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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

In ancient Scotland, Irvine was a Strathclyde-Briton 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 Irvine 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.'

In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Irvine has been spelled 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 Irvine research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1057, 1376, 1323, 1976, 1411 and are included under the topic Early Irvine History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Irvine 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.


Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and clan societies. Among them:

Irvine Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Irvine, who landed in New Jersey in 1685

Irvine Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis Irvine, aged 32, landed in New York in 1800
  • Alex Irvine, aged 21, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Chas Irvine, who landed in America in 1805
  • Gerard Irvine, who landed in America in 1805
  • Margaret Irvine, aged 23, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805

Irvine Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Irvine, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Michael Irvine, aged 5, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the barque "Ceres" from Sligo
  • Janet Irvine, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1848

Irvine Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Alexander Irvine arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848
  • Elizabeth Irvine arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1848
  • Thomas Irvine, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • William Irvine, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Thetis"
  • Thomas Irvine, aged 39, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Thetis"

Irvine Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mr Irvine landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Arab
  • Thomas Irvine, aged 32, a shoemaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Eliza Irvine, aged 34, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Edward Irvine, aged 32, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • James Irvine, aged 26, a ploughman, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Soukar" in 1874


  • James Irvine (1793-1835), American educator and Presbyterian minister, 2nd President of Ohio University from 1822 to 1824
  • Alexander Christian "Alex" Irvine (b. 1969), American fantasy and science fiction writer
  • Major-General Willard Wadsworth Irvine (1892-1969), American Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, War Department General Staff (1944-1945)
  • Harry Irvine, American politician, Mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, 1939-42
  • Mrs. H. G. Irvine, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1936
  • Gordon F. Irvine, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1944
  • Frank Irvine (1858-1931), American Democrat politician, District Judge in Nebraska 4th District, 1891-93; Justice of Nebraska State Supreme Court, 1893-99
  • Frances L. Irvine, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Florida, 1992
  • Alexander F. Irvine, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 11th District, 1908
  • A. B. Irvine, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1932



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.


Irvine Clan Badge
Irvine Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Irvine
Hurven, Hurvene, Hurvine, Hurwen, Hurwin, Hurwine, Hurwyn, Hurwynn, Hurwynne, Irvene, Irvin, Irvine, Irving, Irvink, Irwin, Irwine, Irwing, Irwink, Irwran, Irwrand, Irwrane, Irwrant, Irwren, Irwrend, Irwrent, Irwrind, Irwrint, Irwryn, Irwrynd, Irwynn, Irwynne, Orvene, Orvine, Orwin, Orwine, Orwynn, Orwynne, Urvene, Urvine, Urwand, Urwane, Urwant, Urwen, Urwend, Urwent, Urwin, Urwind, Urwine, Urwint, Urwyn and more.


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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  11. ...

The Irvine Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Irvine 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 4 March 2016 at 18:01.

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