Stirling History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The current generations of the Stirling family have inherited a surname that was first used hundreds of years ago by descendants of the ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Stirling family lived in the town of Stirling in the county of the same name. Stirling was a royal residence from 1226.

Early Origins of the Stirling family

The surname Stirling 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. [1]

Early History of the Stirling family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stirling 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 Stirling History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stirling Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Stirling has been spelled Stirling, Sterling, Sturling, Strivelynd and others.

Early Notables of the Stirling family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stirling Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stirling Ranking

In the United States, the name Stirling is the 13,156th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in New Zealand, the name Stirling is ranked the 733rd most popular surname with an estimated 982 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Stirling family to Ireland

Some of the Stirling family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Stirling migration to the United States +

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Stirling:

Stirling Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • M. G. Stirling, who settled in New Hampshire in 1718
  • Robert Stirling, who landed in New England in 1727 [4]
  • Will Stirling, who arrived in Georgia in 1739 [4]
  • William Stirling, who landed in New York, NY in 1774 [4]
  • William Stirling with his wife and two children settled in New York State in 1774
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stirling Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Stirling, who arrived in New York in 1810 [4]
  • Martha Stirling, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [4]
  • Thomas Stirling, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [4]
  • Charles Stirling, aged 15, who landed in New York, NY in 1835 [4]
  • Hugh B Stirling, who arrived in Virginia in 1840 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Stirling migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stirling Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Stirling migration to Australia +

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

Stirling Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Stirling, (Sterling), (b. 1779), aged 19, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1826 [6]
Stirling Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Stirling, Scottish convict from Perth, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Harriet Stirling, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838 [8]
  • Charles Stirling, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Bute" in 1839 [9]
  • Edward Stirling, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Bute" in 1839 [9]
  • Robert Stirling, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stirling 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:

Stirling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Stirling, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • James Housten Stirling, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • Jessie Stirling, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • John Stirling, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • James Grant Stirling, aged 5 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Stirling (post 1700) +

  • Gordon "Scotty" Stirling (1928-1929), American sports executive and a sportswriter
  • Stephen Michael Stirling (b. 1953), Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author
  • Linda Stirling (1921-1997), American showgirl, model, and actress
  • Matthew Williams Stirling (1896-1975), American ethnologist and archaeologist
  • Thomas H. Stirling, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1924 (alternate), 1928, 1932 (alternate) [11]
  • Thomas Stirling, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wyoming, 1944 [11]
  • Iselle Stirling, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wyoming, 1944 [11]
  • Hugh Stirling, American politician, Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1899-1901 [11]
  • General Sir Thomas Stirling (1733-1808), Scottish officer, the second son of Sir Henry Stirling, of Ardoch, Perthshire
  • Sir Walter Stirling (1718-1786), Scottish captain in the navy, only son of Walter Stirling of Sherva in Stirlingshire
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Stirling family +

Ibrox disaster
  • Thomas Walker Stirling (1955-1971), Scottish football supporter, from Dumbartonshire who was at the Ibrox disaster on 2nd January 1971 when a human crush among the crowd killed 66 and injured 200 people he died of his injuries [12]
  • Charles Stirling (1951-1971), Scottish football supporter, from Lanarkshire who was at the Ibrox disaster on 2nd January 1971 when a human crush among the crowd killed 66 and injured 200 people he died of his injuries [12]


The Stirling 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: Gang forward
Motto Translation: Go forward.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/amphitrite/1833
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EDEN 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Eden.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY BUTE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839LadyBute.gif
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Emily.htm
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Bradford City Football Club In memory (retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://www.bradfordcityafc.com/club/in-memoriam/


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