Porter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the times when people first began to use surnames, many, such as the ancestors of the Porter family, adopted their occupation as their surname. Porter was an occupational name for a gatekeeper or watchman deriving its origin from the Old French word "portier," meaning "doorman." The meaning was sometimes extended to mean the keeper of the castle. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Porter family

The surname Porter was first found in Hampshire, where Hugh de Port was listed in the Domesday Book as a major land holder. A Milo Portarius, worked as a porter at the jail or castle of Winchester and was also listed in Hampshire in the Domesday Book. [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Robert le Porter. [2]

Early History of the Porter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Porter research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1183, 1190, 1202, 1263, 1330, 1356, 1296, 1390, 1394, 1599, 1587, 1649, 1689, 1622, 1683, 1636, 1680, 1660, 1640, 1695, 1692, 1696, 1648, 1660, 1686 and 1702 are included under the topic Early Porter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Porter Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Porter family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Porter, English Member of Parliament for Taunton (1390-1394); John Porter (died 1599), English Member of Parliament for Bramber; William Porter, Sergeant at Arms to King Henry VII; Endymion Porter (1587-1649), an English diplomat and Royalist; James Porter, a British politician, Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and a Member of Parliament for Fethard in the 1689 Patriot Parliament, supporter of James II who followed him into exile; George Porter (1622?-1683), English Royalist army officer of the First English Civil War; Thomas Porter (1636-1680), an English dramatist...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Porter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Porter family to Ireland

Some of the Porter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 120 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Porter migration to the United States +

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 [4]
  • John Porter (c.1605-1674), English settler to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, signer of the Portsmouth Compact
  • Edmond Porter, aged 35, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Edward Porter, aged 21, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [4]
  • Henry Porter, aged 30, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Porter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hendrik Porter, aged 14, who landed in New York in 1710 [4]
  • Hannah Porter, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [4]
  • Charles Ram Porter, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1752-1756 [4]
Porter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elitia Porter, aged 44, who landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804 [4]
  • Catherine Porter, aged 22, who landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804 [4]
  • Farr Porter, who arrived in America in 1805 [4]
  • Hugh Porter, aged 24, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 [4]
  • James Porter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Porter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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
  • Private. John Porter U.E. (b. 1759) born in England who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1782 he enlisted in 1776 serving in the Queen's American Rangers, married to Mary having 1 son, he died in 1783 upon falling from a raft on the Saint John River before his son was born [5]
  • Private. Thomas Porter U.E. born in England who settled in Canada c. 1782 he enlisted in 1776 serving in the Queen's American Rangers, brother to John Porter [5]
  • Mrs. Anna Porter U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Porter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Elisha Porter, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • William Porter, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Michael Porter, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "William" in 1834
  • Matthew Porter, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
  • Rachel Porter, aged 35, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Porter migration to Australia +

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

Porter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Philip Porter, British convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Richard Porter, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Jacob Porter, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • James Porter, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Porter who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Porter 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:

Porter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Porter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Maria Porter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Alfred Porter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Augustine Porter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • Mr. David E Porter, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norman Morrison" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in 1854 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Porter (post 1700) +

  • J. W. "Jay" Porter (1933-2020), American Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Browns (1952), Detroit Tigers (1955–1957), and Cleveland Indians (1958)
  • Bennie "Jean" Porter (1922-2018), American film and television actress, known for her roles in The Youngest Profession (1943), Bathing Beauty (1944), Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945) and more
  • Edward Melvin Porter (1930-2016), American lawyer and politician, Member of the Oklahoma Senate (1965-1987)
  • David Hugh Porter (1935-2016), American academic, 5th President of Skidmore College (1987-1999)
  • Charlie Porter (1951-2014), American mountaineer and climate change scientist
  • Major-General William Nichols Porter (1886-1973), American Chief of the Chemical Corps, War Department (1941-1945) [12]
  • Major-General Ray Edison Porter (1891-1963), American Commanding General 101st Airborne Division (1951-1953) [13]
  • Brigadier-General John Andrew Porter (1886-1950), American Commanding General of Army Service Forces Depot, Fort Sam Houston (1943-1946) [14]
  • Peter Buell Porter (1773-1844), American lawyer, soldier and politician, United States Secretary of War (1828 to 1829)
  • Rufus M. Porter (1792-1884), American painter, inventor, founder of Scientific American magazine in 1845
  • ... (Another 34 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Reginald J Porter (b. 1910), English Musician serving for the Royal Marine Band from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Frederick A Porter (b. 1903), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Cyril L D Porter (b. 1922), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Hounslow, Middlesex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Royal Oak
  • Jack Stanley Porter (1910-1939), British Shipwright 4th Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
  • Henry William Porter (1917-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
  • Ebenezer Riddock Porter (d. 1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Walter Leonard Porter (1953-1988), American Musician from Brooklyn, New York, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [18]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Walter Chamberlain Porter (d. 1912), aged 46, American First Class passenger from Worcester, Massachusetts who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [19]


The Porter 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: Et fide et virtute
Motto Translation: Both fidelity and virtue.


Suggested Readings for the name Porter +

  • 124 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.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) William Porter. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Porter/William_Nichols/USA.html
  13. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Ray Porter. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Porter/Ray_Edison/USA.html
  14. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) John Porter. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Porter/John_Andrew/USA.html
  15. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  16. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  17. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  18. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  19. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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