Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Porter Name
Origins of Porter:
The surname of Porter has roots in both the Old French and the Old English societies. The first possible origin of the surname of Porter can be found within the country of England, and was an occupational surname for someone who was a gatekeeper, or someone who was the doorkeeper of a large house or castle. An occupational surname was given to someone who actually carried out this job. Occupational surnames were not originally hereditary surnames. They only became hereditary if the son followed in his father’s footsteps for a career; then the surname became hereditary and was used by the children and spouse of the son. In this case, the occupational surname of Porter was said to have been derived from the Middle English “porter” which itself was derived from the Old French “portier.” The second possible origin for the surname of Porter was also an occupational surname, but in this case was used for someone who carried large loads for a living. This surname was more commonly used for someone who carried these loads with their own muscle power, rather than having a horse and cart, or an ox, or some other beast of burden, or any vehicle with a wheel. This surname itself can be derived from the Old French word of “poteor” or “porteour,” both of which can be translated to mean “to carry” or “to convey.” Thus, the surname of Porter can be translated to mean “one who carries.”
More common variations are: Poorter, Poarter, Portter, Portero, Portera, Porteri, Portere, Porteur, Porterr, Poerter
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Porter was found in the country of England. One person who was named as Milo Portarius was named and mentioned as residing within the walls of Winchester Castle in the year 1086. This factoid was derived from the “Doomsday Book of 1086” which was a document used to encompass the “Great Survey” of England during this time period. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King William I of England, who was commonly referred to throughout the ages as one “The Conqueror.” King William I of England ruled from the year of 1066 to the year of 1087. Other mentions of the surname of Porter throughout the country of England include one William le Portier, who was mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Berkshire in the year of 1190, while one Nicholas le Portur was named in the Middle English Occupational Terms of the county of Surrey in the year of 1263. Those who bear the surname of Porter can be found throughout the country of England. The areas with the largest concentration of those who are known by the surname of Porter reside in the county of Lancashire.
Within the country of Scotland, the surname of Porter is prominent among the smaller population. Those who bear the surname of Porter can be found within the southwestern section of the country, including the area of Lanarkshire county.
United States of America:
Those who carry the surname of Porter within the United States of America can be found in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Texas, and California.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Porter: United States 177,776; England 29,689; Canada 14,126; Australia 13,976; South Africa 5,844; Scotland 3,039; Mexico 2,853; New Zealand 2,308; Jamaica 1,892; Northern Ireland 1,741
David Hugh Porter (1935-2016) who was an academic from America and also the 5th president of Skidmore College from the year 1987 to the year 1999
Charlie Porter (1951-2014) who was a climate change scientist mountaineer from America
Major-General William Nichols Porter (1886-1973) who was an American who was the War Departments Chief for the Chemical Corps from the year 1941 to the year 1945
Major-General Ray Edison Porter (1891-1963) who served as a Commanding General for the American 101st Airborne Division from the year 1951 to the year 1953.
Major-General John Andrew Porter (1886-1950) who was an American who was stationed at Fort Sam Houston as the Army Service Forces Depot Commanding General from the year 1943 to the year 1946.
Peter Buell Porter (1773-1844) who was a lawyer, soldier, and politician from America who also served as the United States Secretary of War from the year 1828 to the year 182
Rufus M. Porter (1792-1884) who was a painter and inventor from America who also founded Scientific American magazine in the year 1845
Porter Family Gift Ideas
Browse Porter family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.
Clothing & Accessories
100% Product Satisfaction Guarantee
Kitchen & Bath
100% Product Satisfaction Guarantee
Fun & Games
100% Product Satisfaction Guarantee
Porter Family Crest Corn Hole Game$224.00Purchase »
Porter Family Crest Ping Pong Table$167.59Purchase »
More porter Family Gift Ideas
Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (co. Lancaster, 1664). Sa. three bells ar. a canton or.
2) (Alwardby, or Allerby, co. Cumberland). Gu. on a fess or, three church bells as, a border engr. ar.
3) (Weary Hall, co. Cumberland; a younger branch of Porter, of Allerby). (The Close, co. Cumberland; presumed to derive from the Posters, of Weary Hall; of this branch of the family was John Porter D.D., Bishop of Clogher, 1798-1819). Sa. three church bells ar.
4) (co. Buckingham). Gu. three church bells or.
5) (St. Stephen’s, co. Cornwall, and co. Lincoln, 1640). Sa. three church bells ar. a canton erm.
6) (Launcells, co. Cornwall; the heiress m. Hele). Gu. on a fess ar. betw. three falcons’ wings of the last a bezant charged with a lion pass. of the field. Crest—A demi goat erect.
7) (Shield Row, co. Durham; the heiress, Jane Porter, m. Nicholas Blakiston). Gu. on a fess or (sometimes engr.) three bells sa. a bordure engr. ar. charged with eight pellets.
8) (Newark, co. Gloucester). Gu. five marlions’ wings in saltire ar.
9) (co. Gloucester). Gu. on a fess betw. five falcons’ wings or, three hurts.
10) (Aston, co. Warwick). Sa. three church bells ar. Crest—Betw. two pillars roofed and spired or, a church bell ar.
