Irwin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There was a native Irish Gaelic name O hEireamhóin, derived from a personal name of uncertain origins that came to be Irwin, but the great majority of this name in Ireland were planters, who arrived from Scotland in the 17th century. In the case of the latter, their name is ultimately derived from at least two place names in Scotland, the parish of Irving in county Dumfriesshire, or from Irvine in Strathclyde.

Early Origins of the Irwin family

The surname Irwin was first found in Dumfriesshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire. Records first show the Irving Clan in the year 1057 when they and other Border Clans assisted King Malcolm Canmore in defeating MacBeth and the unruly Pictish Clans to the north. Later records show that Robert Irving held lands in this county in 1226. Gilchrist Irving acquired land in Dumfriesshire in 1376. The barony, the Forest of Drum was passed on to William Irvine in the county of Aberdeenshire in 1324 and this was to remain in the Irving hands for several generations. Sir Alexander Irvine of this estate, fell in the battle of Harlaw in 1411.

Early History of the Irwin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irwin research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1659, 1714, 1740, 1779, 1804, and 1878 are included under the topic Early Irwin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Irwin Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Irvine, Irving, Ervine, Irwin, Erwin and others.

Early Notables of the Irwin family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Irwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Irwin World Ranking

In the United States, the name Irwin is the 939th most popular surname with an estimated 32,331 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Irwin is ranked the 622nd most popular surname with an estimated 8,280 people with that name. [2] And in Australia, the name Irwin is the 473rd popular surname with an estimated 7,957 people with that name. [3] New Zealand ranks Irwin as 407th with 1,614 people. [4] The United Kingdom ranks Irwin as 872nd with 7,833 people. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Irwin family to Ireland

Some of the Irwin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Irwin migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Irwin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Irwin, who settled in Virginia in 1642
Irwin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Irwin, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1712
  • Nathaniel Irwin, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1740 [6]
  • James Irwin, who settled in Antigua in 1774
  • John Irwin, who settled in Maryland in 1774
  • Boyle Irwin, who landed in America in 1798-1802 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Irwin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Irwin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [6]
  • Ann Irwin, aged 9, who arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803 [6]
  • Mary Irwin, who settled in Wiscasset in 1803
  • Edward Irwin, aged 50, who arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803 [6]
  • Patrick Irwin, aged 31, who arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Irwin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Richard Irwin, (b. 1884), aged 21, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Mississippi, USA [7]
  • Mr. William Irwin, (b. 1884), aged 21, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Tougaloo, Mississippi, USA [7]

Canada Irwin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Irwin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Irwin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
Irwin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Irwin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • William Irwin, aged 22, who landed in Quebec in 1835
  • Mr. Thomas Irwin, aged 24 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Scotland" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In July 1847 [8]
  • Mr. William Irwin, aged 23 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "John & Robert" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 23rd August 1847 [8]

Australia Irwin migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Irwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Irwin, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Frederick Irwin, a wire-worker, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Abraham Irwin, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836 [10]
  • Mr. Martin Irwin, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Duncan" on 10th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Nicholas Irwin, aged 20, English Convict from Yorkshire, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Irwin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Irwin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Irwin, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. William Irwin, British settler arriving as the 1st detachment of Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps travelling from Tilbury, Essex aboard the ship "Ramillies" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th August 1847 [13]
  • Mrs. Sarah Irwin née Potterton, British settler travelling from Tilbury, Essex aboard the ship "Ramillies" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th August 1847 [13]
  • Miss Margaret Irwin, (b. 1830), aged 32, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [14]
  • Mr. Robert Irwin, (b. 1838), aged 24, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Irwin (post 1700) +

  • James Irwin (1930-1991), American NASA Astronaut with over 295 hours in space and the eighth man to walk on the Moon [15]
  • Hale Irwin (b. 1945), American professional PGA golfer who won three U.S. Opens, the oldest ever U.S. Open champion in 1990, at the age of 45
  • Donald Jay Irwin (1926-2013), American politician, 32nd Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut (1971-1975), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut (1959-1961)
  • Major-General Stafford LeRoy Irwin (1893-1955), American Commanding General US Forces Austria (1950-1952) [16]
  • Brigadier-General Constant Louis Irwin (1893-1977), American Commandant Infantry Replacement Training Center Camp Blanding (1943-1944) [17]
  • Kenneth Dale Irwin Jr. (1969-2000), American 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year
  • Major General Sir James Murray Irwin (1858-1938), Irish born, British Army doctor in Sudan, the Boer War and World War I
  • Charles Irwin VC (1824-1873), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Jennifer Irwin (b. 1975), Canadian actress best known for her roles as Linda on Still Standing and as Laurie Neustadt in the comedy Superstore
  • Ronald A. "Ron" Irwin PC CM QC (1936-2020), Canadian diplomat and politician, MP for Sault Ste. Marie (1980-1984)
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
Ibrox disaster
  • George McFarlane Irwin (1949-1971), Scottish football supporter, from Argyll who was at the Ibrox disaster on 2nd January 1971 when a human crush among the crowd killed 66 and injured 200 people he died of his injuries [19]


The Irwin 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: Nemo me impune lacessit
Motto Translation: No one provokes me with impunity.


Suggested Readings for the name Irwin +

  • Dartown to Fairfield and Beyond: The Descendants of John and Mary Welsh Irwin by Lyndon N. Irwin.
  • Guide to 500 Early Irwin/Ervin etc. Families in the United States by L.M. Irwin.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  5. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 35)
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AFRICAINE 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Africaine.htm
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duncan
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) James Irwin. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/irwin-jb.html
  16. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Stafford Irwin. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Irwin/Stafford_LeRoy/USA.html
  17. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Constant Irwin. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Irwin/Constant_Louis/USA.html
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ Bradford City Football Club In memory (retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://www.bradfordcityafc.com/club/in-memoriam/


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