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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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.


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.

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


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irwin research. Another 182 words (13 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.


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


Some of the Irwin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 247 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Irwin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Irwin settled in Virginia in 1642

Irwin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Irwin settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1712
  • Nathaniel Irwin, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1740
  • James Irwin settled in Antigua in 1774
  • John Irwin settled in Maryland in 1774
  • Boyle Irwin, who landed in America in 1798-1802

Irwin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Irwin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Ann Irwin, aged 9, arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803
  • Mary Irwin settled in Wiscasset in 1803
  • Edwd Irwin, aged 50, arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803
  • Patrick Irwin, aged 31, arrived in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803

Irwin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Jas Irwin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

Irwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Abraham Irwin arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Africaine" in 1836
  • 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
  • John Irwin, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Olivia"
  • Nancy Irwin, aged 24, a house servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry"

Irwin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Arthur Irwin landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Margaret Irwin arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Caroline Coventry" in 1869
  • Mary J. Irwin, aged 19, a servant, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Queen of the North" in 1874
  • Elizabeth Irwin, aged 19, a housemaid, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lauderdale" in 1874
  • John Irwin, aged 22, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875


  • 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)
  • Brigadier-General Constant Louis Irwin (1893-1977), American Commandant Infantry Replacement Training Center Camp Blanding (1943-1944)
  • Kenneth Dale Irwin Jr. (1969-2000), American 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year
  • James Irwin (1930-1991), former NASA Astronaut with over 295 hours in space and the eighth man to walk on the Moon
  • Charles Irwin VC (1824-1873), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Major General Sir James Murray Irwin (1858-1938), Irish born British Army doctor in Sudan, the Boer War and World War I
  • Mr. William F Irwin, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • William Arthur Irwin (1898-1999), Canadian journalist and diplomat



  • 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.

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.


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Irwin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Irwin 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 31 December 2015 at 13:31.

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