This surname, meaning ‘son of Andrew’, is prolific, being common in Lowland areas as well as in the north-east. The reason why this name arises in so many different locations is due to Scotland’s patronymic system and little can be shown to suggest descent from a common ancestor. Thirteenth-century records give the earliest instances of the name and by the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, several burghs were represented in parliament by Andersons. The Forman-Workman MS of 1566 includes arms for Anderson of that Ilk, implying that a notable Anderson was recorded as representer of the clan, but identification has never been established. In Privy Council records (James V, 2nd April 1526), one James Anderson of Sterheuch was made Carrick Pursuivant of Arms and in this position at the Court of the Lord Lyon, not to have borne and used arms is hard to reconcile.
It has been suggested theat he, and Anderson of that Ilk, were one and the same. This James is claimed as ancestor of the Anderson of Noth family in Strathbogle, yet the present senior line remains unknown. In more recent times their crest of an oak tree Proper with the motto ‘Stand Sure’, has been tacitly accepted by the Andersons as their clansman’s crest badge. Cadets of this line are Anderson of Westerton, (Wester-) Ardbrake and Gracedieu; Anderson of Kinneddar; and Anderson of Newbiggin and Kingask. Other prominent lines were: Anderson of Dowhill; Anderson of Stobcross; Anderson of Inchyra and St Germain; Anderson of Linkwood; Anderson of Bourtie; Seton-Anderson of Mounie; and Anderson of Candacraig. A Clan Anderson Society has been active for some years in North America and St Andrew’s Day, 1993 saw the foundation of The Anderson Association in the United Kingdom.