Livingston

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Scottish: habitational name from a place in Lothian, originally named in Middle English as Levingston, from an owner called Levin (see Lewin 1), who appears in charters of David I in the early 12th century.
  2. Irish: name adopted as equivalent of Gaelic Ó Duinnshléibhe and Mac Duinnshléibhe (see Dunleavy).
  3. Americanized form of Jewish Lowenstein.
  4. This is the name of an influential family of colnial and postcolonial America. The founder was Robert Livingston (1654–1728), who was taken by his father to the Netherlands, where he grew up bilingual. This gave him a particular advantage in the former territory of New Netherland, to which he emigrated in 1673. Among other offices, he held that of commissioner of Indian affairs. He married Alida Schuyler, widow of Nicolaes van Rensselaer, which gave him access to the highest and most influential families of NY. He acquired huge land holdings along the Hudson River, upon which he served as lord of the manor. His grandsons were Philip (1716–78), who signed the Declaration of Independence, and William (1723–90), first governor of NJ, who was a signer of the Constitution. A great-grandson, Robert R. Livingston (1746–1813), as minister to France, negotiated the purchase of LA in 1803.
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