Pitman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Pitman emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Pitman family originally lived in any low-lying area resembling a pit or hollows. The surname Pitman is derived from the Old English words pytt, which means pit, and mann, which means man. The surname Pitman belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Pitman family

The surname Pitman was first found in Devon, but we must look to Normandy, France to find the earliest record of the name. There we found Maingot Piteman who was listed in 1198 in the Magnum Rotulum Scaccarii Normanniae... [1] Uban Piteman was listed in the Assize Rolls of Norfolk in 1203 [2] and John Piteman was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Buckinghamshire. [3]

Early History of the Pitman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitman research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pitman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pitman Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Pitman, Pittman and others.

Early Notables of the Pitman family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pitman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pitman Ranking

In the United States, the name Pitman is the 4,624th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4]


United States Pitman migration to the United States +

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Pitman:

Pitman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Pitman, who landed in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1648 [5]
  • Joseph Pitman, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1658 [5]
  • John Pitman, who settled in New England in 1663
  • John Pitman, who landed in New England in 1663 [5]
  • Mary Pitman, who landed in Virginia in 1665-1666 [5]
Pitman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Walter Pitman, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [5]
  • Francis Pitman, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • James Pitman, who arrived in Virginia in 1719 [5]
Pitman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Pitman, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [5]

Canada Pitman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pitman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Cory Pitman U.E., (Cary) who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1786 he was a Fifer in Jessup's Corps [6]
  • Mr. Russell Pitman U.E., (Pilman) who settled in Fredricksburg [Greater Napanee], Ontario as well as land at Thurlow [Belleville], Ontario c. 1786 he served in the King's Loyal American Rangers, married to Diannah Van De Bogart having 5 children, he died in 1837 [6]

Australia Pitman migration to Australia +

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

Pitman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Pitman, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • James Pitman, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Richard Pitman, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 2nd February 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Joseph Pitman, English convict who was convicted in Tewkesbury, Glucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • William Pitman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Pitman 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:

Pitman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Pitman, aged 23, a shoemaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Mary Pitman, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • W.W. Pitman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Belle Creole" in 1854

West Indies Pitman 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. [12]
Pitman Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Walter and William Pitman, who were banished to Jamaica in 1685
  • Henry Pitman, who settled in Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Pitman (post 1700) +

  • William Keith "Bill" Pitman (1920-2022), American guitarist and session musician from Belleville, New Jersey
  • Timothy Henry Hoolulu Pitman (1845-1863), American businessman of the Kingdom of Hawaii, son of a high chiefess; he fought in the American Civil War and was taken prisoner and sent to Libby Prison in Richmond
  • Chris Pitman (b. 1961), American multi-instrumenalist and songwriter, best known for his work with "Guns N' Roses"
  • Charles Wesley Pitman (d. 1871), American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Pitman (1788-1875), American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 12th District, 1851-52 [13]
  • John Himes Pitman (1890-1950), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1928 [13]
  • John Douglas Pitman, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1956 [13]
  • John Pitman, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, 1820-24 [13]
  • James N. Pitman, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Illinois Democratic State Committee, 1862-64 [13]
  • George Winthrop Maston Pitman (1819-1898), American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 12th District, 1870-72 [13]
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Fraterville mine
  • Mr. Hillery C. Pitman (d. 1902), American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [14]
  • Mr. W. F. Pitman (d. 1902), American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [14]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Robert Charles Pitman, British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic
  • Herbert Pitman (1877-1961), English third officer on the RMS Titanic, survivor of the sinking [16]
SS Alcoa Puritan
  • W.A. Pitman, American Oiler from New Orleans, Louisiana, who was working aboard the SS Alcoa Puritan (1942) traveling from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama when it was torpedoed by U-boat U-507; he survived the sinking [17]
Winter Quarters coal mine
  • Mr. Daniel Pitman (b. 1857), Welsh mine worker from Monmouthshire, Wales 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 [18]
  • Mr. John Pitman (b. 1884), American mine worker from 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 [18]
  • Mr. John Pitman (b. 1853), Welsh mine worker from Trevethin, Pontypool, Wales 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 [18]
  • Mr. Meshick Pitman (b. 1868), Welsh mine worker from Pontypool, Wales 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 [18]


Suggested Readings for the name Pitman +

  • Sills & Cliburn & Pitman By Isom L. Stephens.
  • Descendants of William Pitman, 1647-1700, of Boston, Mass. & Portsmouth, N.H. by Harold Minot Pitman.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Flower Wilkins and George Pitman: Somersetshire, England, 1796 to the United States, 1985 by Oscar Truman Johnson.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ 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
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th February 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eliza
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairlie.htm
  12. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ News paper article Fraterville Mine Disaster retrieved on 6th August 2021. (Retrieved from http://www.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/disasters/fraterville.htm).
  15. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  17. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Alcoa_Puritan_(1941) - (Retrieved 2018, February 8th)
  18. ^ Miners killed in Winter Quarters (retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from http://www.carbon-utgenweb.com/miners.html


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