Show ContentsPitkin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Pitkin family

The surname Pitkin 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 Pitkin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitkin 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 Pitkin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pitkin Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Pitkin 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 Pitkin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Pitkin migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pitkin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Pitkin, who settled in Connecticut in 1630
  • William Pitkin, who arrived in Hartford, Connecticut in 1659 [5]
Pitkin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Pitkin who settled in New York State in 1775

Australia Pitkin migration to Australia +

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

Pitkin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Pitkin, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
  • William Pitkin, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"

Contemporary Notables of the name Pitkin (post 1700) +

  • Timothy Pitkin (1766-1847), American lawyer, politician
  • Henry Pitkin (1811-1846), American silversmith and watchmaker
  • Frederick Walker Pitkin (1837-1886), U.S. Republican Party politician, second Governor of Colorado from 1879 to 1883, eponym of Pitkin County, Colorado
  • Hanna Fenichel Pitkin (b. 1931), American political theorist, recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science in 2003
  • Henry E. Pitkin, American politician, First Selectman of South Windsor, Connecticut, 1909-10 [6]
  • Guy Pitkin, American politician, Mayor of Brighton, Michigan, 1938 [6]
  • Eldred C. Pitkin (1870-1956), American Republican politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Marshfield, 1910 [6]
  • Daniel Pitkin (1769-1851), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Hartford, 1819, 1830 [6]
  • Clarence Horatio Pitkin (b. 1849), American Democratic Party politician, Washington County State's Attorney, 1880-82; U.S. Attorney for Vermont, 1887-89 [6]
  • Carroll Peabody Pitkin (1851-1907), American politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Montpelier, 1888 [6]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Frederick Nelson Pitkin (1900-1939), British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]

The Pitkin 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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from
  7. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook