Livingstone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Livingstone 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 Livingstone family

The surname Livingstone 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 Livingstone family

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

Livingstone Spelling Variations

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

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

Livingstone Ranking

In the United States, the name Livingstone is the 14,003rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Livingstone family to Ireland

Some of the Livingstone 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 Livingstone migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Livingstone Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Livingstone, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [5]
Livingstone Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Ezeldel Livingstone, who landed in Mississippi in 1876 [5]

Canada Livingstone migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Livingstone Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Cathn Livingstone, aged 26, who arrived in Canada in 1812-1814

Australia Livingstone migration to Australia +

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

Livingstone Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Malcolm Livingstone, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Peter Livingstone who was convicted in Perth, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Henry Livingstone (Chaplin), British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Donald Livingstone, aged 30, a farmer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Marion" [9]
  • Janet Livingstone, aged 19, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Marion" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Livingstone 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:

Livingstone Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Livingstone, aged 27, a farm servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mr. Alex Livingstone, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Philip Laing" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 15th April 1848 [10]
  • Mrs. Livingstone, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Philip Laing" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 15th April 1848 [10]
  • Malcolm Livingstone, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Era" in 1855
  • John Livingstone, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Era" in 1855
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Livingstone (post 1700) +

  • Susan Morrisey Livingstone (b. 1946), former Acting U.S. Secretary of the Navy
  • Mary Livingstone (1905-1983), born Sadie Marks, American radio comedienne
  • William Livingstone, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1900; Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1916; Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1916 [11]
  • Robert J. Livingstone (b. 1867), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Sharon, 1902 [11]
  • Mary Livingstone, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Philippine Islands, 1932 [11]
  • Isaac Livingstone, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1888 [11]
  • Edwin H. Livingstone, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Valparaiso, 1921-24 [11]
  • Edwin F. Livingstone, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Vermont, 1932 [11]
  • Benjamin F. Livingstone, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Chemung County, 1911 [11]
  • Dugald "Duggie" Livingstone (1898-1981), Scottish football player and manager
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert J Livingstone (b. 1906), Scottish Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Cardon, Dumbarton, Scotland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Bertram Daniel Livingstone (b. 1918), British Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [13]
Ibrox disaster
  • Charles John Griffiths Livingstone (1941-1971), Scottish football supporter, from Glasgow who was at the Ibrox disaster on 2nd January 1971 when a human crush among the crowd killed 66 and injured 200 people he died of his injuries [14]


The Livingstone 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. ^ 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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/camden
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  9. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 12th December 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Marion 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marion1854.shtml
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  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 http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  14. ^ Bradford City Football Club In memory (retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://www.bradfordcityafc.com/club/in-memoriam/


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