Show ContentsSelkirk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A family of Strathclyde-Briton were the first to use the name Selkirk. They lived in the former royal burgh county town of Selkirk.

Early Origins of the Selkirk family

The surname Selkirk was first found in Selkirkshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Shalcraig), where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Selkirk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selkirk research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1350, 1368, 1676, 1721, 1704 and 1709 are included under the topic Early Selkirk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Selkirk Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Selkirk has appeared as Selkirk, Salkirk, Silkrige, Selkyrk, Selcraig and others.

Early Notables of the Selkirk family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721), prototype of 'Robinson Crusoe,' also known as Alexander Selcraig, a Scottish privateer and sailor, seventh son of John Selcraig, shoemaker, of Largo, Fifeshire. In September 1704, Captain Stradling aboard Cinque Ports, dropped Selkirk off on the island of Juan Fernandez with a musket, a hatchet, a knife, a cooking pot, a Bible, bedding and some...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Selkirk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Selkirk migration to the United States +

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Selkirk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Selkirk who settled in New York State in 1774
Selkirk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • D Selkirk, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • James M Selkirk, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1854 [1]
  • James Selkirk, who arrived in Georgia in 1855 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Selkirk (post 1700) +

  • Neil Selkirk (b. 1947), English-born, American portrait photographer, known for his work for Esquire Magazine and the New York Times Magazine
  • George Alexander Selkirk (1908-1987), Canadian Major League Baseball outfielder and front office executive, made the American League All-Star team in 1936 and 1939
  • James Brown "J.B." Selkirk (1832-1904), Scottish poet and essayist
  • Andrew Selkirk, British Editor-in-chief of Current Publishing, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and former Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute
  • Jamie Selkirk, New Zealand Academy Award winning film editor and producer
  • John Selkirk (1782-1843), English songwriter from Tyneside
  • Robert Selkirk Bothwell (b. 1944), Canadian historian, Professor at the University of Toronto

The Selkirk 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: Jamais arriere
Motto Translation: Never behind.

  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) on Facebook