Culbertson Family Resource Page


Compiled By: James H. Culbert
Last Updated: 1 Feb 2008

Surname Origins

I am indebted to Dale Leppard, [Email: clonfada at] for providing much of the following discussion, except as otherwise noted.

CULBERTSON means "son of CULBERT."  CULBERTSON also comes from the Gaelic word, "CULBHEART," meaning "crafty," and thus signifies "the son of CULBHEART." 1

CULBERTSON also derives from CUTBERSON or CUTBERTSON.  These earlier spellings are very similar to CUTHBERT and CUTHBERTSON, and a reason for the close relationship between these surnames.

The earliest known home of CULBERTSON is the village of Morebattle, County Roxburg, located about 8 miles south of Kelso, Scotland.  Here, CULBERTSON families have lived continuously since about 1400 A.D.  This place is located in the Lowlands, only about 5 miles from the border with England.  A few miles west of Kelso is Melrose Abbey, where Saint CUTHBERT lived and preached in the 600s A.D. lrc

Some of the earliest known CULBERTSON records include:

John CULBERSON, found on the c. 1630 Muster Rolls for County Londonderry, Ireland.

In 1665 the following families were recorded in the hearth tax lists at Castlefin, Donoughmore Parish, County Donegal, Ireland:
4. Thomas CUDBERTSON; and
5. William CUDBERTSON.

In addition, William CUDBERTSON lived at Shannon, Clonleigh Parish, County Donegal, Ireland in 1665.

William CULBERTSON, who was born between 1665 and 1687, possibly in Scotland, who emigrated to County Londonderry, Ireland, and who was a defender at the siege of Londonderry in 1689 and fought for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.  Two of his sons emigrated to Chester County, Pennsylvania about 1712.  See: William CULBERTSON and His Descendants.

John CULBERTSON, 1686, Heittoun, Scotland 2

A CULBERTSON left Roxburgshire, Scotland, for Ireland about 1690 with a regiment to quell a rebellion in the war between the Prince of Orange and King James II.  It is known that, after his military service ended, he settled in County Mayo, Ireland and raised a family.  This man did not found the CULBERTSON families of Culbertson Row or County Derry, but he may be related to the family in County Tyrone.  His great-grandson returned to Roxburgshire in 1845. lrc

Robert CULBERTSON or CUTHBERTSON or CUDBERTSON, found in Campbeltown Parish, Scotland in the early 1690s, and married to Anne BRE-KANRIGS or BRE-KANRIG or BREKANRIG (BRECKENRIDGE).  See: CULBERTSON and Related Family Records in Campbeltown Parish, Scotland, 1690-1750.

In addition, in 1714, James CULVERSON was an Elder of the Presbyterian Church at Donaghmore in County Down, Ireland.

Marion CULBERTSON, 1746, found in Trabroun, Scotland 3

Thomas CULBERTSON, 1748, also in Trabroun, Scotland. 3

Surname Resources

The traditional harp of Ireland provided by Lindel BuckleyCULBERTSON Family Records in Ireland

The historical flag of ScotlandCULBERTSON Family Records in Scotland

  CULBERTSON Arrivals at New York, 1820-1855

  CULBERTSON Arrivals at Castle Garden, New York, 1855-1890

  Other CULBERTSON (and Related Surnames) Passengers Records


1 Dr. George F. Black, 1946, Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and History, New York Public Library, 12th printing (1999), p. 190, ISBN 0-87104-172-3.

2 The Commissariot Records of Peebles, Register of Testaments, 1681-1699, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1902.  Found in: Black, 1946, Surnames of Scotland. 1

3 The Commissariot Record of Lauder, Register of Testaments, 1561-1800, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1903.  Found in: Black, 1946, Surnames of Scotland. 1

lrc William Arthur, "Derivation of Family Names," as quoted in: Culbertson, Lewis R., M.D., 1893, Genealogy of the Culbertson and Culberson Families, The Courier Company, Zanesville, Ohio, Chapter I, pp. 1-10.


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