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Porterfield Clan

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Porterfields in Scotland

While the earliest Porterfield ancestor is believed to be Norman, the first the lineal Porterfield is Stephen de Porter. He was granted lands of Renfrewshire that were to become known as Porterfield. Porterfields later acquired the Duchal estate and also acquired lands in Ayrshire, also. The Porterfields rose to be landed gentry. They were never members of the nobility of Scotland The peak of the Porterfield influence was the middle of of 17th century. As the Scottish Restoration started, the Porterfields, whom were staunch Covenanters, fell on hard times.

The honors, including the coat of arms, of Alexander Porterfield, laird of Duchall at the time were ordered extinct for Alexander in 1684 for his role as an unrepentant Covenanter. Others in his family were punished and at least one family member fled to a sympathetic Holland.

Migration to Ireland

It appears in the 1660s a few Porterfields started immigrated to the Abercorn Estate in County Donegal, Ireland as part of the ongoing plantation of Ulster. The Porterfields did not fare much better do to discrimination by the Anglicans. Soon, one family came to America around 1730. This and other Porterfields have multiplied into thousands of Porterfields across America. In Ireland today you will still find numerous Porterfields,. They are still primarily in County Donegal.

Clan information

Crest: A branch of palm Proper
Motto: sub pondere sursum (In difficulty I look upward)
Region: Lowlands
District: Paisley
Plant badge:
Pipe music:
Gaelic name: Durward has been cited as the Scots name.


Coat of Arms

Two Porterfields have Coats of Arms duly matriculated by the Lord Lyon.

John Porterfield has a coat of arms that were "Or, a bendlet between a stag's head erased in chief and a hunting-horn in base sable, garnished gules". [1]

Margaret Porterfield also has a registered coat arms.

Names associated with the clan:


  1. Arthur Fox-Davies, A complete guide to heraldry (1909), p. 114; digitized images, Open Library, https://archive.org/stream/completeguidetoh00foxduoft?ref=ol#page/114/mode/2up/search/porterfield.

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Categories: Porterfield Clan