Sterling History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Sterling family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. They lived in the town of Stirling in the county of the same name. Stirling was a royal residence from 1226.
Early Origins of the Sterling family
The surname Sterling was first found in Stirlingshire, where they held a family seat at Stirling from very early times, some say, well before the Norman Conquest. The name was anciently spelt Stryvelin, and one of the first references was of Gilbertus de Striuelin who witnessed the donation of Perdeyc by King David to the church of Glasgow in 1136 and Walter de Stryvelin witnessing a deed by Prince Henry, son of King David 1st of Scotland in the same year.
Peter de Striuelin was witness to the donation of the church of Karreden to the abbey of Hollyrood around 1158. Thomas de Stervlen was witness to a charter made by King Alexander II in 1224 and was Archdeacon of Glasgow in 1228. Sir Gilbert de Striuelyng witnessed legal proceedings in Aberdeen around 1250. Sir John Stirling of Moray swore fealty in 1291, and Andreu de Strivelyn and Henry de Strivelyn both swore an oath of allegiance to King Edward I of England during the latter's short conquest of Scotland in 1296. The Stirlings of Keir, where the Clan seat resides, claim to have an unbroken line of chiefs that stretches from 1160 to 1677. Sir Alexander de Strivelyn, the fifth Laird of Cadder died in 1304. 
Early History of the Sterling family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sterling research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1621, 1640, 1669, 1678, 1666, 1692, 1770, 1790, 1878 and are included under the topic Early Sterling History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sterling Spelling Variations
Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Sterling include Stirling, Sterling, Sturling, Strivelynd and others.
Early Notables of the Sterling family (pre 1700)
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sterling Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Sterling is the 1,260th most popular surname with an estimated 24,870 people with that name. 
Migration of the Sterling family to Ireland
Some of the Sterling family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Sterling:
Sterling Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Sterling Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Sterling Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Sterling Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Sterling Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Sterling Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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:
Sterling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Sterling Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
HMAS Sydney II
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: Gang forward
Motto Translation: Go forward.