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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Porter family come from? What is the Scottish Porter family crest and coat of arms? When did the Porter family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Porter family history?

The Porter family name was originally adopted from the original bearers' occupation. Porter was an occupational name for a gatekeeper or watchman deriving its origin from the Old French word "portier," meaning "doorman." In the royal castles, and in some monasteries, the office of Porter was usually hereditary, and lands and privileges were usually connected to the position.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Porter, Pawter, Poreter, Portar and others.

First found in Kyle, where Radulfus the porter witnessed the gift of the church of Cragyn (Craigie) to the monastery of Paisley in 1177.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Porter research. Another 198 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Porter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Porter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Porter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 140 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Porter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Abraham Porter, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625
  • John Porter (c.1605-1674), English settler to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, signer of the Portsmouth Compact
  • Edmond Porter, aged 35, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Edward Porter, aged 21, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Henry Porter, aged 30, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Porter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Hendrik Porter, aged 14, landed in New York in 1710
  • Hannah Porter, who landed in Virginia in 1717
  • Charles Ram Porter, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1752-1756

Porter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Elitia Porter, aged 44, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Catherine Porter, aged 22, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Farr Porter, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Hugh Porter, aged 24, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • James Porter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808


Porter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Francis Porter, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Aaron Porter, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778

Porter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Elisha Porter, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • William Porter, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Michael Porter, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "William" in 1834
  • Matthew Porter, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
  • Rachel Porter, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834


Porter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Jacob Porter, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • James Porter, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Peter Porter, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James Porter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838
  • Jane Porter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839


Porter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Maria Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Alfred Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Augustine Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Edward Porter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861


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  • David Porter (1780-1843), American naval officer
  • Katherine Anne Porter (1894-1980), American Pulitzer Prize (1966) winning author
  • William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), American short story author, who wrote under the name O. Henry
  • Edwin Stanton Porter (1870-1941), American movie director and filmmaker
  • Cole Albert Porter (1893-1964), American composer of musicals and a member of the French Foreign Legion, which honors him with a portrait that hangs in the Legion's official museum
  • Gary Porter, American co-winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
  • Patrick "Pat" Ralph Porter (1959-2012), American distance runner at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Andrew Porter (1820-1872), American army officer, Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923), African American still life painter
  • Fitz John Porter (1822-1901), United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War

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  • Edward Culver, John Porter and Mary Estey: a Line of Descent from Two Puritans and a Salem Witch, with Allied Families by Marilyn V. Squires Mills.
  • A Family History, William Porter, Jr. of Rockbridge County, Virginia (1740-1804) by Mary E. Porter.
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  1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  8. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  11. ...

The Porter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Porter 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 18 April 2015 at 20:49.

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