Origins and history

Anderson is an English and Scottish patronymic surname, meaning ’son of Andrew‘. In this form, it is more common in the Lowlands, but it is widespread in Scotland in different forms.  In the Highlands, it was rendered as MacAndrew, of medieval Scottish origin. Both names share the same Scottish Gaelic derivation of ‘Gilleaindreas’ - literally a servant of St. Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint.

Though it is said there is no exact place of origin, the Kinrara manuscript contains details of a claim that the MacAndrews came to Badenoch from Moidart c.1400. The tales of the vengeance of Iain beg MacAindrea on cattle lifters who raided Badenoch may confirm this. However, there is no disputing the intellectual pedigree that his kinfolk subsequently established.

The tradition of scholarly erudition has significant roots in Anderson clan history throughout all the disciplines. This tradition was first established by Alexander Anderson who published works on geometry and algebra in Paris between 1612 and 1619. His cousin, David Anderson of Finshaugh, shared a similar skill in mechanics and mathematics that he applied to removing a large rock that had obstructed the entrance to Aberdeen harbour. This achievement earned him the nickname ‘Davie-Do-a’-Things.’

The lands of Clan Andrew are in Badenoch. The Clan itself is recorded in the Kinrara manuscript as coming to the lands of Badenoch, in the heart of the Chattan Confederation territory, from Moidart around 1400. Thus Clan Anderson became part of the Chattan Confederation.



Clan profile

Motto: Spem successus alit (translation, “Success nourishes hope”), (meaning, “Stand sure”)

Crest: An Oak Tree

Gaelic Name: Mac Ghille Aindrais

Badge: Hand holding a laurel wreath

Lands: Badenoch

Origin of Name: “Son of Andrew”

Tartan: Mostly blue,it is the only Scottish tartan of all the clans woven with seven colors, all others bearing no more than six colors.




Anderson, Andrew, Dingwall, Gillanders, MacAndrew, MacCulloch, MacLulich, MacTaggart, MacTear, MacTier, MacTire, Taggart, Vass, Wass

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