ca. 1558-1634), a Scottish politician
  • Alexander Erskine, 3rd Earl of Kellie (c. 1615-1677), a Scottish soldier and peer
  • Colonel The Honourable John Edmund Erskine (1662-1743), of Cardross, a Scottish soldier and politician
  • John Erskine of Carnock (1695-1768), a Scottish jurist and professor of Scottish law at the University of Edinburgh

Ireland Migration of the Erskin family to Ireland

Some of the Erskin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 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 Erskin migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Erskin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christopher Erskin, who arrived in New England in 1729 [2]
Erskin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Erskin, who arrived in New York State in 1803
  • William Erskin, aged 32, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [2]
  • Mrs. Erskin, aged 30, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1850 [2]
  • W H Erskin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • John Erskin, who landed in Texas in 1884 [2]

Canada Erskin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Erskin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Charles Erskin U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Erskin (post 1700) +

  • Christopher Erskin, American music video director and film director, known for Back to School Mom (2015), Johnson Family Vacation (2004) and Phil of the Future
  • Erskin R. Myer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 1944 [4]

The Erskin 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: Je pense plus
Motto Translation: I think more.

  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. 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)
  3. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook