The surname of NISBETT was from the Old Barony of Nesbit, in the parish of Edrom, Berwickshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land and indicated where he actually lived. The name is also spelt NAISBITT. Early records of the name mention William de Nesebite witnessed a confirmation of the town lands of Nesbite, to the Priory of Coldingham by Patrick, Earl of Dunbar about 1160. Dominus Robert de Nesbit witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Kelso in about the year 1200. Robert de Nesbit was a hostage in Berwickshire in the year 1340. Philip of Nesbit was recorded as the sheriff in Berwick, in 1493. John Nechisbet, was burgess of Glasgow in 1649. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles.
One of the best known of the name was Alexander Nisbet (1657-1725), The Heraldic Writer.
The name was carried to Sweden in the 16th Century, and there are many descendants of these settlers now existing in the county. The associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
That Ilk. County Berwick. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
Translation of Arms: Argent (white) denotes peace and sincerity. The boar symbolizes ferocity and powerful defender, and sable
(black) meant the sable fur.
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