Christie Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a primarily Scottish (of Pictish origin) baptismal/patronymic surname meaning the “son of Christian” or the “son of Christopher”, both old personal (first) names, which where shortened/reduced to the nickname Christie, ultimately deriving from the name of Jesus Christ, the Roman Latin of which was Christopherus, meaning “Christ Bearer”. The name was popularized in the Middle Ages throughout Europe. It also became a popular female first name in the Scottish Lowlands. Further, due to emigration to the United States, the last name Christy is also an Americanization spelling of Scandinavian surname such as the Danish name Christiansen. A one Thomas Chrysky was recorded in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1412 AD. John Chryste was a burgess of Newburgh, Scotland who was documented in a charter in 1457 AD. Christopher Armstong, alias Jonis Criste, was recorded in 1557 AD per The History of Liddesdale and the Debateable Land. One source claims the family first established itself in Edinburghshire (part of modern day Midlothian), and by 1296 AD, they moved to north to Stirlingshire. Clan Christie is a sept of Clan Farquharson of Invercauld, which is a Highland Scottish clan from Aberdeenshire, that lived in county Fife in the 1400s AD. Some believe they descended from Christianus, a son of Alywn II (born circa 1165 AD), Earl of Lennox. Another source believes the name came from the Danish word cruset, meaning cup, and that a family of this name resided on the Isle of Man, having descended from the Danes of Scandinavia, having raided the British Isles as Vikings during the Middle Ages.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Chrystie, Christy, Chrysty, McChristie, Christi, Christee, Christe, Cryste, Chrystia, McChrystyn, and Christey.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Christie ranks 1,874th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following eight states: Vermont, Florida, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire.
The surname Christie frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (633rd), Scotland (90th), Wales (1,062nd), Ireland (1,094th) and Northern Ireland (365th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Northumberland and Durham. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Kincardineshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Pembrokeshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Wicklow. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Antrim.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (641st), New Zealand (269th), Australia (406th), and South Africa (1,039th).
Christie Family Tree & Christie Genealogy
Christie of Preston Deanery and of Glyndebourne
The lineage or ancestry of this family traces back to Daniel Beat Christin, who was party of an old Swiss family that lived in the canton (similar to a state or county) of Vaud, and later altered the spelling of his surname upon entering the Bombay Engineers, in which he obtained the rank of Major, deriving in the war against Hyder Ali (Sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore southern India) in 1782. In 1784, he married Charlotte, daughter of Reverend George Bellasis of Yattendon, and in 1786, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Purbeck Langham, son of Sir John Langham, Baronet of Cottesbrooke, and had a son and heir named Langham. This son, Langham Christie, Esquire of Preston Deanery, in 1829, married Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of William Gosling of Hassobury Park, and had six issue with her as follows: William Langham, Spencer Cunliffe, Robert, Elizabeth, Charlotte (married Reverend Henry Brooks, had sons Henry Langham and Charles Cunliffe), and Augusta (married Reverend Beaufoy Wilder of Sulham). He served as the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. He died in 1861. His son William Langham Christie, Esquire of Preston Deanery, county Northampton and Glyndebourne, county Sussex, England, modern day Great Britain or United Kingdom, was a Justice of the Peace, Member of Parliament, Deputy Lieutenant, and Captain of the Northampton Militia who was born in 1830. In 1855, he married Agnes Hamilton, daughter and co-heir of Colonel Augustus Cleveland of Tapeley Park, and had issue with her: Augustus Langham (1857), Langham Charles (1858), Archibald (1859), Edward (1864), Spencer (1868), Agnes Chichester, and Elizabeth. The Christie Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Christie Family Crest by those unfamiliar with genealogy and heraldry) is blazoned as follows: Azure, a lamb passant proper the dexter leg supporting in bend sinister a banner argent staff or, on a chief of the last a tower with two turrets between as many gabions proper. Crest: A brown bear passant muzzled, the chain reflexed over the shoulder or, on the back a bezant charged with a cross sable, the dexter paw resting on an escutcheon per pale of the last gules. Motto: Integer Vitrae. The family seat was at Preston Deanery, Northampton and Glyndebourne Lews, both in England.
