Achterlony History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Achterlony. It comes from in Auchterlonie, near Forfar, in the county of Angus where the family dates back to the 12th century. [1]

Early Origins of the Achterlony family

The surname Achterlony was first found in Forfarshire part of the Tayside region of North Eastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, where they were anciently an old family of Angus seated on the lands of Auchterlonie near Forfar from about the year 1200. The first on record was John Auchterlonie who exchanged his lands for his son's lands of Kenny, later Kelly, in 1226. [1]

The Swedish family claims descent from Sea Captain Thomas Ouchterlony (1691-1777), son of Alexander Ouchterlony (ca. 1655-1735), merchant in Dundee and grandson of John Ouchterlony (1623-1695), minister in Aberlemno , Angus, Scotland, who served in the Swedish East India Company (1733 to ca.1748.) He settled in Karlshamn in 1748 and worked as a sea captain there until 1759 when he returned to Great Britain. Thomas' son, John Ouchterlony (1729-1776) sailed with his father to Karlshamn in 1748 and married Maria Margareta Hulst there.

Early History of the Achterlony family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Achterlony research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1388, 1410, 1430, 1457, 1514, 1518, 1643, 1648, 1661, 1663 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Achterlony History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Achterlony Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Achterlony has appeared Auchterlonie, Auchterlony, Ochterlonie, Ochterlony, Ouchterlony, Ochterlonee, Aughterlony, Aughterloney, Aughterlonie, Auchterlowney, Auchterlownie, Achterlonie, Achterlony, Oughterlonie and many more.

Early Notables of the Achterlony family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Achterlony Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Achterlony family

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Achterlony name: John Auchterlony who settled in Maryland in 1740.



The Achterlony Motto +

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: Deus mihi adjutor
Motto Translation: God is my helper.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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