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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Russian, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Alexander family come from? What is the Scottish Alexander family crest and coat of arms? When did the Alexander family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Alexander family history?

On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the Alexander family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the given name Alexander, which in turn was originally derived from the Greek name, which means defender of men. In the late 11th century, Queen Margaret introduced the name, which she had heard in the Hungarian Court where she was raised, into Scotland by naming one of her sons Alexander. The popularity of the name Alexander was ensured by the fact that it was born by three Scottish kings, the first being Margaret's son who succeeded to the throne of Scotland following the death of Malcolm III.

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In various documents Alexander has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Alexander, Alistair, MacAlexander, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alsinder, Alastair, MacAlexter, Callestar, Aleckander, Alexandri, Alisdair, Alaisder, Alestare, Alistare and many more.

First found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alexander research. Another 925 words(66 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1295, 1475, 1602, 1200, 1605, 1615, 1765, 1846, 1431, 1570, 1640, 1614, 1588, 1655, 1640, 1643, 1619, 1681, 1665, 1681, 1620, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1653, 1686, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Alexander History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 175 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alexander Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Alexander family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Alexander or a variant listed above:

Alexander Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Jon Alexander, who landed in Virginia in 1653
  • Jno Alexander, who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • Henry Alexander, who arrived in Maryland in 1658
  • Samuell Alexander, who arrived in Virginia in 1658
  • Marke Alexander, who arrived in Virginia in 1662


Alexander Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jos Alexander, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Randall Alexander, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • David Alexander, who arrived in Maine in 1719
  • Archibald Alexander, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Hugh Alexander, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736


Alexander Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Alexander, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1800
  • Martha Alexander, aged 10, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Jane Alexander, aged 3, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Sarah Alexander, aged 2, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Wm Alexander, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1804


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  • John White Alexander (1856-1915), American painter
  • Brigadier-General Clyde Charles Alexander (1892-1965), American General during World War II
  • Brigadier-General Edward Harrison Alexander (1902-1978), American Acting Commanding General of the Eighteenth Air Force, Donaldson AFB, South Carolina (1954)
  • Brigadier-General George Murrell Alexander (1889-1961), American Assistant Deputy Provost Marshal General US European Theater of Operations (1943-1945)
  • Gwen Wentz Cheeseman Alexander (b. 1951), American bronze medalist field hockey goalkeeper at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • Jack Alexander (1935-2013), Scottish entertainer and comedian, half of the folk music duo The Alexander Brothers
  • Samuel Alexander (1859-1939), Australian born, British philosopher
  • Prince Louis Alexander (1854-1921), Austrian nobleman, who married a granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria, became Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, and was an officer of the Royal Navy
  • Earl Albert Victor Alexander (1885-1965), 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough, British Labour and Co-operative politician
  • Bill Alexander (b. 1948), English stage director

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  • The Alexander Family: Early Settlers of Giles County, Tennessee by Naomah Elizabeth Alexander Lance.
  • The Alexanders and Descendants by William A. York.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per mare, per terras
Motto Translation: By sea, by land.

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Alexander Clan Badge
Alexander Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Alexander
Ailaisder, Ailastair, Ailastar, Ailaster, Aileckander, Ailecxander, Ailestare, Ailestre, Ailexander, Ailexandri, Ailexter, Ailisandre, Ailischoner, Ailisdair, Ailistair, Ailistar, Ailistare, Ailister, Aillaisder, Aillastair, Aillastar, Aillaster, Aillestare, Aillexander, Aillexandri, Aillisandre, Aillisdair, Aillistair, Aillistare, Alaisder, Alastair, Alastar, Alaster, Aleckander, Alecxander, Alestare, Alestre, Alestrey, Alexander, Alexandri, Alexter, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alisdair, Alistair, Alistar, Alistare, Alister, Allaisder, Allastair and more.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Alexander Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Alexander Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 March 2014 at 13:30.

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