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

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


Spelling variations of this family name include: Wardlaw, Wardlawe, Wardlow, Wadlow, Wadley and others.

First found in Inverness-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles, and consisting of a large northern mainland area and various island areas off the west coast, the shire was anciently both a Pictish and Norwegian stronghold, where they are believed to be descended from John Biset, son of Henry Biset, Lord of Cany in Normandy, who became a Norman Lord of the Aird at Bewley near Inverness. However, there seems to be no evidence of the existence of "Wardlaws of the Ilk." There is a place named Wardlaw, near Beauly which has existed as early as 1210 when it was recorded as Wardelaue. As far the surname goes, Henricus de Wardlaw, was the first on record to use the name. He received a charter from Robert the Bruce in 1330, for half of the Barony of Wiltone in Roxburghshire. Wardlow is a parish and linear village in the Derbyshire Dales and within the parish lies Warlow Mires, a small hamlet. The parish has always had a rather small population as seen in a census in the late 1800s showing only 171 people. The parish dates back to 1258 when it was listed as Wardelawe, and literally meant "watch or look-out hill" derived from the Old English weard + hlaw [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wardlaw research. Another 167 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1358, 1661, 1612, 1617, 1621, 1565, 1637, 1677, 1727, 1387 and 1440 are included under the topic Early Wardlaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wardlaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Wardlaw family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wardlaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Wardlaw, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • James and Samuel Wardlaw who arrived in Philadelphia in 1843


  • Kim McLane Wardlaw (b. 1954), American jurist in the federal courts
  • Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853), Scottish Presbyterian clergyman and writer
  • Robert Wardlaw (1889-1964), Australian politician from Tasmania
  • John Wardlaw -Milne (1879-1967), British politician for Kidderminster
  • Helen Wardlaw (b. 1982), English cricketer
  • Claude Wilson Wardlaw, Professor of Botany
  • Sir Henry Wardlaw (1894-1983), 20th Baronet of Pitravie, Chief of the Clan


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: Familias firmat pietas
Motto Translation: Piety strengthens families.


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Wardlaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wardlaw 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 9 August 2015 at 14:51.

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