Show ContentsNevin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Nevin family lived among the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. Nevin is a name for someone who lived in Ayrshire. The surname Nevin was also regarded as derived from the Gaelic patronymic Mac Naoimhin, which is derived from the word "naomh," meaning "little saint." The name was a favorite personal name in Galloway and Ayrshire. [1] [2]

Another source claims the name "points to an early but forgotten personal name," [3] but the lion's share of sources point to the aforementioned "little saint" origin.

Early Origins of the Nevin family

The surname Nevin was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, where the first record of the family appeared in the Latin form Nevinus, who was parson of Neveth and witnessed grant of a saltpan in Rosneath to the monks of Paisley, c. 1230. [1]

"Patrick filius Nevyn mentioned in 1284 is doubtless Patrick fiz John Nevyn or Neivin of Lanerkshire who rendered homage, 1296. Thomas filius Neuini served on an inquest in 1295, another Thomas filius Nyuini or Niuini was a tenant in Garvalde, 1376, and Crunyhatoun was leased to Robert filius Niuini in the same year." [1]

Some of the family ventured south into England where as a forename Neuyn filius Ade was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland in 1332 and Thomas filius Neuini was listed in 1295. [4]

Early History of the Nevin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nevin research. Another 372 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1230, 1400, 1296, 1386, 1538, 1590, 1635, 1635, 1675, 1793, 1539, 1594, 1680, 1715, 1700, 1639, 1684, 1686, 1744, 1686, 1634, 1703, 1725, 1695, 1707, 1711, 1720, 1721, 1722 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Nevin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nevin Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Nevin has been spelled Niven, Nevin, Nevins, Nivens, Navin, Newin, Nevane, Niffen, Nifen, Niving, Neving, Newing, Neiven, Nivine, Nevison, Niveson and many more.

Early Notables of the Nevin family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Kate McNiven (died 1715), also called Kate Nevin, a young nurse who served the House of Inchbrakie in the Parish of Monzie, near Crieff in Scotland in the early 1700s, she was one of the...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nevin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nevin Ranking

In the United States, the name Nevin is the 10,040th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Nevin family to Ireland

Some of the Nevin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 221 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nevin migration to the United States +

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Nevin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Nevin, who settled in New Jersey in 1685
Nevin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Nevin, who arrived in New York in 1740 [6]
Nevin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Nevin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [6]
  • Hugh Nevin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [6]
  • James Nevin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [6]
  • John Nevin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [6]
  • Archibald Nevin, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1812 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Nevin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nevin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Nevin, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • William Nevin, aged 38, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Patrick Nevin, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Catherine Nevin, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Hugh Nevin, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834

Australia Nevin migration to Australia +

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

Nevin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Nevin, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • William Nevin, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [8]
  • James Nevin, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"
  • Miss Maria Nevin, (b. 1820), aged 43, Irish settler travelling from Queenstown, Ireland aboard the ship "Golden Empire" arriving in Brisbane, Australia in July 1863 [9]
  • Miss Isabella Nevin, (b. 1848), aged 15, Irish settler travelling from Queenstown, Ireland aboard the ship "Golden Empire" arriving in Brisbane, Australia in July 1863 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nevin 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:

Nevin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J. Nevin, Irish settler travelling from Cork aboard the ship "Spirit of Trade" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th December 1858 [10]
  • M. Nevin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864
  • Henry Nevin, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • Sarah Nevin, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • Mary Nevin, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nevin (post 1700) +

  • Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin (1862-1901), American pianist and composer, commemorated on a 1940 ten cent U.S. postage stamp, one of the "Famous Americans" series
  • Alexander Nevin (1850-1921), American 19th century Major League Baseball player
  • Robert M. Nevin (1850-1912), American politician
  • Phillip "Phil" Joseph Nevin (b. 1971), American former Major League Baseball player
  • Mike Nevin (b. 1943), American politician
  • John Williamson Nevin (1803-1886), American theologian
  • John Anthony Nevin, American Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of New Hampshire
  • Edward B. Nevin (b. 1858), American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives, 1897-98; Member of Massachusetts State Senate First Norfolk District, 1905-06 [11]
  • Charles T. Nevin, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1900 [11]
  • Charles P. Nevin, American Democratic Party politician, Montana Democratic State Chair, 1930 [11]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Johanna  Nevin (1855-1917), Canadian resident from Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [12]
  • Master Howard William  Nevin (1916-1917), Canadian resident from Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [12]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Ernest Nevin, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [13]


The Nevin 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: Vivis sperandum
Motto Translation: Where there is life there is hope


  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. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  8. ^ South Australian Register Monday 20th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Thomas Gresham 1858. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sirthomasgresham1858.shtml.
  9. ^ The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Golden Empire (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.ozlists.com/genies/shipping/special_lists/s_golden_empire.htm
  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 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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