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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Getty family come from? What is the Scottish Getty family crest and coat of arms? When did the Getty family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Getty family history?

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."


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

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Getty research. Another 427 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1406, 1470, 1558, 1590, 1597, 1394, 1600, 1660, 1650, 1713, 1739, 1799, 1737, 1802 and are included under the topic Early Getty History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 261 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Getty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Getty family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 209 words(15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Getty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Abigail Getty, aged 45, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Abigail Getty arrived in New York State in 1804 with her husband James, and sons John and Robert
  • John Getty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Alexander Getty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Andrew Getty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823


  • 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
  • Balthazar Getty (b. 1975), American actor, son of John Paul Getty III
  • George Franklin Getty (1855-1930), American lawyer and father of industrialist J. Paul Getty
  • George Washington Getty (1819-1901), American division commander in the Army of the Potomac
  • Donald Ross Getty OC, AOE (b. 1933), Canadian politician, Premier of Alberta between 1985 and 1992
  • Edmund Getty (1799-1857), Irish antiquarian and naturalist


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.


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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  5. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Getty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Getty Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 November 2013 at 11:08.

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