Show ContentsLiddell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Liddell family

The surname Liddell was first found in Roxburghshire, where "this surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of the Liddel.'" [1] "The family, in which there have been two peerages, were found among the merchants of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, some two centuries and a half since.

The name seems to have been derived from the Liddel, a river of Roxburghshire." [2] "For the last two centuries the Liddells have frequently filled the offices of High Sheriff of the county and of mayor of Newcastle." [3]

"There is, however, an old manor of Liddel in Cumberland from which the name may also have been derived. Persons named Lidel or Lidale appear in various records of the reigns of David II, Robert II, and Robert III, and James I, but none of them seem to have had lands in Liddesdale." [4]

Another source claims the family "descended from Turgis Brundoz, a Norman, to whom Liddel or Lydale, on the borders of Scotland, was granted by Ranulph Meschin, temp. Henry I. It remained with his descendants till temp. John, when it passed away by an heiress to the house of De Stuteville, and then to that of Wake. The younger branch of the De Liddels settled in Scotland, where John de Lidel in 1292 held the revenues of Dundee in farm, while about the same time William de Lydel was seneschal of the Bishop of Glasgow, and led the forces of the see to the support of Robert Bruce." [5]

One of the first records of the name was Richard de Lidel, who witnessed a charter of the church of Largs between 1202 and 1234. Later, Galfridus Liddal was listed in Roxburghshire in 1266.

Early History of the Liddell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Liddell research. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1300, 1400, 1383, 1406, 1453, 1474, 1477, 1561, 1613 and 1607 are included under the topic Early Liddell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Liddell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Liddell, Liddel, Liddall, Liddle and others.

Early Notables of the Liddell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Duncan Liddel (Liddell) (1561-1613), the Scottish mathematician and physician. Liddel was born in Aberdeen and after an education in languages and philosophy, he went abroad at age of 18. In Germany, he studied under a...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Liddell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Liddell Ranking

In the United States, the name Liddell is the 4,594th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [6]

United States Liddell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Liddell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Liddell, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [7]
Liddell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Liddell, who landed in Mississippi in 1841 [7]
  • J Liddell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [7]
  • Robert Liddell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1859 [7]

Australia Liddell migration to Australia +

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

Liddell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Liddell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849 [8]
  • Ms. Jane Liddell, (Liddle), (b. 1806), aged 45, English nurse who was convicted in Hexham, Northumberland, England for 14 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 22nd April 1851, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1875 [9]
  • John Liddell, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Sumner"
  • Thomas Liddell, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Sumner"
  • William Liddell, aged 28, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Sumner"

New Zealand Liddell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Liddell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Liddell, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [10]
  • Mary J. Liddell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Liddell (post 1700) +

  • Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934), American girl who was the inspiration for children's classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
  • Emilie Autumn Liddell (b. 1979), birth name of Emilie Autumn, an American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist
  • St.John Richardson Liddell (1815-1870), American Louisiana planter and general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War
  • Gary Liddell (1954-2015), Scottish professional footballer who played from 1972 to 1983
  • Andrew Mark "Andy" Liddell (b. 1973), Scottish former football midfielder
  • Eric Henry Liddell (1902-1945), Scottish athlete, winner of the Men's 400 meters at the Olympic Games of 1924, his life was immortalized in the film "Chariots of Fire"
  • Helen Lawrie Liddell (b. 1950), Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, a British Labour Party politician
  • Ian Oswald Liddell VC (1919-1945), British recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Robert Liddell (1908-1992), English literary critic, biographer and novelist
  • John Aidan Liddell VC, MC (1888-1915), English pilot and recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Robert Roberts Liddell (d. 1914), British Junior 2nd Engineer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Archibald T Liddell (b. 1918), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Dunston-on-Tyne, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [12]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Robert Liddell (1914-1939), British Leading Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]

The Liddell 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: Hinc odor et sanitas
Motto Translation: Hence fragrance and health.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. 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)
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM 1849. Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  11. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from
  12. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  13. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook