Jemson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jemson family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name Jemson is derived from "son of James". [1]

Early Origins of the Jemson family

The surname Jemson was first found in on the Isle of Bute, where "a family named Jamieson or Neilson held the office of Crowner of Bute from the beginning of the fourteenth century or earlier to the seventeenth century. He was granted lands by Robert the Bruce for his services rendered to the King. King James II confirmed these grants later and further bestowed on the Jamiesons other territories on the Isle of Arran, particularly that of Over Kilmory. The office of Coroner (Crowner) was hereditary with the family. " [2]

Other early records include: Alexander Jemison who had a safe conduct to trade with England in 1445, William Jamyson who was tenant of Pollock in 1472, and John Jamesone was repledged to liberty of the burgh of Irvine in the same year.

Further to the south, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Jamessson; Johannes Jamesman (i.e. the servant of James); and Henricus Jamsman, 1379. [3]

Early History of the Jemson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jemson research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1465, 1528, 1539, 1769, 1587, 1644, 1588, 1689, 1720, 1676, 1700, 1677, 1685, and 1780 are included under the topic Early Jemson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jemson Spelling Variations

Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of Jemson include Jamieson, Jameson, Jamison, Jamyson, Jimisone and many more.

Early Notables of the Jemson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was George (Jamesone) Jameson (c. 1587-1644), Scotland's first eminent portrait-painter. "Born at Aberdeen, probably in 1588 (Bulloch, George Jamesone, p. 32), he was second son of Andrew Jamesone, master mason, and his wife Marjory, daughter of Gilbert Anderson, merchant, one of the magistrates of the city. After having practised as a portrait-painter in Scotland, he, according to a generally accepted tradition, which derives some corroborative evidence from the style of his painting, studied under Rubens in Antwerp, and was a fellow-pupil of Vandyck." [4] William Jameson ( fl. 1689-1720), was "lecturer on history at Glasgow University...
Another 104 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jemson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jemson family to Ireland

Some of the Jemson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Jemson migration to the United States +

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Jemson arrived in North America very early:

Jemson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Jemson, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [5]


The Jemson 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: Ad littora tendit
Motto Translation: It makes for the shore.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  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)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ 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)


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