Larter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The old Scottish-Dalriadan name Larter is derived from the Celtic personal name Arthur, which is of various and often disputed etymology. The personal name Arthur may be derived from some early cognate of the Gaelic "art" and the Welsh "arth" which means "bear" and may indicate early Celtic worship of that animal or one who has a high regard for that animal's virtuous qualities.

Alternatively, the name could have meant "a strong man; from Ar (Latin vir), a man, and thor, strong. In the Gaelic, Air is the same as Fear, a man; and the ancient Scythians called a man Aior. Thor was the Jupiter of the Teutonic races, their god of thunder. In Welsh, Arth is a bear, an emblem of strength and courage, and ur a noun termination, a man. Arthur, a bear—man, a hero, a man of strength; the name of a British prince." [1]

Early Origins of the Larter family

The surname Larter was first found in the county of Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, in south eastern Scotland.

"Arthur, Duke or Count of Brittany (1187-1203), for whose death King John was responsible, was the son and heir of Geoffrey, third son of Henry II, who was killed in a tournament at Paris 19 Aug. 1186. His mother was Constance, daughter and heiress of Conan le Petit, count of Brittany. He was born after his father's death, on 29 March 1189. The Bretons hailed his birth with enthusiasm, and the bestowal upon him of the name of their national hero excited in them new hopes of independence, which was at the time seriously threatened by the ambitious designs of the kings of France and England." [2]

"The name may point to early Celtic worship of the bear, whence Artogenos, 'son of Artos,' W. Arthgen. The name occurs several times, both among the northern and southern Cymry at the close of the sixth and beginning of the seventh centuries. Aedan mac Gabrain, king of Dalriata, whose mother was a British princess, named his eldest son Arthur, "the first Gael, so far as we know, to bear that name" [3]

In England, the name is thought to have been a "baptismal name as in 'son of Arthur' A rare font-name in the Hundredorum Rolls. Very common since the battle of Waterloo and the publication of Tennyson's poems." [4]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include listing for: Walter filius Arthurii, Lincolnshire; William Arthur, Essex; Stephen Arthur, Wiltshire; and William Artur, Somerset. [4] In Somerset, Henry Artur was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

In singular, the Latin form of the name Erturus was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1130. Henricius filius Arturi, Artur was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1187 and the Curia Regis Rolls for Cumberland in 1212. In Yorkshire early rolls revealed Ærturus in 1192; and the Pipe Rolls recorded Normannus filius Arcturi in 1196. Geoffrey Artur was listed in Oxfordshire in 1135; Robertus Arcturi in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire in 1197; and Adam Arthur in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1246. [6]

We would be remiss if we didn't include a note about Le Morte d'Arthur (Le Morte Darthur), first published in 1485 in Middle English prose reworked by Sir Thomas Malory telling the tales of the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table. In all, eight volumes tells us of his birth through to his death in legendary fashion.

Early History of the Larter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Larter research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1435, 1511, 1678, 1879, 1112, 1686, 1530, 1556, 1830, 1886, 1334, 1615, 1709, 1486, 1502, 1486, 1532, 1670, 1640, 1593, 1666 and are included under the topic Early Larter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Larter 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 Larter include Archibure, Arthuwire, Artheor, Arthurs, Arture, Harthawr, Artair, Artuir and many more.

Early Notables of the Larter family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Arthur (1486-1502), the eldest son of Henry VII, born at Winchester on 19 Sept. 1486. His mother was Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter of Edward IV, whom his father, after he obtained the crown, had married in fulfilment of a promise that he had...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Larter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Larter family to Ireland

Some of the Larter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 168 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Larter migration to Australia +

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

Larter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Elijah Larter, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • Miss Mary Larter who was convicted in Coventry, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]

The Larter 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: Impelle obstantia
Motto Translation: Thrust aside obstacles.

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook