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Clan of the Month - Anderson

August 25, 2017 2 min read

Clan of the Month - Anderson

Clan Anderson

Crest: An Oak tree, proper

Motto: Stand Sure


Clan Chief:Clan Anderson is a clan with some Armigers (individual Andersons entitled to bear Heraldic Arms) as members recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, but the clan does not currently have a chief recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon. Arms were awarded in the 16th century to an Anderson of that Ilk, but as his family has not yet been identified the chiefship is dormant, and the Clan considered an Armigerous Clan without a Chief.

Anderson means Son of Andrew (Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland). The Scottish Gaelic derivation of the name is Gilleaindreas (servant of Andrew). The name is widespread throughout Scotland and does not seem to be associated with an exact place of origin – one possible reason would be that different  "sons (or followers) of Andrew" appeared at different locations with each having no knowledge of the others’ existence. 

Anderson is the common form in the Lowlands, with MacAndrew used in the Highlands. The name is associated with more than one Highland Clan including Clan Ross and Clan Donald, and variations are considered septs of several other Highland clans – eg, MacAndrews is considered a sept of Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan, and is associated with Clan MacDonell of Glengarry; the surnames Andrew and Andrews are considered septs of Clan Ross. Gillanders and M’Anderson are thought to be other variants.

The name seems to have been first mentioned in 1296 -  David le fiz Andreu, burgess of Peebles and Duncan fiz Andreu of Dumfries took an oath of fealty to Edward I of England during the Wars of Independence – many others did the same, often reluctantly!

Prominent branches of Clan Anderson are the Andersons of Dowhill; of Wester Ardbreck in Banffshire; and of Candacraig in Strathdon. The first Laird of Candacraig was a Patrick Anderson who built his home there in the early 1500's. The house and family grew into a large estate; then in 1834, at the height of the clearances, some of the family left to seek their fortunes in Canada. In 1847 the 11th Laird Robert Anderson died and his nephew, Alexander Anderson of Huntingdon, returned from Canada to take up the title; but Scotland did not suit him and he sold the estate in 1866, returning to Canada. As a matter of interest, Candacraig House was later owned for some years by Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian and actor (and married to New Zealander Pamela Stephenson). The estate is now available for private and corporate events.

For more details of the origins of Clan Anderson and its place in history, order one of our Scottish Clan books at https://www.scotsinspirit.com/collections/clan-collection/products/scottish-clan-books?variant=42777077196


Martine, R. Scottish clans and family names. Edinburgh: Bartholomew & Son Ltd; 1987.
Scottish Tartan Authority (http://www.tartansauthority.com/)


ScotlandinOils (http://www.scotlandinoils.com)

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