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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Russian, Scottish


This name comes from the given name Alexander, which was in turn originally derived from the Greek name, which means defender of men. In the late 11th century, Queen Margaret introduced the name into Scotland by naming one of her sons Alexander; she had heard the name in the Hungarian Court where she was raised. From Scotland, the name came to Ireland, where MacAlasandair became the Irish form.

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The surname Alexander was first found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Alexander, Alistair, MacAlexander, McAlexander, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alsinder, Alastair, MacAlexter, Callestar, Aleckander, Alexandri, Alisdair, Alaisder, Alestare, Alistare and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alexander research. Another 597 words (43 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1230, 1295, 1431, 1475, 1570, 1602, 1605, 1614, 1615, 1640, 1765, and 1846 are included under the topic Early Alexander History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 30 words (2 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 180 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Alexander Settlers in 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 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 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


Alexander Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Peter Alexander, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Sarah Alexander U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Saint David, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 a member of Cape Ann Association

Alexander Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who colonized Nova Scotia, in Antigonish, Pictou, the Carolinas, Virginia and Upper Canada
  • John Alexander, aged 20, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Lady Campbell" in 1833
  • Joseph Alexander, aged 17, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Samuel Alexander, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833
  • Margaret Alexander, aged 29, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833


Alexander Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Alexander, a blacksmith, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Hannah Alexander, aged 29, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington"
  • David Henry Alexander, aged 29, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Brankenmoor"
  • David Alexander arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1849
  • Henry Alexander arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Munn" in 1849


Alexander Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Alexander landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • A Alexander landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • Jas Alexander landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • J Alexander landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • E Ann Alexander landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Catherine Stuart Forbes


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  • Tyler Alexander (1941-2016), American race car engineer, co-founder of McLaren Racing Limited, a British Formula One team
  • Van Alexander (1915-2015), born Alexander Van Vliet Feldman, an American bandleader, arranger and composer who lived to be 100 years old
  • Claudia J. Alexander (1959-2015), Canadian-born, American research scientist specializing in geophysics and planetary science for the United States Geological Survey and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Gwen Wentz Cheeseman Alexander (b. 1951), American bronze medalist field hockey goalkeeper at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • Brigadier-General George Murrell Alexander (1889-1961), American Assistant Deputy Provost Marshal General US European Theater of Operations (1943-1945)
  • Brigadier-General Edward Harrison Alexander (1902-1978), American Acting Commanding General of the Eighteenth Air Force, Donaldson AFB, South Carolina (1954)
  • Brigadier-General Clyde Charles Alexander (1892-1965), American General during World War II
  • John White Alexander (1856-1915), American painter
  • Robert McNeill "Neill" Alexander CBE FRS (1934-2016), British zoologist, Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Andrew Alexander (1935-2015), English journalist and columnist for The Daily Mail

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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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  1. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  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 3 May 2016 at 12:03.

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