11) (Isle of Wight). Ar. three dragons’ heads couped gu. Crest—A dragon’s head couped gu.
12) (co. Lancaster). Barry of six or and az. on a bend gu. three escallops of the first.
13) (cos. Lincoln and Kent). Sa. three church bells ar. a canton erm. Crest—A portcullis ar. chained or.
14) (Wadhurst and Seaford, co. Sussex). Same Arms and Crest, a crescent for diff.
15) (co. Lincoln, and St. Margaret’s-in-Southernam, co. Suffolk). Sa. three church bells ar. a chief erm. Crest—A portcullis ar. nailed and chained or, the chains cast over in fret.
16) (Edward Robert Poster, Esq., of London). Per chev. sa. and ar. in chief three church bells of the second, each charged with an erm. spot counterchanged. Crest—An heraldic antelope's head erased ar. attired or, gorged with a collar gu. therefrom, on the centre of the neck, a bell pendent sa. charged with an erm. spot of the first.
17) (London). Ar. a fess engr. sa. (another, vert) fretty or, in chief three church bells of the second.
18) (London). Az. two dolphins in pale, embowed and addorsed ar. betw. six crosses crosslet fitchée or, on a chief gu. three leopards’ faces of the third.
19) (co. Warwick). Sa. three bars ar. (another, tinctures reversed). Crest—A bull’s head couped gu. armed or.
20) (Etington, co. Warwick). Sa. three bells ar. a canton erm. Crest—A portcullis ar. chained or.
21) (Claines. co. Worcester. Visit. 1634). Ar. a fess engr. vert, fretty or, in chief three bells sa. Crest—A squirrel sejant, holding a bell sa. garnished gold.
22) Same Arms. Crest—A demi squirrel or, semée of hurts, holding an acorn branch vert, acorned of the first.
23) Gu. on a fess or, a torteau charged with a lion pass. guard. of the second (another, betw. three wings gold). Crest—A demi antelope or, spotted, cellared, and attired
24) (alias Gloucester). Gu. on a fess or, three hurts, the middle one charged with a lion pass. the other with a fleur-de-lis betw. three wings all of the second. Crest—A stag’s head erased ar. attired and ducally gorged or, betw. two laurel branches vert.
25) Gu. on a fess betw. three wings or, an annulet of the first.
26) Ar. on the trunk of a tree raguly vert an eagle, wings expanded gu.
27) Gu. on a fess betw. an eagle in chief, wings close, and two bucks’ heads erased in base all ar. three cinquefoils of the field.
28) (Alfarthing, co. Surrey; descended from Endymion Porter, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles I., a celebrated courtier of the period, who was descended from Robert Porter, brother of Sir William Porter, Knt., temp. Henry V. Eleanor, dau. of John Porter, Esq., of Alfarthing, m. Pierce Walsh, Esq., co. Waterford, and her son, Pierce Walsh, inherited the property of his maternal uncle). Sa. three bells ar. a canton erm.
29) Az. a fess ar. fretty vert.
30) Gu. ou a fess betw. a falcon in chief and two bucks' heads couped in base ar. three roses of the field.
31) (Kingston, co. Meath; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1623, William Porter, of that place). Gu. three church bells ar.
32) (Oldbridge, co. Meath; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1623, Maude, wife of William Porter, of that place). Same Arms, a crescent for diff.
33) (Reg. Ulster’s Office). Sa. three church bells ar. a canton erm. Crest—A cubit arm, habited az. cuffed ar. grasping in the hand ppr. a battle axe also ppr.
34) (Waterford; confirmed by Hawkins, Ulster, 1717, to Nicholas Porter, son of John Porter, Esq., of Waterford, by his wife, Mary Hoare, of Shandon). Sa. three bells ar. a canton erm. Crest—A stag’s head couped sa. attired or.
35) (exemplified to Thomas Stewart Ellison-Macartney, Lieutenant R.N., son of John William Ellison-Macartney, Esq., of the Palace, Clogher, co. Tyrone, M.P., by Elizabeth Phcebe his wife, dau. of Rev. John Grey Porter, of Kilskeery, co. Tyrone, on his assuming, by royal licence, 1875, the surname and arms of Porter, in lieu of those of Ellison-Macartney). Motto—Et fide et virtute. (exemplified to John Porter Archdall, of Caius College, Cambridge, son of Nicbolas Montgomeby Archdall, Esq., of Crockmacrieve, co. Fermanagh, by Adelaide Mary, his wife, dau. of Rev. John Grey Porter, of Kilkeery, co. Tyrone, on his assuming, by royal licence, 1876, the surname and arms of Porter, in lieu of Archdall). Sa. three bells ar. a canton of the last charged with a portcullis ppr. Crest—A portcullis ppr. therefrom pendent by a chain or, a shield of the arms.
36) (Troquain. co. Kirkcudbright; granted 1804). Motto—Vigilantia et virtute. Quarterly, 1st, ar. a dexter arm embowed and erased ppr. holding a key az.: 2nd and 3rd, gu. a mastiff dog sejant, holding in the forepaws a Lochaber axe ppr.; 4th, ar. a church bell az. tongued or. Creat—A dexter arm in armour embowed, grasping a sword all ppr.