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Origins Available: Scottish, Swedish


Peterson is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from the personal name Peter. Peterson is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. This particular surname was taken from the popular religious given name, Peter a shortened form of St. Peter. Other patronymic names were derived from the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while still others came from the names of secular heroes.

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The surname Peterson was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Peterson has appeared Peterson, Petersone, Petterson, Piterson and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peterson research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1317, 1377, 1378, 1411 and 1327 are included under the topic Early Peterson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Gerlac Peterssen (Petersen, Peterson, Gerlacus Petri) (1377 or 1378-1411), a Dutch mystic, entered the Institution of the Brethren...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peterson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Peterson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Peterson name:

Peterson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Peterson settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Henricke Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • William Peterson settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Ann Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Barnett Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • ...

Peterson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Cerveses Peterson, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Bernard Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Cornelius Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Kirstin Peterson, who arrived in New York in 1738
  • ...

Peterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hans C Peterson, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1828
  • Gumull Peterson, aged 40, landed in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1831
  • Gustavus H Peterson, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1837
  • Gustoff Peterson, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1837
  • Jacob Peterson, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1837
  • ...

Peterson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Axel Peterson, who landed in Arkansas in 1905
  • Antion Peterson, who landed in Mississippi in 1905
  • Gustave Peterson, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906
  • Fred Emil Peterson, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1908
  • Louis Peterson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1910
  • ...

Peterson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. C. John Peterson U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Mr. John Peterson U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Mr. Nicholas Peterson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Mr. Nicholas Peterson U.E., (Claas) who settled in Canada c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • Mr. Nicholas Peterson U.E. who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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
  • ...

Peterson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Julius S Peterson, who arrived in Quebec in 1867

Peterson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Charlotte Peterson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ganges" in 1839
  • Peter Wilhelm Peterson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • Margaret Peterson, aged 25, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"

Peterson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Peterson, aged 24, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Elizabeth Peterson, aged 25, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Sophia Peterson, aged 44, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
  • Maria Peterson, aged 16, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
  • Hans J. Peterson, aged 40, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
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  • Tom Peterson (1930-2016), American retailer, pitchman, and television personality from Portland, Oregon
  • Phyllis Amanda Peterson (1971-2015), American actress, best known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy film Can't Buy Me Love
  • Major-General Virgil Lee Peterson (1882-1956), American Director of Personnel, Army Service Forces (1945)
  • Michael J. Peterson (1941-2014), American Democratic politician, Member of the Kansas House of Representatives (1979-1990)
  • Robert W. Peterson (1929-2013), American politician, North Dakota State Auditor (1973–1996)
  • Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996), American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, educator and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Esther Eggertsen Peterson (1906-1997), American recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Ole Peterson, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 39th District, 1872
  • Opal Peterson, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for Minnesota, 1996
  • Oscar Peterson Jr., American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Stratford; Elected 1946
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Peterson Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. William Victor Peterson, British Carpenter from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. G. Peterson, Swedish Third Class Passenger from Gothenburg, Sweden who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Andrew  Peterson (1894-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. Gustav  Peterson (1894-1917), Norwegian Boatswain aboard the SS Imo from Throndheim, Norway who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. James Edward Peterson (1907-1941), Australian Gunner (T) from Thornbury, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Peter William Peterson (1917-1941), Australian Stoker from Ellenbank, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Peterson, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
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  • From Norway to North America: the Descendants in Canada and the United Stated of Olaf and Caroline Pederson who came from Norway about 1867 to Manitoba and North Dakota by Jean E. Peterson.
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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: Nihil sine Deo
Motto Translation: Nothing without God.

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Citations



  1. ^ 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

Other References

  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  6. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  7. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  11. ...

The Peterson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Peterson 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 8 August 2016 at 14:49.

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