Olifan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Scottish Olifan surname is known to derive from "Olifant (derived from elephas) [which] signifies an elephant's tusk mounted as a horn, which was one of the ancient symbols of command." 
David de Olifard is the progenitor of the House of Oliphant. He was one of the many Anglo-Norman nobles that were invited northward by the early Norman kings of Scotland. He settled in Northamptonshire, but when he saved King David I during the siege of Winchester Castle, he received a small grant of lands in Roxburghshire.
Under later rulers, the Oliphant lands were significantly extended as King Malcolm granted the family Bothwell in Lanarkshire and King William I granted them Arbuthnott in Mearns.
"Hugo and William Olifard occur in Hampshire and Northamptonshire in 1130 (Rotul. Pip.) and 1165 . William Olifard, of Huntingdonshire, in the time of Edward I. (Rot. Hundredorum.) No other mention of the name has come under my notice in England ; but it was very early transplanted beyond the Tweed, and still flourishes in Perthshire under its Scottish pseudonym of Oliphant. " 
Early Origins of the Olifan family
The surname Olifan was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. "The first of the descendants of this Norman, occurring in the public records, was David Olifard, who served in the army of King Stephen in 1141. A conspiracy was formed against the Empress Maud, who escaped from Winchester, attended by David I. Surrounded by the enemy, the Scottish King owed his safety to the exertions of his godson Olifard, who, although in the adverse party, aided his Royal opponent. In recompense, the rescued Monarch gave to his preserver, who settled in North Britain, the Lands of Crailing and Smallham in Roxburghshire, and conferred on him the dignified office of Justiciary. Thus was established the famous family of Oliphant, so distinguished in the annals of Scotland. " 
Sir William Oliphant, of Aberdalgy gallantly defended Stirling Castle again Edward I's invasion. The Castle was the last stronghold that remained in he hands of the Scots. The battle for the Castle began April 22nd and was finally over July 20th with Sir William taken prisoner. He was then forced to swear allegiance to King Edward I of England under penalty of death. However, eight years later, he was appointed Warden of Stirling Castle by Robert the Bruce of Scotland to whom he had willingly pledged allegiance. And yet again, Edward I of England again took him prisoner.
Early History of the Olifan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olifan research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1456, 1498, 1583, 1631, 1631, 1680, 1715, 1748, 1715, 1725, 1780, 1691, 1767, 1715, 1792 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Olifan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Olifan Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Oliphant, Olifant, Olifard and others.
Early Notables of the Olifan family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family at this time was Laurence Oliphant (1691-1767) was a Jacobite army officer who belonged to a branch settled at Findo Gask in Perthshire, Scotland. He took part in the rising of 1715, and both he and his...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olifan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Olifan family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: William Oliphant who was banished to New Jersey in 1685; James Oliphant arrived in Georgia in 1775; Lawrence Oliphant arrived in St. Christopher in 1716..
Related Stories +
The Olifan 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: Tout pour voir
Motto Translation: Provide for all
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
- ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.