Ewing Surname Genealogy

The Scottish McEwen genealogist has maintained that
“the name Ewen is a distinctive, ancient, and not very common name,
from the Gaelic Eoghan, meaning ‘kind
Ewing origins have
been debatable.
The Ewing clan website claimed a descent from Ewen of Otter who
lived at
Cnoc Mhic Eoghainn in Argyllshire in the 1300’s.
Ewen had become Ewyne and then Ewing by the 16th century. The ‘g’ in Ewing appears to have been an addition made in the spelling by those of
English speech
. This was
because in pronouncing the
name they give the final ‘n’ a
n ‘ng’ or nasal sound.

Ewing Resources on

Ewing Ancestry


While the origins of the Ewings may have been
disputed, their appearance by the late 15th century in the Scottish
Lowlands in
an area around Loch Lomond is not. Early
Ewynes there included merchants, burgesses and priests.
The Ewings of Balloch were so named because
they had purchased the lands of Balloch in Dumbartonshire in the

William Ewing rose to
prominence after he had been summoned to attend the court of Mary Queen
Scots in 1566. Whether he benefited from
the sponsorship of the Earl of Lennox is unclear. Some
accounts have claimed that William Ewing
carried the standard for the Queen at the Battle of Langsidein 1568. In any event he was soon granted a coat of
arms. Sometime later Findlay Ewing was
settled on an estate at Ladytoun near Bonhill in Dumbartonshire. The last of this line, the Ewings of
Craigtoun, died out in the 18th century.

Ewings were for the most part Presbyterian
Covenanters, which put them at odds with the Stuart monarchy for much
of the
17th century. Because of religious
persecution many Ewings departed for Ulster at this time (and later
to America). Ewings in Scotland supported the Campbells in the doomed
rebellion against King James in 1685 and some of their estates were

The Balloch line of Ewings
later included William
Leckie Ewing
, a prominent Glasgow merchant of the early/mid
and the Orr-Ewing baronets. The first of
these baronets built Ballikinrain castle in Dumbartonshire in 1868 as
his home.

Whether this history indicates that the
Ewings should be considered as their
Scottish clan
has been a matter of recent debate.

Ireland. The Ulster plantation
that began in the early 1600’s became a sanctuary for persecuted
Covenanters. The
Ewings who came there settled mainly in the environs of Coleraine in
Londonderry county. Others made their
home in Donegal, but within a ten mile radius of Londonderry – on Inch
and at Carnshanaugh. John Ewing was said
to have been at the siege of Londonderry in 1689.

The best known of these Ewings had come in
1685 after the Argyll rebellion had collapsed.
According to tradition, six Ewing brothers fled Scotland at that
time. One of them was named Findlay and
his son Thomas Ewing, born
in 1690,
departed Ulster for America in 1718.
Other Ewings followed him.

Ewing name did not disappear from Ulster, however.
John Ewing was a Belfast merchant trading with
Barbados and was one of four partners who started the Belfast Bank in
1787. Ewing’s, fishmongers of Belfast, has
going strong since the early 1900’s.

America. The first of these Scots
Irish Ewings to come
to America was Thomas Ewing who arrived in Southampton on Long Island
1718. Two years later he married
Maskell and they raised their children in Greenwich, New Jersey. Their descendants included:

  • George Ewing,
    whose military diary of the Revolutionary War covered his winter at
    Forge with Washington’s army
  • and his son Thomas Ewing, a country lawyer from Ohio who twice served as
    its Republican US Senator and held Cabinet posts in Washington before
    and after
    the Civil War. Thomas Ewing and his family were covered in
    Kenneth Heineman’s 2012 book Civil War Dynasty.

large Ewing contingent crossed the Atlantic from Ireland in 1727 on the
Eagle Wing, chartered by the Ewing family
(which included Nathaniel and other sons of William Ewing plus a cousin

and his wife Rachel settled in Cecil county, Maryland. One of their sons John was pastor of the
First Presbyterian church in Philadelphia from 1759 until his death in
1802. From another son William came John
Hoge Ewing, a civic leader in Washington county, Pennsylvania during
the 19th
century. James McMichael’s 1999 book Alexander Ewing and Descendants
meanwhile covered the line from Alexander Ewing.

Meanwhile old John Ewing,
present at the siege of Londonderry, came to Lancaster, county,
Pennsylvania in

“His sons had wanted to come to America, but
their father being around 80 years of age, felt that he could not
undertake the
journey and they remained with him. At
length he determined to detain them no longer and for their sake came
America, saying that his bones could rest in the ocean or the New World
as well
as in Ireland.”

James Ewing was a cotton merchant from Edinburgh
who came to Alabama in the 1840’s. He
died young, at the age of 46 in 1860, leaving a son Robert who was then
one year old. Robert began working at
the age of 13 as a messenger boy for Western Union.
He rose rapidly in work and became a prominent
newspaper journalist, publisher and political figure in the state of
Louisiana. His son John and grandson
Robert were both active in newspapers in the region.

Ewings in Canada could have been Loyalists from America
or crossed the ocean from Scotland or Ireland:

  • Benjamin Ewing from Vermont was
    one of the early settlers in 1798 in Haldimand township in the Niagara
    district of Ontario. His original Benlock
    homestead there
    was handed down to his grandson Charles.
  • James Miller Ewing from
    Dumbartonshire in Scotland
    came to St. Johns, Newfoundland sometime in the 1830’s
  • while Samuel
    H. Ewing arrived in Montreal from Londonderry in Ireland in the 1860’s.
    He was the founder of S.H. Ewing and
    Sons, a company
    active in the importation and manufacture of spices, teas, and coffees
    and also
    held banking interests. Samuel H. Ewing
    over the company until his death in 1923.

Ewing Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Ewing Names

William Leckie Ewing
was a prominent Glasgow merchant in the early 1800’s.  

Thomas Ewing
was a country lawyer from Ohio who twice
served as its Republican US Senator and held Cabinet posts in
Washington before
and after the Civil War.
Robert Ewing
was a newspaper publisher and political figure in
Louisiana of the late 19th and early 20th century.
J.R. Ewing
was head of the fictional Ewing family in the 1978-1991
TV series Dallas.

Select Ewings Today

  • 8,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Glasgow)
  • 13,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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