Show ContentsGetty History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Scottish name Getty is thought to be a habitational name, taken on from a place name in the county of Nairn. The place name Geddes is thought to have come from a Gaelic term for a mountain ridge. It has also been suggested that the surname was a patronymic created from the personal name Geddie, of uncertain origin, but which may come from a Scots dialect word "gedd," meaning "pike."

Early Origins of the Getty family

The surname Getty was first found in Nairnshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Narann) in northern Scotland, today part of the Council Area of Highland where they held the lands of Geddes, formerly held by the Rose family. Further south the Gedding variant were first found in the parish of Gedding in Suffolk. "This place, which comprises about 580 acres, was the property of Sir John Gedding, who resided in the manorhouse of Gedding Hall, and died about the 21st of the reign of Edward I." [1]

Early History of the Getty family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Getty research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1406, 1470, 1558, 1590, 1597, 1394, 1600, 1660, 1650, 1713, 1739, 1799, 1737, 1802, 1600, 1694 and are included under the topic Early Getty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Getty Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Geddes, Geddas, Geddis, Gedes, Geddeis, Geddy and many more.

Early Notables of the Getty family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Gedy , the Abbot of Arbroath in 1394, said to have been influential in creating the harbour there. According to Edinburgh tradition, Jenny Geddes (c.1600-c. 1660), a Scottish market-trader is said to have thrown a stool at the head of the minister in St Giles' Cathedral in objection to the first use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in Scotland. The act is supposed to...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Getty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Getty Ranking

In the United States, the name Getty is the 8,833rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Getty family to Ireland

Some of the Getty family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Getty migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Getty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abigail Getty, aged 45, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Abigail Getty, who arrived in New York State in 1804 with her husband James, and sons John and Robert
  • Alexander Getty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [3]
  • John Getty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [3]
  • Andrew Getty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Getty migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Getty Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edmund Getty who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Robert Peel" departing 26th July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 19th September 1847 but he died on board [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Getty (post 1700) +

  • John Paul Getty (1892-1976), American businessman, one time richest man in the world, founder of Getty Oil
  • Estelle Getty (1923-2008), American actor, winner of Emmy and Golden Globe Awards
  • George Washington Getty (1819-1901), American division commander in the Army of the Potomac
  • George Franklin Getty (1855-1930), American lawyer and father of industrialist J. Paul Getty
  • Balthazar Getty (b. 1975), American actor, son of John Paul Getty III
  • Paul Michael Getty, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 1st District, 1976 [5]
  • Joseph M. Getty, American Republican politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates District 5, 1995-2002 [5]
  • Charles A. Getty, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 12th District, 1980 [5]
  • Donald Ross "Don" Getty OC, AOE (1933-2016), Canadian CFL quarterback with the Edmonton Eskimos and politician, 11th Premier of Alberta between 1985 and 1992
  • Edmund Getty (1799-1857), Irish antiquarian and naturalist

The Getty 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: Capta majora
Motto Translation: Seek greater things.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 77)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook