Pitcairn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pitcairn surname is a habitational name, taken on from a place of Pictish-Gaelic origin, in Fife.

Early Origins of the Pitcairn family

The surname Pitcairn was first found in Perthshire at either Newton of Pitcairn or at Pitcairn-Green, a village, in the parish of Redgorton. [1]

The former Newton of Pitcairn is more likely as "the mansion-house of Pitcairn, erected within [in the late 1800s], is the seat of the Pitcairn family." [1]

Anciently, the family was "of territorial origin from the lands of Pitcairn in Fife. William de Petkaran was one of an assize at Dunfermline before 1249. John de Petcarn or Pitcairn obtained from his kinsman Sir Hugh de Abernethy in 1250 a charter of the lands of Innernethie. Pieres de Pectarne of the county of Fyfe rendered homage [to King Edward I of England], 1296. Andrew Pitcairn and seven of his sons were killed at Flodden." [2] Another source notes "the family are descended from Johannes de Pitcairn, 1250." [3]

Early History of the Pitcairn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitcairn research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1518, 1512, 1518, 1767, 1715, 1745, 1722, 1775, 1722, 1767, 1712, 1791, 1520, 1584, 1652, 1713, 1622 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Pitcairn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pitcairn Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pitcairn, Pitkin, Pitcairns and others.

Early Notables of the Pitcairn family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Robert Pitcairn (1520?-1584), a Scottish administrator, diplomat and judge, Secretary of State and Commendator of Dunfermline. He was descended from the Pitcairns of Pitcairn in Fife. [4] Archibald Pitcairne (1652-1713) was a Scottish...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pitcairn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Pitcairn migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pitcairn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Pitcairn, who arrived in Boston in 1774
  • John Pitcairn, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1774 [5]
Pitcairn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Pitcairn, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Alexander Pitcairn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847 [5]

New Zealand Pitcairn 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:

Pitcairn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Pitcairn, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • Miss Ann Pitcairn, (b. 1846), aged 33, Scottish domestic servant, from Fife travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [6]
  • Miss Eliza Pitcairn, (b. 1848), aged 31, Scottish domestic servant, from Fife travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [6]

West Indies Pitcairn migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Pitcairn Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • David Pitcairn, who arrived in Jamaica in 1730

Contemporary Notables of the name Pitcairn (post 1700) +

  • Harold F. Pitcairn (1897-1960), American aviation inventor and pioneer
  • Theodore Pitcairn (1893-1973), American art collector, philanthropist, and a minister in the General Church of the New Jerusalem
  • John Pitcairn Jr. (1841-1916), American (Scottish-born) industrialist, founder of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company
  • Robert Pitcairn (1836-1909), American (Scottish born) railroad executive
  • Robert Pitcairn, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1900, 1904 [8]
  • Raymond Pitcairn (d. 1966), American Republican politician, Delegate to Pennsylvania convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [8]
  • Joseph Pitcairn, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Paris, 1794-97; U.S. Consul in Hamburg, 1797-1802 [8]
  • John Pitcairn, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1960 [8]
  • Hugh Pitcairn (d. 1911), American politician, U.S. Consul in Hamburg, 1897-1902; U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, 1905-08 [8]
  • Andrew J. Pitcairn, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Allegheny County, 1897-98 [8]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Pitcairn 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: Plena refulget
Motto Translation: The full moon shines.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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