Livingston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Livingston 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 Livingston family

The surname Livingston 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 Livingston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Livingston 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 Livingston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Livingston Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Livingston 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 Livingston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Livingston Ranking

In the United States, the name Livingston is the 715th most popular surname with an estimated 42,279 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Livingston family to Ireland

Some of the Livingston 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.


United States Livingston migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Livingston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Livingston (1654-1728), of Scottish descent, was raised in Holland before arriving in Albany in 1672, where he was a colonial politician and landowner (of Livingstone Manor), and became the secretary for Indian affairs in New York province. He was the start of a line of American statesmen, diplomats, and jurists, including his son Phillip Livingston (1716-1778) of New York, NY a signer of the American Declaration of Independence
  • Robert Livingston, who arrived in Albany, NY in 1673 [5]
Livingston Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Donald Livingston, who settled in New York in 1739 with his wife Isabel and two sons John and Duncan
  • Alexander Livingston, who landed in Virginia in 1754 [5]
  • William Livingston, who settled in Virginia in 1772
  • Isaac Livingston, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 [5]
  • George Livingston, a 22-year-old mason who sailed aboard the "Gale" in 1774, bound for New York, NY
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Livingston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Livingston, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Gordon Livingston, aged 21, who arrived in South Carolina in 1812 [5]
  • Robert Y Livingston, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813 [5]
  • Hugh Livingston, who settled in Charleston in 1820
  • Henry Livingston, who landed in New York in 1822 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Livingston Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Jacob Livingston, who landed in Mississippi in 1900 [5]
  • Robert F Livingston, who arrived in Arkansas in 1901 [5]

Canada Livingston migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Livingston Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Livingston U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. Neil Livingston U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. William Livingston U.E. who settled in Augusta, Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. William Livingston U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. Daniel Livingston U.E., "Livingstone" who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]
Livingston Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Dond Livingston, who arrived in Canada in 1812
  • Dond, Livingston Jr., who arrived in Canada in 1812
  • Miles Livingston, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Miles Livingston, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • Donald Livingston, who landed in Canada in 1817
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Livingston migration to Australia +

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

Livingston Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Livingston, English convict who was convicted in Salford, Greater Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • John Livingston, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1846 [8]
  • Miss Jane Livingston who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Duncan Livingston, aged 41, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Prince Regent" [10]
  • Duncan Livingston, aged 41, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1851 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Livingston 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:

Livingston Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • David Livingston, aged 24, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • James Livingston, aged 42, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • Mary Livingston, aged 39, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • James Livingston, aged 10, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • John Livingston, aged 7, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Livingston (post 1700) +

  • William Samuel Livingston (1920-2013), American political science professor and academic, acting president of the University of Texas at Austin (1992-1993)
  • William Livingston (1723-1790), American Governor of New Jersey (1776–1790) during the American Revolutionary War, signer of the United States Constitution
  • Stanley Livingston (b. 1950), American actor, best known for his role as Chip on the TV show "My Three Sons"
  • Shaun Livingston (b. 1985), American professional basketball player
  • Ronald Joseph "Ron" Livingston (b. 1967), American actor
  • Robert Livingston (1708-1790), the third Lord of Livingston Manor
  • Peter R. Livingston (1766-1847), Acting New York Lieutenant Governor
  • Henry Walter Livingston (1768-1810), United States Representative from New York
  • Henry Brockholst Livingston (1757-1823), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Edward Philip Livingston (1779-1843), American politician, New York Lieutenant Governor
  • ... (Another 106 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Livingston 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Livingston +

  • A Biographical History of Clermont, or Livingston Manor by Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cressy
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANTON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Canton.htm
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851PrinceRegent.htm


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