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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Patten is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Patten family lived in Essex. The name, however, is a reference to Patin, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.


The surname Patten was first found in Essex, where Richard Patten, son and heir of Richard Patten was of Patine, or Patten, near Chelmsford in 1119. [1] The Pattens of Bank Hill, county Lancaster claim lineal descent from this family. [2] Later some of the family became well established at Wainfleet in Lincolnshire. "A free grammar school was founded in 1424, by William Patten, generally known as William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, lord high chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VI., and founder of Magdalen College, Oxford." [3]

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Patten have been found, including Patten, Paten and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Patten research. Another 285 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1398, 1486, 1447, 1486, 1456 and 1460 are included under the topic Early Patten History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Patten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Patten were among those contributors:

Patten Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Patten, who settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1630
  • Richard Patten, who arrived in Barbados in 1654
  • Darker Patten, who landed in Maryland in 1665
  • James Patten, who came to Barbados in 1685

Patten Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Patten, who landed in Virginia in 1710
  • Letitia Patten, who landed in New England in 1720
  • Matthew Patten, who landed in New England in 1727-1737
  • Actor Patten, who landed in New England in 1737
  • Captain Patten, who arrived at Boston in 1768

Patten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Patten, aged 48, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Henry Patten, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John Patten, aged 28, landed in New York in 1812
  • George Patten, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Grace Patten, aged 18, landed in America in 1822

Patten Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. William Patten U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the 71st Regiment

Patten Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Eliza Patten, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast
  • Fanny Patten, aged 27, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834
  • Susan Patten, aged 24, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834
  • Lewis Patten, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Patten Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Patten, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James Patten, aged 31, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • Henry Edward Patten, aged 3, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"
  • Mary J. Patten, aged 24, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"

Patten Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Richard William Patten, aged 27, a clerk, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1843


  • Zeboim Cartter Patten (1840-1925), American industrialist, capitalist, and American Civil War captain, founder of the Volunteer Life Insurance Company
  • Joseph Patten (1710-1787), American-born, Canadian politician in Nova Scotia who represented Annapolis County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1770 to 1774 and from 1775 to 1776
  • Major John Patten (1746-1800), American farmer and politician from Delaware, an officer of the Continental Army in the American Revolution
  • William George "Gilbert" Patten (1866-1945), American pulp fiction writer, best known as author of the Frank Merriwell stories
  • David Patten (b. 1974), former American football wide receiver
  • Case Lyman "Casey" Patten (1974-1935), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Bebe Patten (1913-2004), American Christian evangelist, founder of Patten University
  • Albert Patten, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 23rd District, 1893-94
  • Alice Cassandra Patten, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1980
  • Bernard M. Patten, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Senate 2nd District, 1913-16; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1928; Borough President of Queens, New York, 1928



  • Descendants of Isaac Patten, Sr., and his Wife, Jane Norris: An Early Pioneer Family in Sullivan County, Indiana by Ernest C. Swanson.
  • Allied Genealogies: Pattenden, Cunnings, Donaldson and Hamilton by Donald C. Keller.

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: Nulla pallescere culpa
Motto Translation: To turn pale from no crime.


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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Patten Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Patten Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 March 2016 at 15:17.

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