Whitelaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Whitelaw family

The surname Whitelaw was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area where they held a family seat in the lands of Whitelaw in the parish of Morbattle. [1] There was also a barony of Whitelaw in the parish of Bowden.

"Several of this name are mentioned in the Ragman Roll; and in the reign of King James II. one Archibald Whitelaw was an eminent prelate, and secretary of state to that king." [2]

And another source notes that the name could have been "from Whitlow; a location name in Northumberland. " [3]

However, the greatest entries were found in the aforementioned Scottish source. "John de Wytelowe of the county of Edneburk, rendered homage in 1296 to King Edward I and was ancestor of Whitelaws of that Ilk near Dunbar. His seal bears a seven-leaved flower and S' Joh's de Vitlav. John Whitelaw de eodem, was a juror on inquest on bounds of lands of Gladmor (Gladsmuir) in 1430 and Archibald de Quhitelaw, was Archdeacon of St. Andrews 'infra partes Laudonie' in 1470. " [1]

Early History of the Whitelaw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whitelaw research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1581, 1586, 1578 and 1586 are included under the topic Early Whitelaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whitelaw Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Whitelaw, Whytelaw, Whitlaw, Whitelow, Whitlow and many more.

Early Notables of the Whitelaw family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Whitelaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Whitelaw family to Ireland

Some of the Whitelaw family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Whitelaw migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whitelaw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Whitelaw, who settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • Elizabeth Whitelaw, who arrived in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685 [4]
Whitelaw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Whitelaw, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1774 [4]

Canada Whitelaw migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whitelaw Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Whitelaw, who arrived in Canada in 1820

Australia Whitelaw migration to Australia +

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

Whitelaw Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Whitelaw, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Matthew Whitelaw, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glenswilly" in 1839 [5]
  • John Whitelaw, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glenswilly" in 1839 [5]
  • Alexander Whitelaw, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glenswilly" in 1839 [5]
  • John Whitelaw, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1839 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Whitelaw 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:

Whitelaw Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Whitelaw, Australian settler travelling from Sydney, Australia aboard the ship "Bristolian" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842 [7]
  • Mr. James Whitelaw, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th August 1859 [7]
  • Mr. George Whitelaw, (b. 1863), aged 3 months, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • Mrs. Georgina Whitelaw, (b. 1834), aged 29, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • Mr. John Whitelaw, (b. 1837), aged 26, British joiner travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Whitelaw (post 1700) +

  • Robert Henry Whitelaw (1854-1937), American Democrat politician, Member of Missouri State Legislature; U.S. Representative from Missouri 14th District, 1890-91 [8]
  • Robert Whitelaw, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 2004 [8]
  • O. C. Whitelaw, American Republican politician, Member, Arrangements Committee, Republican National Convention, 1896 [8]
  • Aubrey H. Whitelaw, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from North Stonington, 1948 [8]
  • Billie Honor Whitelaw CBE (b. 1932), English BAFTA Award winning actress, known for her close collaboration with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett for 25 years
  • Mr. Alistair John Whitelaw B.E.M. (b. 1941), British Officer for 1st Lenzie Company, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the Boys’ Brigade in East Dunbartonshire [9]
  • James Whitelaw (1749-1781), Irish historian, writer, statistician and philanthropist [10]
  • Brigadier R.G. Whitelaw, Canadian Chief Administration Officer 11th Military District [11]
  • Major-General John Stewart Whitelaw (1894-1964), Australian Commander in Chief, Western Command in 1946 [12]
  • David Logan "Dave" Whitelaw (1909-1979), Scottish footballer
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Isabella Whitelaw (1884-1914), née Henderson Canadian Second Class Passenger from Westminster, British Columbia, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]


The Whitelaw 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: Solertia ditat
Motto Translation: Prudence enriches.


  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. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GLENSWILLY 1839 (also called DAWSONS). Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Glenswilly.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Orleana.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  10. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 3) R.G. Whitelaw. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Whitelaw/R.G./Canada.html
  12. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 8) John Whitelaw. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Whitelaw/John_Stewart/Australia.html
  13. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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