Show ContentsScrimgeour History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Some surnames are derived from the occupation of the person who first held the name. Scrimgeour is most likely such a name, referring to one who was a fencing-master, coming from the old French "eskermisseour", meaning "fencer" and which came in turn from the old high German word "skirmen", which meant "to defend". Such fencing-masters always found plentiful employment in medieval Europe, though they were officially banned from some large cities, such as London, because they could be a dangerous influence on others. Notice the similarities between the name Scrimgeour and the modern English word "skirmisher".

Scrimshaw is the name given to scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. No one known why this name was attributed to whalers who spent their leisure time carving such works.

Early Origins of the Scrimgeour family

The surname Scrimgeour was first found in Fife, where some records speak of a Clan Scrymgeour, who held the position of hereditary standard-bearers of Scotland.

One of them, known originally as Alexander, son of Colyn, son of Carun, obtained in 1293 a lease of the land or Torr from Thomas de Kylmaron for his services in this position of standard-bearer.

By 1298, Alexander had adopted the name 'Skirmeschur' and had a charter for some lands near Dundee from Sir William Wallace, Guardian of the Kingdom. Along with the lands came the title of Constable of the Castle of Dundee and this became a hereditary office of the Chief of the Scrimgeours.

Eight years later, he was taken as a prisoner of war and was hung at Newcastle-on-Tyne on the express orders of Edward I.

Early History of the Scrimgeour family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scrimgeour research. Another 280 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1106, 1124, 1298, 1310, 1411, 1503, 1505, 1538, 1544, 1550, 1572, 1575, 1576, 1612 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Scrimgeour History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Scrimgeour Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Scrimgeor, Scrimshaw, Scrimshawe, Scrimshire, Scrimsger, Scrymgeour, Scrymgeor, Scrimger and many more.

Early Notables of the Scrimgeour family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • Henry Scrimgeour or Scrymgeour (c. 1505-1572), Scottish born diplomat and book collector
  • John Scrimgeour of Myres Castle, Fife was Master of Work for royal buildings for James V and Mary, Queen of Scots, and Precentor of the Scottish Chapel Royal fl 1538

Migration of the Scrimgeour family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: James Scrimiger arrived in New York in 1774; Peter Scrimsger settled in Savannah Georgia in 1820; H. Scrymgerim settled in Jamaica in 1774.

Contemporary Notables of the name Scrimgeour (post 1700) +

  • W. C. Scrimgeour, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1936 [1]
  • Robert Shedden Scrimgeour (1788-1863), Scottish aristocrat, stockbroker and member of Lloyd's of London
  • The Reverend Colin Graham Scrimgeour (1903-1987), also known as Uncle Scrim or Scrim, a New Zealand Methodist Minister and broadcaster
  • Alexander Scrimgeour (1897-1916), British author of "Scrimgeour's Scribbling Diary" who was killed at the Battle of Jutland in 1916
  • John Gow Scrimgeour (1842-1917), Scottish-born, Canadian farmer and politician who represented 3rd Kings in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1871 to 1872

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. William Scrimgeour, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [2]

The Scrimgeour 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: Dissipate
Motto Translation: Dispursed.

  1. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from
  2. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook