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

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

The old Scottish-Dalriadan name Greer is derived from the given name Gregor. The personal name Gregor, which is the Scottish form of Gregory, is derived from the Latin name "Gregorius" and from the Late Greek name "Gregorios," which mean alert, watchful, or vigilant.


Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of Greer include Greer, Grier, Grear, Grerar, Greir, Greerr, Grearr and many more.

First found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greer research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1542 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Greer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Greer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Greer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Greer were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Greer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jane Greer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682

Greer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Andrew Greer and his family landed in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1763
  • Jacob Greer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765
  • Gerrard Greer, who arrived in America in 1795

Greer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hannah Greer, aged 12, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Mary Greer, aged 14, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Sarah Greer, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Nathan Greer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Robert Greer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1819

Greer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Betty Greer, aged 18, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834


  • Judy Greer (b. 1975), born Judith Laura Evans, American Annie Award nominated actress, known for playing Kitty Sanchez on the Fox/Netflix series Arrested Development
  • Frank Greer (1878-1943), American Olympic gold medalist for rowing at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Jane Greer (1924-2001), American film and television actress, best known for her role as Kathie Moffat in the 1947 Out of the Past
  • James Greer, American novelist, screenwriter, musician, and critic, known for his work on The Spy Next Door (2010), Max Keeble's Big Move (2001) and Just My Luck (2006)
  • Jabari Amin Greer (b. 1982), American NFL football cornerback for the New Orleans Saints
  • David Hummell Greer (1844-1919), American Protestant Episcopal bishop from Wheeling, Virginia
  • George W. Greer (b. 1942), retired United States judge, Circuit Court Judge for Florida (1992-2010)
  • Robert William "Dabbs" Greer (1917-2007), American actor who appeared in 308 titles, best known for his role as the Reverend Robert Alden in NBC's Little House on the Prairie and his role in the Green Mile (1999)
  • Charlie Greer (1923-1996), American radio personality in Akron, Ohio
  • Breaux Greer (b. 1976), American gold medalist javelin thrower at the 2004 World Athletics Final



  • Greer Family by William Greer Peck.
  • Greer-McNeill Family History by Etta S. Greer.

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: Memor esto
Motto Translation: Be mindful.


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  1. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Greer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Greer 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 8 October 2015 at 12:25.

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