Christie of Durie
The branch of this part of the Christie family tree begins with James Christie of Stirling, who was elected Magistrate and appointed a Town Councillor in 1696. In 1694, he married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Walker of Craigs of Plean, and had six daughters and six sons: 1) Katherine, 2) Christian (married Michael Downie), 3) Jean, 4) Janet, 5) Elizabeth, 6) James (Merchant in Stirling, Glasgow, London, and Baltimore, Maryland, married Katherine Napier and had issue named James, Francis, Gabriel, Robert, John, William, and Charles), 7) Thomas (discussed below), 8) William (Provost of Stirling, married Margaret Edmonstone of Cambuswallace, and had son named James and daughter named Marian), 9) John (married Agnes Neilson of Stirling), 10) Henry (married Elizabeth Campbell), and 11) Alexander. He died in 1728. His second son, Thomas, of Stirling, was a Burgess of said city in 1721, as well as Town Councillor and Magistrate in 1738, born in 1697. In 1731, he married Mary, daughter of John Watson of Thirty Acres and Woodend, and had nine daughters and several sons as follows, including James (heir), William, and Ann (married Captain John Bachop of the 54th Regiment). His eldest son, James Christie, Esq. of Baltimore, Maryland, was born in 1738. He was attached to the Royalist party and settled in Scotland, where he purchased, Durie, in the Parish of Scoonie in county Fife. In 1772, he married Mary, daughter of George Milligan of Maryland, colonial America, and had a son with her named Thomas (Captain of the 70th Regiment). In 1783, he married again, to Mary Turner, daughter of Charles Maitland (son of Charles, 6th Earl of Lauderdale), and had twelve children with her as follows: 1) Charles Maitland (of Durie, discussed below), 2) James (married Frances Dickenson, had issue named Mackenzie, Robert, and Jane), 3) Gabriel (Commander in the Royal Navy), 4) Robert Stark-Christie (Officer of the 21st Fusileers and Grenadier Guards, married Mary Butler Stark of Kingsdale, had children with her named James Henry Roberson, Robert Lindsay Bruce, John Boswell, Thomas, and Margaret Isobel), 5) William (Commander in Royal Navy, married Clara Burchell, had children named William, Alexander, James, Clara Mary, Frances, Ann, Isabella, and Agnes), 6) Peter (Captain of the Royal Navy, died at Balaklava in the Crimean War), 7) Napier Turner (Officer in the army, married Penelope Burnett, had James, Napier, Thomas, and three daughters), 8) Mary (married Alexander Smith, Esq.), 9) Isobal (married Reverend William Fortescue), 10) Margaret (married John Irvine Boswell of Balmuto and Kingcausie), 11) Erskine (married Matthew Fortescue of Belvidere, Dublin), and 12) Anne. He died in 1803. His eldest son was Charles Maitland Christie, Esquire of Durie, a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Officer in the army, who was born in 1785 and served in Germany and in the Peninsular War. In 1785, he married Mary Butler, daughter of Robert Lindsay, and had eleven children with her as follows: James (married Frances Jane, daughter of David Pringle of the Yair family), Robert (discussed below), Charles Maitland, Peter, John Boswell, Alexander (Officer in the Indian Army, died in the Kyber Pass), Hugh Lindsey (Major General of the 10th Madras N.I, married his cousin Isobel, had issue named Charles Robert, Mary Agnes, and Hughina Margaret), Elizabeth Butler, Mary (married Francis Brown Douglas), Anne (married Benjamin Wyld of Gilston), and Margaret (married Richard Lundin Brown). In 1830, he married his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Pirngle of Whytbank and Yair, and had two issue with her: William (Advocate, born 1832) and Susan Pringle. His son Robert Christie, Esquire of Durie, county Fife, was born in 1818 and was a Justice of the Peace and Captain of the 5th Bengal Cavalry. He first married Eliza, daughter of Robert Scott Moncrieff of Fossaway, and secondly Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Horace Petley of Kent, and had two issue: Charles Horace (1852) and Mary Elizabeth. In 1855, he married his third wife, Eleanor Roper, daughter of William Cotton, and had three sons with her: Robert Maitland, James, and John Paton. The Christie Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Christie Family Crest or Christie Family Shield) is blazoned in the medieval European art of heraldry as follows: Or, a saltire cantoned between two stars in flank sable, in chief a demi-lion couped at the joints gules, and in base a cross-pattee of the last. Crest: A dexter hand holding a missive letter proper. Motto: Pro rege. The family seat was Durie, near Leven, county Fife, Scotland.
