Porter / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Porter was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'the porter', this is an occupational name for the gatekeeper of a town, or the door-keeper of a large house. The Porter was one of the most important officials connected with the castle or monastic institutions. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout the above islands. Examples of such are a Robert le Porter who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273 and an Adam Porter who was recorded in the ancient book 'Kirby's Quest', in the reign of Edward III. In Scotland a Radulfus the Porter witnessed a gift of the Church of Cragyn, in Kyle, to the Monastery of Paisley, in the year 1177, and a Simon the Porter witnessed a charter by William the Lion to Radulph de Graham, in the year 1180. The name Porter has been in Ireland since the Norman invasion and the first mention was in 1691 when five Porters were among the Jacobites outlawed following the defeat of James II. In Modern times the name is numerous in Ulster Province.The Porter family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Porter descendants.