The Andersons are a mysterious breed.
There are references to them from both the highlands and lowlands
of Scotland dating back to the 14th century. Yet the clan had
no chief, nor a place to call its own.
The name’s most natural meaning is ‘son of Andrew’,
a reference to St Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint. Indeed,
his cross appears in the clan’s shield.
is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day
is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th
The name is first mentioned in 1296 when David and Duncan
fiz Andrew took the oath of fealty to Edward I. Now it is the
eighth most popular name in Scotland and is widespread around
Europe, especially in Scandinavia.
The clan is a branch of the Ross clan and is recorded coming
to Badenoch in the central Highlands around 1400. Here, the
Andersons were one of 16 clans that made up the powerful Clan
Some famous Andersons
• John Anderson (1726-1796): prime mover in the formation of
Anderson was a professor of Natural Philosophy at
Glasgow University. This remarkable
academic, teacher and inventor played an integral part
in starting what is today Strathclyde University. He
was an innovative and radical thinker with criticisms
academic restrictions of the 'red brick' established
universities of the time. He wanted a seat of 'useful
equal opportunities for women. Over two hundred years
later the phrase 'useful learning' is still the motto
Patrick Anderson (15??-1635): inventor of “Anderson’s
pills”, a popular, if dubious medicine
Lawnmarket opening up to Edinburgh Castle on the
hill, in the
dated 1690, is the "shop" where Anderson's
Pills were sold. Patrick Anderson, an entrepreneur
exploiting the most powerful human drive, that of achieving
good health, very successfully sold his pills claiming
to cure an assortment of maladies ranging from fatigue
flatulence and everything in between
• William Anderson (1750-1778): surgeon and naturalist to Captain
Cook on the HMS Resolution
Anderson, served on board the
Resolution under Captain
he died of consumption but the same day he died land was
sighted and was named Anderson's island in his memory.
Arthur Anderson (1792-1868): chairman of P&O.
Anderson became chairman of the world famous
company. A Shetlander, he started as a shipbroker and
worked up to managing the
Penisular Steam Navigation Company with principal routes
to Spain and Portugal expanding with trips to Alexandria
in Egypt in 1840. The Penisular Steam Nav. Co later became
Find out more about these and other famous Andersons
by going to our page of useful links.