Marchbank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Marchbank family

The surname Marchbank was first found in Renfrewshire in the lands of Ratho-Marjori, "so named from their having been bestowed on the Princess Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce, on her marriage in 1316 with Walter the High Steward. The lands subsequently called 'terre de Ratho-Marjoribankis' came into possession of a family of the name of Johnston, who from them assumed the name of Marjoribanks, though they continued to bear in part the Johnston arms. Also said to be from barony of same name which formerly comprised the greater part of the eastern division of West Calder parish. Also from their lands in Dumfriesshire. " [1]

One of the first records of the family was Thomas Marjoribankis, Clerk of Rolls. "A payment was made to Thomas Meriory Banks in Aberdeen, c. 1548. John Mairjoribanks, attorney in Glasgow, 1550, and in the same year Mr. John Marjorybankis was retoured heir of John Marjoribanks his father. Thomas Marjorybankis in Glasgow had a precept of sasine in 1554, James Marjoribanks was notary public in Edinburgh in the same year, and Mr. Thomas Marioribankis of Ratho was witness, 1557." [1]

"When, Walter, High Steward of Scotland, and ancestor of the royal house of tewart, espoused Marjorie (Margaret), only daughter of Robert Bruce, and eventually heiress to the crown, the barony of Ratho was granted by the king as a marriage portion to his daughter, by charter which is still extant; and these lands, being subsequently denominated 'Terra de Ratho Marjorie-banks,' gave rise to the name of Marjoribanks." [2]

Samuel Marchbanks is a fictional character created by Canadian novelist and journalist Robertson Davies who wrote editorials for the Peterborough Examiner newspaper. He wrote four novels about the character. Marchbanks was in fact, a pseudonym used by Davies.

Early History of the Marchbank family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marchbank research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1316, 1554 and 1554 are included under the topic Early Marchbank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marchbank Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Marjoribanks, Majoribanks, Marchbanks, Marjorum and many more.

Early Notables of the Marchbank family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Marchbank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Marchbank migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Marchbank Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • David Marchbank, aged 60, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool, England
  • Ann Marchbank, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool, England
  • Margaret Marchbank, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool, England

New Zealand Marchbank 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:

Marchbank Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Marchbank, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 [3]
  • Mrs. Marchbank, British settler travelling from London with 3 children aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Marchbank (post 1700) +

  • Garrett "G.L" Marchbank, American actor, known for David and Goliath (2016) and The Things (2011)
  • Brian Marchbank (b. 1958), Scottish professional PGA golfer who has had three professional wins
  • John Marchbank (1883-1946), Scottish trade unionist, President of the National Union of Railwaymen (1922–1924), General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen (1933–1943), Chairman of the Trades Councils' Joint Consultative Committee (1938–1944)
  • Peter Marchbank, British conductor, Senior Producer of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Walter James Marchbank (1838-1893), English cricketer who played for Lancashire from 1869 to 1870
  • James Alexander "Jim" Marchbank (1878-1959), Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton (1903-1904) and (1906-1913)
  • Caleb Marchbank (b. 1996), professional Australian rules footballer
  • William "Bill" Marchbank (1887-1941), former Australian rules footballer who played with Carlton and Fitzroy (1908-1912)


The Marchbank 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: Custos et pugnax
Motto Translation: A preserver and a champion.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Burke, John Esq. A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Landed Gentry; or Commoners of Great Britian and Ireland. London: Henry Colburn Publisher, 13, Great Marlborough Street, 1837, Print.
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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