The Clan Anderson is an ancient historical armigerous Clan which has developed under Scots law with scattered estates of the landed gentlemen of the name being found all over Scotland. It would be difficult to find a particular district in which the Andersons were the predominant family but several areas of Scotland have been home to the name for generation upon generation. There are strong connections with several areas in Scotland where Andersons have enjoyed a traditional “Duthus” or Clan lands; the greater of these being centred on Aberdeenshire, Banff and Moray. Fife also has strong Anderson family roots with the Lothians and Strathclyde following suit. Other pockets are also to be found, in the borders and places such as Skye, Orkney and Shetland, where all have been home to long lines of Andersons.
Surnames as we know them, arose through the need to distinguish one individual from another who perhaps bore the same forename and together with the adoption of a place name as a surname (i.e. Abernethy), an individual's qualification as the son of his father, had to be amongst the earliest of ways in which surnames made their first appearance. Hence "son of Andrew" went through various forms before it finally became 'Anderson.' Instances of the name really start to blossom in the fifteenth century, and many references for the name can be found in Scottish records of that era as Burghers and Members of Parliament. The trait of high intellectual ability is prevalent in Andersons and many have attained a high degree of academic achievement with many Professorships, talented engineers and mathematicians. David Anderson of Finzeauch is credited with the removal of a large rock that occluded the entrance to Aberdeen harbour. Through this and many other notable achievements, he became known as “Davie dae a’ things.” Strathclyde University owes its existence to a Professor James Anderson who bequeathed his fortune for the founding of the ‘Anderson Institute’ in Glasgow, the forerunner of the University.
The name Anderson has proliferated wherever emigrés ended up and due to the particular popularity of the name in Scotland, this often, but not exclusively, leads back to Scottish ancestry for large numbers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.