Nisbitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the ancient Scottish-English border region, the ancestors of the name Nisbitt lived among the Boernician clans and families. They lived in any of several places in the Border region of Scotland called Nesbitt or Nisbit. There were hamlets of East Nisbet and West Nisbet in Berwickshire, a village of Nisbet in Roxburghshire, a Nesbit in Northumberland, and a township of Nesbit in County Durham. [1] These place names derive from the Middle English words nese, meaning "nose," and bit, meaning a "piece of ground;" as such, these place names are thought to have referred to geographic features resembling a nose. The surname may well have arisen independently from these different place names.

Early Origins of the Nisbitt family

The surname Nisbitt was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland where they held a family seat from early times and King David I confirmed a charter (now in the archives of Durham Cathedral) granting the lands of Nisbet to Aldan de Nisbet, the founder of the line of Nisbet in 1139. According to family lore, they descend from Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria (d. 1073).

The family is "from the old barony of Nesbit in the parish of Edrom, Berwickshire. William de Nesebite witnessed a confirmation of the town lands of Nesbite to the Priory of Coldingham by Patrick, first Earl of Dunbar (Raine, 116), Dominus Robert de Nesbit, miles, witnessed a charter by William de Horuirden to the Abbey of Kelso, c. 1160-1200." [2]

Early History of the Nisbitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nisbitt research. Another 308 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1255, 1296, 1340, 1433, 1446, 1456, 1493, 1594, 1632, 1580, 1660, 1630, 1641, 1559, 1605, 1625, 1627, 1685, 1657, 1725, 1609, 1687, 1664, 1677 and are included under the topic Early Nisbitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nisbitt Spelling Variations

Since medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, and since there were no consistent rules for the translation of rules from Gaelic to English, spelling variations are extremely common in Boernician names of this vintage. Nisbitt has been spelled Nisbet, Nysbit, Nispett, Nispet, Nisbit, Nisbett, Nessbitt, Nessbit, Nesbyth, Nesbitt, Naibet, Nesbeth, Nesbet, Naisbitt, Naisbit, Nesbett, Naisbett, Naibett and many more.

Early Notables of the Nisbitt family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Murdoch Nisbet (d. 1559) of Ayrshire, a notary public in the diocese of Glasgow, best known for his Scots translations of the Bible. Philip Nesbit, of that Ilk was knighted in March 1605 by the Earl of Dunfermline, Lord Chancellor of Scotland; he represented Berwickshire...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nisbitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Nisbitt family to Ireland

Some of the Nisbitt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nisbitt migration to the United States +

Many of the Boernician-Scottish families who crossed the Atlantic settled along the eastern seaboard in communities that would become the backbone of the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. In the War of Independence, American families that remained loyal to the Crown moved north into Canada and became known as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestral culture of all of these proud Scottish families remains alive in North America in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Nisbitt or a variant listed above:

Nisbitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ross E. Nisbitt, aged 47, who arrived in New York in 1894 aboard the ship "New York" from Southampton, England [3]
Nisbitt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Nisbitt, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Parima" from British Guiana, West Indies [4]
  • Lily Nisbitt, aged 21, originally from Claggernigh, Ireland, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Caronia" from Queenstown, Ireland [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nisbitt (post 1700) +

  • David Nisbitt, early American politician, member of the North Carolina General Assembly of 1777 for Salisbury District




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