Findlater History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The chronicles of the Findlater family reach back into Scottish history to an ancient tribe known as the Picts. The ancestors of the Findlater family lived on the lands of Findlater in Banffshire where the family has a long and distinguished history dating back to the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Findlater family

The surname Findlater was first found in Banffshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhanbh), former Scottish county located in the northeasterly Grampian region of Scotland, now of divided between the Council Areas of Moray and Aberdeenshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Findlater family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Findlater research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the year 1366 is included under the topic Early Findlater History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Findlater 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. Findlater has been written Findlater, Finlater, Finlator, Finlaytor, Findlayter and many more.

Early Notables of the Findlater family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Findlater family to Ireland

Some of the Findlater family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Findlater 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 Findlater:

Findlater Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Findlater, who landed in Grenada in 1771 [1]
  • William Findlater, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1796

Australia Findlater migration to Australia +

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

Findlater Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Findlater, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • Miss Margaret Findlater, (Ower) who was convicted in Perth, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Alexander Findlater, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

New Zealand Findlater 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:

Findlater Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Findlater, aged 39, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Elizabeth Findlater, aged 36, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Alexander Findlater, aged 15, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Eliza Leslie Findlater, aged 10, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • James Turnbull Findlater, aged 8, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Findlater (post 1700) +

  • Rick Findlater, American Academy Award nominated makeup artist, known for his work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films
  • John Findlater (b. 1944), American actor from Los Angeles, California
  • Jonn J. Findlater, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 36th District, 1908 [4]
  • Irene F. Findlater, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1972 [4]
  • George E. Findlater, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 28th District, 1914 [4]
  • Charles Findlater (1754-1838), Scottish agricultural writer and essayist, born 10 Jan. 1754 in the manse of West Linton, Peeblesshire; his grandfather, Alexander Findlater, was a native of Moray, and married into the famous Scottish family, Kirkaldy of Grange [5]
  • Andrew Findlater (1810-1885), Scottish editor, born at Aberdour, Aberdeenshire, best known for his work on Chambers's Encyclopaedia [5]
  • John Findlater (1926-2013), Scottish meteorologist, aviation expert and air crash investigator, awarded the Imperial Service Medal and twice awarded the LG Groves Memorial Prize
  • Mary Findlater (1865-1963), Scottish novelist, sister of Jane Findlater
  • Jane Findlater (1866-1946), Scottish novelist, known for her first book which was co-authored with her sister Mary, The Green Graves of Balgowrie
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Findlater 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: Sit mihi libertas
Motto Translation: Liberty be mine.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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