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

Where did the Scottish Kinghorn family come from? What is the Scottish Kinghorn family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kinghorn family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kinghorn family history?

The chronicles of the Kinghorn family reach back into Scottish history to an ancient tribe known as the Picts. The ancestors of the Kinghorn family lived in the barony of Kinghorn in the county of Fife. The surname Kinghorn belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Kinghorn has been written Kyngorn, Kinghorn, Kinghorne, Kingorn, Kynghorn, Kyngorne, Kynghorne, Kinghan and many more.

First found in Fife, at the historic former Royal Burgh of Kinghorn, now a town which derives its name from the Scottish Gaelic Ceann Gronna, meaning "head of the marsh" or "head of the bog." Perhaps best known as the place where King Alexander III of Scotland died, this town is steeped in history including the former castle in Kinghorn which was frequently visited by the Scottish Court in the period of the House of Dunkeld. No trace of the castle can be found today. King Alexander III returned here to see his new wife Yolande of Dreux, but fell from his horse on the way and was found dead on the beach of Pettycur bay.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kinghorn research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1292, 1296, 1597 and 1513 are included under the topic Early Kinghorn History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Kinghorn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Kinghorn:

Kinghorn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Kinghorn who landed in America in 1771

Kinghorn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Kinghorn, aged 44, landed in New York in 1812
  • Henry Kinghorn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846
  • William Kinghorn, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1852
  • George, Kinghorn Jr., who landed in New Orleans, La in 1852

Kinghorn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Kinghorn arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865

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  • John G. Kinghorn, American politician, mayor of Littleton, Colorado
  • William John D. "Bill" Kinghorn (1912-1977), Scottish footballer who played as a midfielder
  • Carol Elizabeth Margaret Kinghorn, née Saunders, Scottish Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire (2007 -)
  • Samantha Kinghorn (b. 1996), Scottish three-time gold medalist wheelchair racer
  • Henry McGill Kinghorn (1886-1955), Scottish football goalkeeper
  • Ernest Kinghorn (1907-2001), British Labour Party politician, Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (1945-1951)
  • Joseph Kinghorn (1766-1832), English Particular Baptist minister in Norwich
  • Rev. James Kinghorn (1861-1912), Australian clergyman, father of J.R. Kinghorn
  • James Roy "J.R." Kinghorn (1891-1983), Australian naturalist, curator at the Australian Museum
  • Barbara Kinghorn (b. 1944), British actress, member of the Royal Shakespeare company from 1980 to 1983, known for her roles in One for the Pot (1968), Sell A Million (1975) and My Way (1972)

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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: A favore regis nomen
Motto Translation: The popularity of the name

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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The Kinghorn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kinghorn 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 23 September 2015 at 07:42.

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