Christie of Apuldrefield
The Christy genealogy of this branch of the family tree begins with Alexander Christy of Aberdeen, Scotland, who was born in 1642 and moved to Moyallan, county Down, Ireland. He died in 1722, leaving a daughter named Sarah (married Samuel Morton of Kilmore) and John. His son John was of Moyallen and born in 1673. He married Mary Hill, of Magherameske, and had five issue with her as follows: 1) Alexander (moved to Scotland, married Anne Huntingdon), 2) Joseph (married Patience Chambers of Lurgan, had a daughter named Mary), 3) John (discussed below), 4) James (of Lower Stramore, married Margaret Morton, had issue named John, James, Mary, Margaret, and Sarah), and 5) Thomas (of Moyallan, married Mary Bramery, had issue named John, Hannah, and Mary). His son, John Christy, Esq., moved to Scotland and constructed Ormiston Lodge in county Edinburgh. He was born in 1707 and married Mary, daughter of William Miller of Craigentinny having the following ten issue with her: 1) John, 2) William (married Jane Erskine and Alison Dunn), 3) Hill (Lieutenant of the 61st Foot Regiment, married Helen Cuthbertson and had issue named Archibald, John, Mathew, and Agnes), 4) John (of Kircassock, married Sarah Christy, had two sons named John and James), 5) Miller (discussed below), 6) Ann, 7) Euphemia (married William Miller of Edinburgh), 8) Ann, 9) Margaret (married Alexander Sinclair of Brabster Doran), and 10) Mary (married John Dollin of London and Thomas Jeffreys of London). His fifth son, Miller Christy, was an Esquire born in 1748 who lived at Stockwell, Surrey, England. In 1773, he married Ann, daughter of William Rist of Mauden, having issue with her as follows: 1) Thomas (of Brooklands, Lord of the Manor of Black Notley, married Rebecca Hewlings of Reading, and had issue named Thomas, Samuel, Rachel, Charlotte, and Anne), 2) William Miller (of Woodbines, married Ann Fell of Peckham and had issue named William, Henry, John, Alexander, Richard, Joseph, Edmund, Mary Anne, Elizabeth, and Rebecca), 3) John (of Apuldrefield Manor), 4) Joseph (of Croydon, married Elizabeth Johnson of Pontefract), 5) James (of Brownings, married Charlotte Fell, had issue named James, Robert, David, Fell, Mary, Sophia, Caroline, Charlotte, and Ellen Jane). His third son, John, was of Apuldrefield and born in 1781. In 1812, he married Sarah, daughter of Abraham De Horne of Surrey Square, and with her, had the following issue with her: 1) John de Horne (of Cudham Lodge, married Ann Kidder of Westerham), 2) Alfred (his heir), 3) George (succeeded his brother), 4) Edward (of Farringdon, Berkshire, married Julia Shears Spurrell), 5) Frederick Collier (of Melbourne, Australia, married Caroline Wells, had a daughter named Edith Wilhelmina), 6) Arthur de Horne (of Edenbridge, married Harriet Caroline Chetwynd of Brockton Lodge, had issue named Henry Chetwynd, Arthur, Florence Caroline, and Mary Anne), 7) Albert (of Cudham, Captain of the 10th Madras N.I.), and 8) Emma Catherine Collier (married George Steinman of Sundridge). He died in 1873 and was succeeded by his second son, Alfred Christy, Esquire of Apuldrefield, who was born in 1818. In 1870, Alfred married Katherine Collier, daughter and heiress of Benjamin Collier de Horne, and died in 1876 and was succeeded by his brother, George Christy, Esquire of Apuldrefield, who was born in 1819. The Christy Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Christy Family Crest by those unfamiliar with heraldry and genealogy) is blazoned as follows: Or, on a saltier invecked sable, between four mullets pierced azure a saltire ermine. Crest: A mount vert, thereon the stump of a holly tree sprouting between four branches of fern all proper. Motto: Sic viresco. This family was seated at Apuldrefield Manor, Cudham, Sevenoaks, county Kent, England, in Great Britain or United Kingdom.
Other Christie Pedigree & Family Trees
Patrick “Pete” Cryste was born around 1539. He married Janet Burn and had three sons with her as follows: Thomas, James, and John. His son Thomas Cryste was born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland around 1564. He married Janet Huton and had the following children with her: Thomas, Janet (Mudie), James, and Andrew. His son Andrew Christie was born in the same city in 1605.
