Hilter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
An ancient Scottish tribe called the Boernicians were the ancestors of the first people to use the surname Hilter. It is a name for a person who was the elder of two people,  bearing the same name or the name could have been derived from the Old English "ealdra," meaning "elder." Alternatively, the name could have a nickname for someone who was a "dweller at, or near, an elder tree." 
Early Origins of the Hilter family
The surname Hilter was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area. One of the first records of the family was John Eldar or Eldare de Corstorfin who was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423 and "the surname is also recorded in Aberdeen in 1447. John Elder, a renegade Scot, urged Henry VIII ('Bagcheeks') to invade Scotland, assuring him of the support of the Highland Clans. Andro Elder, was a reidare at Menmure in 1574." 
Further to the south, "this surname is derived from a nickname 'the elder.' The usual form in the Yorkshire Poll Tax is Senior, and this has become one of the strongly established surnames of that county." However, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 does list Ricardus ye Elder. 
Early History of the Hilter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hilter research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1555, 1542, 1680, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Hilter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hilter Spelling Variations
Spelling rules only evolved in the last few centuries with the invention of the printing press and the first dictionaries. Spelling variations are extremely common in names from before that period. Hilter has been spelled Elder, Elders, Eldar, MacNoravaich and others.
Early Notables of the Hilter family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was John Elder (fl. 1555), Scottish writer, a native of Caithness who passed twelve years of his life at the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, and appears to have entered the ministry. "He came to England soon after the death of James V of Scotland in 1542, when he presented to Henry VIII a 'plot' or map of the realm of Scotland, being a...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hilter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hilter family to Ireland
Some of the Hilter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hilter family
After making their great crossing, many Boernician-Scottish families settled along the east coast of North America. When the War of Independence broke out, United Empire Loyalists moved north to Canada while the rest stayed to fight. The ancestors of many of these Scots still populate the continent. This century, through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations, they began to rediscover their collective national heritage. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Hilter or a variant listed above: James Elder who settled in New Hampshire in 1718; along with Thomas, followed by David, Isaac, John, Robert, Samuel, and Thomas; but perhaps the most famous of the settlers was the Reverend John Elder who formed and was Captain of the Paxtang Rangers, known as the Paxtang Boys in 1753.
Related Stories +
The Hilter 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: Virtute duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)