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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Irvin. It was a name for someone who lived in the parish of Irving in the county of Dumfriesshire or from Irvine in Strathclyde. The names have become indistinguishable over time.


The surname Irvin was 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. According to family lore, they descend from Duncan "the first of Eryvine," killed at the battle of Duncrub in 965. As far as records are concerned, the earliest listed was William de Irwin, an armor bearer to King Robert the Bruce. He received a grant of lands encompassing the Forest of Drum, on the banks of the River Irvine. And it was here that he had Drum Castle built which would become the family seat of the Clan for centuries. The river originally was named Lar Avon, or West River. Robert de Hirvine, ancestor of that previous William was mentioned in a Charter dated 1226 and he was at that time tenant of the Douglas Clan. From 1331-33 the family received further grants of land and by 1400 had become a very predominant family. The Chief of the Irvines lead his Clansmen in the Battle of Harlaw in 1511. Sir Alexander Irvine was slain there, and it was said of him: 'Gude Sir Alexander Irvine, The much renowned Laird of Drum.'

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Irvin has appeared as Irwin, Erwin, Irvine, Irving, Urwin, Erwine, Ervin, Erwing, Ervynn, Ervine, Erwynn, Irwing, Irwryn and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irvin research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1057, 1376, 1323, 1976, 1411 and are included under the topic Early Irvin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Some of the Irvin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Irvin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Irvin, who arrived in America in 1802
  • Charlotte Irvin, aged 45, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • George Irvin, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Irvin, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Archibald Irvin, aged 25, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • ...

Irvin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Irvin, aged 17, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Jane Irvin, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Edward Irvin, aged 1, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • James Irvin, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Mary Irvin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1837
  • ...

Irvin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • W. Irvin arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836

Irvin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Peter Irvin, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874

  • Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin (1919-2016), American Major League Baseball left fielder and right fielder in the Negro leagues and later a Major League Baseball player, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973
  • Shirley June Fry Irvin (b. 1927), former a World No. 1 American female tennis player, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970
  • Sam Irvin, American film and television director, producer, screen writer
  • Sandora Lavett Irvin (b. 1982), American professional basketball player for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • Marissa Irvin (b. 1980), American former tennis player
  • Byron Edward Irvin (b. 1966), retired American professional NBA basketball player
  • Leslie Leroy Irvin (1895-1966), American stunt-man who made the first free-fall parachute jump in 1919
  • Michael Jerome Irvin (b. 1966), American former NFL football player for the Dallas Cowboys, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2007)
  • James Irvin (1800-1862), American politician
  • Albert Henry Thomas Irvin OBE (1922-2015), English abstract expressionist painter
  • ...

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: Candide et constanter
Motto Translation: Fairly and firmly.


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    Other References

    1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    4. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
    5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
    7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    9. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
    10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    11. ...

    The Irvin Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Irvin 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 22 April 2016 at 11:25.

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