Reed History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Reed surname are uncertain. In some instances, it was no doubt derived from the Old English word "read," meaning "red," and was a nickname that came to be a surname. Either way, we may conclude that it meant "red-haired" or "ruddy complexioned." To confuse matters more, there are also instances where the surname Reed is thought to be derived from one of various place names, such as Read in Lancashire, and Rede in Suffolk.

Early Origins of the Reed family

The surname Reed was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland where the name has been found since the 14th century. Ancient charters show the name as Rufus (Latinized,) records include an Ada Rufus who witnessed resignation of the lands of Ingilbristoun in 1204; and a William Rufus, who was a juror on an inquest on the lands of Padevinan in 1259. For the purposes of Clan identification, the family name Reed is officially a sept of the Clan Robertson and as such is entitled to the Clan Badge and Crest of the Robertsons.

Early History of the Reed family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reed research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1296, 1335, 1362, 1364, 1375, 1494, 1376, 1558, 1543, 1357, 1439, 1639, 1558, 1624, 1586, 1641, 1625, 1618, 1721 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Reed History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reed Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Ried, Reid, Read, Reed and others.

Early Notables of the Reed family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Robert Reid (died 1558), Scottish abbot of Kinloss and bishop of Orkney, son of John Reid of Aikenhead, who was killed at Flodden; Thomas Redi, Read or Rhaedus (died 1624), Latin secretary to King James I, second son of James Reid, minister of Banchory Ternan, Kincardineshire; Alexander Rhead or Reid (1586-1641), a Scottish anatomist and surgeon, whose surname is variously spelt Reid, Read, Reade, Rhead, or Rhaedus, the third son of James Reid...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reed Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Reed family to Ireland

Some of the Reed family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Reed migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reed Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Reed, aged 19, who landed in St Christopher in 1634 [1]
  • Esdras Reed, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1640 [1]
  • Amey Reed, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [1]
  • Barbary Reed, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [1]
  • Ebenezar Reed, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [1]
Reed Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Reed, who landed in North Carolina in 1701 [1]
  • Anne Reed, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [1]
  • Alexander Reed, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 [1]
  • Anna Lydia Reed, aged 11, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
  • Hans Jacob Reed, aged 45, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reed Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Reed, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [1]
  • Isaac H Reed, who landed in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • Christopher Reed, who arrived in New York in 1836 [1]
  • Henry Reed, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [1]
  • Frances Reed, aged 22, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1848 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Reed migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reed Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • David Reed, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Abigal Reed, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Elisha Reed, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • George Reed, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Mr. Carlow Ludwell Reed U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 412 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reed Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Reed, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Isabella Reed, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Eleanor Gordon" in 1834
  • Mr. Nicholas Reed, (b. 1823), aged 32, Cornish labourer, from St. Ives, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [3]

Australia Reed migration to Australia +

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

Reed Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Reed, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Thomas Reed, (b. 1801), aged 18, Irish labourer who was convicted in Armagh, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Castle Forbes" on 3rd October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Thomas Reed, Welsh convict from Brecon, Wales, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Thomas Reed, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • William Reed, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Reed 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:

Reed Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Reed, aged 34, a shepherd, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Mary Reed, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Mr. James Reed, (b. 1806), aged 34, British shepherd travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [9]
  • Mrs. Mary Reed, (b. 1814), aged 26, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [9]
  • James Reed, aged 35, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Reed (post 1700) +

  • Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (1942-2013), American rock musician and songwriter, founding member of The Velvet Underground and best remembered for his song Walk on the Wild Side
  • Bruce Franklin Reed (1954-2021), American professional wrestler and football player, better known by the ring name Butch Reed
  • Alto Reed (1948-2020), born Thomas Neal Cartmell, an American saxophonist best known as a long-time member of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
  • Rick Alan Reed (1950-2020), American umpire in Major League Baseball
  • Joel M. Reed (1933-2020), American film director, producer and screenwriter; he died from the COVID-19 virus
  • Chris Reed (1989-2020), American-born Japanese ice dancer
  • Stephen Russell Reed (1949-2020), American politician, the longest-serving mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1982-2010)
  • Patrick Nathaniel Reed (b. 1990), American PGA Tour and European Tour professional golfer, winner of the 2018 Masters Tournament and the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship
  • Kit Reed (1932-2017), American author of speculative fiction and literary fiction under the pseudonym Kit Craig
  • Justin Michael Reed (1982-2017), American professional basketball player who played from 2004 to 2009; he died from blood cancer on October 20, 2017
  • ... (Another 31 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Melvin W Reed (b. 1966), American Private from Tacoma, Washington, USA who died in the crash [10]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. George Percival Reed (1921-1941), Australian Writer from Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Hector L Reed (b. 1916), English Corporal serving for the Royal Marine from Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Samuel Reed, British Chief Warrant Officer , who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mr. William Reed, British Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur Reed, British Ordnance Artificer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William George Frederick Reed (1911-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Charles S. Reed (d. 1912), aged 43, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. James George Reed (d. 1912), aged 19, Welsh Third Class passenger from Penarth, Glamorgan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Ray Ellison Reed, American Seaman Second Class from Oklahoma, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [17]
  • Mr. James Buchanan Reed Jr., American Storekeeper First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [17]


The Reed 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: Fortitudine et labore
Motto Translation: By fortitute and exertion.


Suggested Readings for the name Reed +

  • 62 Dunkin-Reid and Garner-McGraw-Mobley Families of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama by Dean Smith Cress, The Read Family History, 1740 to 1978 by Mildred Edgington, The Reads, an American Saga by Dorothy Lutomski.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/castle-forbes
  6. ^ 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
  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 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
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  11. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  14. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  17. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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