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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Stirling family come from? What is the Scottish Stirling family crest and coat of arms? When did the Stirling family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Stirling family history?

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.


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.

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.


Stirling Early History

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stirling research. Another 160 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1621, 1640, 1666, 1669, 1678, 1692, 1770, 1790, and 1878 are included under the topic Early Stirling History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Stirling Early Notables

Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stirling Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Stirling In Ireland

Some of the Stirling family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 154 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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

  • Robert Stirling, who landed in New England in 1727
  • Will Stirling, who arrived in Georgia in 1739
  • William Stirling, who landed in New York, NY in 1774
  • William Stirling with his wife and two children settled in New York State in 1774

Stirling Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Stirling, who arrived in New York in 1810
  • Martha Stirling, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Thomas Stirling, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Charles Stirling, aged 15, landed in New York, NY in 1835
  • Hugh B Stirling, who arrived in Virginia in 1840

Stirling Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Stirling settled in Harbour Grace in 1800
  • Edgar Stirling was a merchant of Brigus, Newfoundland in 1857
  • James Stirling was a fisherman of Bay of Islands, Newfoundland in 1871
  • Albert Stirling settled in English Harbour in 1871

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

Stirling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Stirling landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • James Housten Stirling, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • Jessie Stirling, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • John Stirling, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • James Grant Stirling, aged 5 months, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849


  • Matthew Williams Stirling (1896-1975), American ethnologist and archaeologist
  • Linda Stirling (1921-1997), American showgirl, model, and actress
  • Stephen Michael Stirling (b. 1953), Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author
  • Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling DSO, DFC, OBE (1915-1990), Scottish laird, mountaineer, World War II British Army officer, and the founder of the Special Air Service
  • Rachael Stirling (b. 1977), English actress
  • Sir Edward Charles Stirling (1848-1919), Australian anthropologist and the first professor of physiology at the University of Adelaide
  • Elizabeth Stirling (1819-1895), English organist
  • Geoffrey William "Geoff" Stirling (1921-2013), Canadian businessman, owner of Stirling Communications International, inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2001


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.


Stirling Clan Badge
Stirling Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Stirling
Stairline, Stairling, Stairlink, Sterline, Sterling, Sterlink, Sterlline, Sterlling, Sterllink, Steuline, Steuling, Steulink, Stewline, Stewling, Stewlink, Stirine, Stiring, Stirink, Stirline, Stirling, Stirlink, Strifelan, Strifeland, Strifelane, Strifelant, Strifelen, Strifelend, Strifelent, Strifelind, Strifelint, Strifelyn, Strifelynd, Striffelan, Striffeland, Striffelane, Striffelant, Striffelen, Striffelend, Striffelent, Striffelind, Striffelint, Striffelyn, Striffelynd, Strivelan, Striveland, Strivelane, Strivelant, Strivelen, Strivelend, Strivelent and more.


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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Stirling Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Stirling Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 November 2014 at 10:48.

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