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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


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

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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]

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Patterson research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1700, 1604, 1679, 1632, 1708, 1658, 1719, 1706, 1727 and are included under the topic Early Patterson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Patterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Patterson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • Andrew Patterson who settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • Andrew Patterson, who landed in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685

Patterson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Abraham Patterson, who arrived in New England in 1738
  • Elizabeth Patterson, who landed in Virginia in 1740

Patterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles Patterson, aged 33, landed in Louisiana in 1812
  • Dennis Patterson, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Adam Patterson, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Alexander Patterson, aged 60, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
  • Archibald Patterson, aged 25, landed in North Carolina in 1812


Patterson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Harry Howard Patterson, who landed in Alabama in 1927

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 he was part of the Cape Ann Association
  • Mr. Archibald Patterson U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784


Patterson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Dolly Patterson who settled in Charlottetown, PEI in 1806
  • William Patterson, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Ann Patterson, aged 26, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • William Patterson, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Ann Patterson, aged 26, a spinster, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834


Patterson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Patterson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Robert Patterson, a stone-mason, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Alexander Patterson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • Jane Patterson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • George Patterson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839


Patterson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Mary Patterson, aged 18, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Robert Patterson, aged 39, a gardener, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Ellen Patterson, aged 39, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Jane Patterson, aged 13, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • William Patterson, aged 15, a painter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842


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  • 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
  • Logan Reid Patterson (1932-2014), American competitive swimmer at the 1956 Summer Olympics, inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1984
  • Haywood Patterson (1911-1952), African 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
  • Marnette "Marne" Patterson (b. 1980), American actress
  • David Andrew Patterson (1947-1977), American computer academic, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley since 1977
  • Daniel Todd Patterson (1786-1839), American officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War and the War of 1812
  • 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
  • William A. "Pat" Patterson (1899-1980), President of United Airlines from 1934 until 1966
  • Floyd Patterson (1935-2006), American world heavyweight champion boxer

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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.

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  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)

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  8. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  11. ...

The Patterson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Patterson 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 16 May 2016 at 15:16.

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