William Christy or Christie was born around 1732 somewhere in the British Isles. He came to colonial America in Pennsylvania and had a son named James. His son James was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1758 and married Sarah Lemmon, having had the following children: Mary, William, Christiana Ann, Sarah Janette, James C. Jr., Israel B., Hulda, Isaac, Elizabeth, and John. His son Israel B. Christie was born in Virginia in 1793. He married Elizabeth Cook and had the following issue with her prior to his 1877 death in Missouri: William J., Abraham, James, Jeffrey B., John T., Eliza, Sarah, Israel B. Jr, Mary Elizabeth, Joseph L., Elizabeth, Jesse M., George B., Henry Bothaman, and Eleanor. His son Henry Bothaman Christie was born in Christianburg, Kentucky in 1839. He married Martha E. Burton and had the following children with her: Charles Carroll, James Allen, Franklin, Laura Jane, Elizabeth, Lucy M., Martha, Lettie (Smith), and Abraham B. His son Charles C. was born in Missouri in 1859. He married Julia Frances Spiers and had three children: Bertha O., William H., and Lloyd S. His son William H. was born in 1886 and his son Lloyd S. was born in 1888, both in Missouri.
Early American and New World Settlers
Some early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Alice Christie (1715), Jesse and Peter Christie (New England 1727), Thomas Christie (Georgia 1732), and Agnes (Maryland 1736). In Canada, some of the earliest bearers were United Empire Loyalists (people from colonial America who remained loyal to the British crown during the Revolutionary War) who came in 1783, including Abijah Christie who settled in Cornwall, Ontario, Charles Christie, who came to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, and Mary Christie, who came to Shelburne, Nova Scotia as well. In Australia, some of the earliest settlers with this surname were Alexander, Robert, and Christian Christie who came to Adelaide aboard the Lloyds in 1838. In New Zealand, some of the first settlers with this last name were John and Peter Christie who came to the city of Wellington in 1840 and 1841, respectively.
Early Americans Bearing the Christie Family Crest
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains one entry for this name:
1) Mrs. Harlan P. Christie of Brooklyn, New York bore the same arms as William Cantrill of Jamestown, Virginia: Argent, a pelican in her piety, in her nest sable
2) William Few Chrystie, Esquire, of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, New York. Arms: Argent, a chevron between three wells sable. Crest: A phoenix rising out of the flames proper. Motto: Malo mori quam foedari.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) and Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) do not contain entries for this last name or its spelling variants.
I have identified six Christie family mottoes, all of which are Latin, translated to English:
1) Sit vita nomini congrua (Let the Life correspond with the name)
2) Sic viresco (Thus I flourish) (Christie of Craighton, as well as Christy)
3) Pro rege (For the king)
4) Integer vitae (Blameless in life)
5) Malo mori quam foedari (Death rather than disgrace)
6) Marte et arte (By valour and skill)
We have 10 coats of arms for the Christie surname depicted here. These 10 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Christie surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Christopher James Christie (1962) who is an American attorney and lobbyist who became the 55th Governor of New Jersey in 2010, a member of the Republican Party, born in Newark, 2) Dame Agatha Clarissa Christie (1890-1976), or Lady Mallowan, was an English crime novelist, playwright, and short story writer born in Torquay, Devon, known for her 66 detective novels, and is the best-selling novelist of all time according to Guinness World Records, 3) Eilert Christian Brodtkorb Christie (1832-1906) who was a Norwegian architect born in Bergen, 4) David Christie (1818-1880) who was a Senator for Erie, Ontario, Canada from 1867-1880, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 5) Gabriel Christie (1722-1799) who was a British Army General from Scotland who lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada after the French and Indian War, where he became one of the largest land owners in said province, 6) Gabriel Christie (1756-1808) who was a veteran of the American Revolution who served as a member of the US House of Representatives for Maryland from 1793-1797 and from 1799-1801, having also served in the state Senate, 7) John Walter Christie (1865-1944) who was an American inventor and engineer born in New Milford, New Jersey who was best known for developing the Christie suspension system used in tanks during World War II, 8) Ralph Waldo Christie (1893-1987) who was an admiral in the United States Navy born in Somerville, MA who served in World War I and II, the later in Australia, and is known for helping develop the torpedo, 9) Samuel Hunter Christie (1784-1865) who was a British mathematician and physicist born in London, England who worked on magnetism, and 10) Sara Stockfleth Christie (1857-1948) who was a Norwegian educator and Conservative Party politician who was born in Trondhjem who served as a deputy representative to the Parliament of Norway.