Marchbanks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Marchbanks family

The surname Marchbanks 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 Marchbanks family

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

Marchbanks Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Marchbanks family (pre 1700)

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


United States Marchbanks migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Marchbanks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edwin Marchbanks, aged 11, who landed in New York in 1868 [3]
  • George Marchbanks, aged 18, who arrived in New York in 1868 [3]
  • John Marchbanks, aged 7, who landed in New York in 1868 [3]
  • Julia Marchbanks, aged 3, who arrived in New York in 1868 [3]
  • Mary Marchbanks, aged 41, who landed in New York in 1868 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Marchbanks (post 1700) +

  • Mari Marchbanks, American multiple award winning director and writer, known for Fall to Grace (2005), Arlo and Julie (2014) and Austin Movie Show (2004)
  • B. L. Marchbanks, American farmer who built what would later become known as Marchbanks Speedway, San Joaquin Valley near Hanford, California
  • C. Marchbanks, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1888 [4]
  • Samuel Marchbanks, Canadian pseudonym of Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor Robertson Davies, eponym of The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks (1947), The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks (1949), and Samuel Marchbanks' Almanack (1967) and more
  • John Marchbanks Aitkenhead (1910-1998), British teacher


The Marchbanks 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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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