Patterson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Patterson is the personal name Patrick.

Early Origins of the Patterson family

The surname Patterson was first found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross. The ancestral home of the Clan Pheadirean (Patersons) was on the north side of Lochfyne. Moving from the Gaelic into English spellings resulted in the typical wide range of surname spellings. By example, William Patrison and John Patonson, a 'gentillmen,' were witnesses in Aberdeen in 1446, Donald Patyrson was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1494, Robert Patersoun was 'capitane of ane were schip of Dundee' in 1544, Fyndlay Patersoun had a tack of the lands of Owar Elrik from the Abbey of Cupar in 1557, and so on. [1]

Early History of the Patterson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Patterson research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1700, 1604, 1679, 1632, 1708, 1706, 1727, 1658, 1719, 1691 and are included under the topic Early Patterson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Patterson Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Patterson include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Patterson, Paterson, Pattersen, Patteson, Pattison and many more.

Early Notables of the Patterson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Paterson (1604-1679), Bishop of Ross; John Paterson (1632-1708), the last Archbishop of Glasgow, Bishop of Galloway, Bishop of Edinburgh; and William Pattison (1706-1727), an English poet. Sir William Paterson (1658-1719), a Scottish trader and banker, one of the founders of the Bank of England. One story claims "he came from Scotland...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Patterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Patterson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Patterson is the 87th most popular surname with an estimated 228,804 people with that name. [2] However, in Canada, the name Patterson is ranked the 177th most popular surname with an estimated 20,205 people with that name. [3] And in Australia, the name Patterson is the 198th popular surname with an estimated 16,465 people with that name. [4] New Zealand ranks Patterson as 153rd with 3,299 people. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Patterson as 276th with 22,053 people. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Patterson family to Ireland

Some of the Patterson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Patterson migration to the United States +

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Patterson, or a variant listed above:

Patterson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • David Patterson who settled in Boston in 1651
  • Edward Patterson, who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1655 [7]
  • Andrew Patterson who settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • Andrew Patterson, who landed in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685 [7]
Patterson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Abraham Patterson, who arrived in New England in 1738 [7]
  • Elizabeth Patterson, who landed in Virginia in 1740 [7]
Patterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Patterson, aged 33, who landed in Louisiana in 1812 [7]
  • Dennis Patterson, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • Adam Patterson, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • Alexander Patterson, aged 60, who arrived in North Carolina in 1812 [7]
  • Archibald Patterson, aged 25, who landed in North Carolina in 1812 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Patterson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harry Howard Patterson, who landed in Alabama in 1927 [7]

Canada Patterson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Patterson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Patterson who arrived on the Hector, Pictou County in 1773
  • Ann Patterson, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • James Patterson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783
  • Mr. Alex Patterson U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [8]
  • Mr. Archibald Patterson U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Patterson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Dolly Patterson who settled in Charlottetown, PEI in 1806
  • William Patterson, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Ann Patterson, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Ann Patterson, aged 26, a spinster, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Easter Patterson, aged 32, a spinster, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Patterson migration to Australia +

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

Patterson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Isaac Patterson, (b. 1797), aged 22, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • William Patterson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Walter Patterson, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Robert Patterson, a stone-mason, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. John Patterson, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "Champion" on 24th May 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Patterson 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:

Patterson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Patterson, aged 18, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Robert Patterson, aged 39, a gardener, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Ellen Patterson, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Jane Patterson, aged 13, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • William Patterson, aged 15, a painter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Patterson (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Douglass Patterson (1901-1988), American academic, President of what is now Tuskegee University (1935-1953) and founder of the United Negro College Fund (1944), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • James Brendan Patterson (b. 1947), American author and philanthropist. His writing includes Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, and Women's Murder Club
  • Haywood Patterson (1911-1952), American teenage hobo, one of the Scottsboro Boys, accused of rape aboard a train, convicted and escaped prison to publish his book The Scottsboro Boy, finally receiving a full posthumous pardon on November 21, 2013
  • John Malcolm Patterson (1921-2021), American politician, 44th Governor of Alabama (1959-1963)
  • Jarrod Zane Patterson (1973-2020), American Major League Baseball third baseman
  • Lewis Brooks Patterson (1939-2019), American Republican politician, Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney, 1972-88 ; Candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1978; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1988
  • James M. Patterson Jr. (1950-2017), American businessman and politician, Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (2010-2017)
  • Neal L. Patterson (1949-2017), American businessman, CEO of Cerner Corporation
  • Melody Patterson (1949-2015), American actress who started performing at the age of four, best known for her role as Wrangler Jane in the 1960s TV series F Troop
  • Frederick Douglas Patterson (1871-1932), American entrepreneur, the first African American to manufacture cars, best known for his Greenfield-Patterson automobile of 1915
  • ... (Another 317 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Robert Stuart Patterson (1876-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Calgary, Alberta, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. John Rea Patterson (1882-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Calgary, Alberta, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Patterson, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Patterson, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Norman Minter Patterson (d. 1939), British Midshipman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Clarence Rankin Patterson, American Private First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Harold Lemuel Patterson, American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Richard Patterson Jr., American Shipfitter Third Class from Connecticut, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]
Winter Quarters coal mine
  • Mr. William Hunter Patterson (b. 1884), "Willie Hunter", Scottish mine worker from Clackmannanshire, Scotland residing in Ogden, Utah who worked in the Winter Quarters coal mine on 1st May 1900, when 10 of the 25lb kegs of black powder exploded; he died in the explosion [17]
  • Mr. Mathias Patterson (b. 1871), English mine worker from Northumberland residing in Scofield, Utah who worked in the Winter Quarters coal mine on 1st May 1900, when 10 of the 25lb kegs of black powder exploded; he died in the explosion [17]


The Patterson 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: Pro Rege et grege
Motto Translation: For King and people.


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  12. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 18th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/champion)
  13. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  16. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html
  17. ^ Miners killed in Winter Quarters (retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from http://www.carbon-utgenweb.com/miners.html


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