Whitlaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Whitlaw family

The surname Whitlaw 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 Whitlaw family

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

Whitlaw Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Whitlaw family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Whitlaw family to Ireland

Some of the Whitlaw 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 Whitlaw migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whitlaw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Whitlaw, who landed in Virginia in 1724 [4]

New Zealand Whitlaw 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:

Whitlaw Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles F. Whitlaw, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Winterthur" in 1866


The Whitlaw 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)


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