Levingstone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Levingstone surname is habitational, derived from a place named Livingstone (Levingston) in the parish of Linlithgow, West Lothian.

"This place derives its name from an ancient castle called Livingstone Peel, which in the time of David I. was the baronial residence of the family of the Livingstones, whose descendants were elevated to the peerage by the title of Barons Livingstone, and of whom Alexander, the seventh Baron, was by James VI., in 1600, created Earl of Linlithgow.Of the ancient castle, there were some remains till the middle of the last century, consisting chiefly of the fosse and rampart; but they have entirely disappeared." [1]

The earliest progenitor of the Clan was Livingus, who was at least a noble. Some historians even say that he was a knight of the Hungarian court, who accompanied Margaret, wife of King Malcolm Ceanmore of Scotland, on her journey to Scotland. Other historians claim that Livingus was actually a Saxon who joined the train of Queen Margaret on her way through England and Scotland. In any case, records show he called his territories Levingestun, and that the church of "Leuiggestun," and "a half carucate of land and a toft" were granted to the Monks of Holyrood in the 12th century. [2]

Another reputable source has a slightly different bent on the origin: "A Saxon named Leving or Leuing appears to have settled in Scotland under David I. He certainly possessed a grant of the above-mentioned lands, which he called Levingestun (in Latin charters, villa Letting). Turstanus filius Leuig (for Leulg = Leving) in the reign of Malcolm IV granted to the monks of Holyrood the church of Leuiggestun, with a half carucate of land and a toft. Two sons of Turstan, Alexander and William, are mentioned as witnesses to two charters between the years 1165 and 1214, and as Turstan himself is also a witness to one of these charters he must have lived to a good old age." [3]

Early Origins of the Levingstone family

The surname Levingstone was first found in West Lothian. From this small beginning the Clan would grow into the nobility of Scotland and achieve the Earldoms of Callander, Linlithgow and Newburgh; the viscountcies of Kilsyth, Kinnaird and Teviot and the Lordships of Livingston.

Such was the power of this great Clan, that when William Douglas assumed the Regency of Scotland, from his father, the Earl of Douglas who became regent in 1437, he persuaded Lord Livingston to enter into a compact with him to become the Lieutenant of Scotland. When King James II came of age, William Douglas turned on the Livingston Clan, executed the Chief and seized many of their lands. For the next century the Livingston Clan, probably numbering over a thousand armed warriors, was a power unto itself in its home territories in Linlithgow, and they became hereditary keepers of the Royal Palace.

"The MacLeays of Appin, a small sept of the Stewarts of Appin, sometimes Englished their name as Livingstone, of whom was the celebrated missionary and traveller, David Livingstone. This name is used by Pennsylvania Germans as an Englishing of Loewenstein." [3]

Early History of the Levingstone family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Levingstone research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1553, 1715, 1290, 1296, 1456, 1276, 1747, 1390, 1460, 1467, 1483, 1623, 1600, 1590, 1674, 1616, 1690, 1654, 1728, 1728 and are included under the topic Early Levingstone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Levingstone Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Livingston, Levinson, Livingstone, Livington, Levinston, Levingston, Lewynston, MacLeay and many more.

Early Notables of the Levingstone family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Livingston (ca.1390-ca.1460), Abbot-elect of Newbattle, Abbot of Dundrennan, nominal Bishop of Dunkeld, advisor to Kings James I and James II of Scotland; James Livingstone (d. 1467), 1st Lord Livingston; James Livingston, Bishop of Dunkeld, who was elected Chancellor of Scotland in 1483; Alexander Livingstone (d. 1623), 7th Lord Livingston, who was created Earl of Linlithgow in 1600; James...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Levingstone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Levingstone family to Ireland

Some of the Levingstone family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Levingstone migration to Australia +

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

Levingstone Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Levingstone, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 7 years, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia [4]


The Levingstone 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: Si je puis
Motto Translation: If I can.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. 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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim


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