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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

An ancient Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first to use the name Aitchison. They lived in Berwickshire.


Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Aitchison has been spelled Acheson, Acherson, Atcherson, Aitcheson, Aitchison, Atcheson, Achison and many more.

First found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where one of the first records of the name was Johannes filius Ade was a "custumar" of North Berwick in 1384 and later appears as John Atkynsoun in 1387. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Aitchison research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1563, 1552, 1558, 1580, 1634, 1621 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Aitchison History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Aitchison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Aitchison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 355 words (25 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Aitchison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert Aitchison, aged 28, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • William Aitchison, who landed in New York in 1848
  • John Aitchison, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856
  • William Alexander Aitchison, who arrived in Richmond, Va in 1860

Aitchison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Aitchison who settled in Niagara, Lincoln county Ontario in 1852
  • William Aitchison who settled in Colchester county, Nova Scotia in 1875

Aitchison Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Aitchison arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Isabella Aitchison arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Mary Aitchison arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Elliott Aitchison arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Thomas Aitchison, aged 30, a shepherd, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Sultana"

Aitchison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Oliver Aitchison landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Jane Gifford


  • Brooks Rynd Aitchison (1891-1936), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1936
  • John Ronald Craigie Aitchison CBE RSA RA (1926-2009), Scottish painter
  • Craigie Mason Aitchison KC (1882-1941), Lord Aitchison, Scottish politician and judge
  • James Edward Tierney Aitchison FRSE FRS FRCSE (1836-1898), Scottish surgeon and botanist, member of the Royal Society in 1883
  • Dominic Aitchison (b. 1976), Scottish bassist
  • James Aitchison (1920-1994), Scottish first class cricketer
  • Suzy Aitchison (b. 1960), British television actress, best known for her role as Susie on Jam & Jerusalem
  • Frances Helen Aitchison (1881-1947), English silver medalist tennis player at the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • Sir Charles Aitchison, English Army Lieutenant, 4th Baronet Aitchison, of Lemmington, Northumberland
  • James H. Aitchison (1908-1994), Canadian academic and politician and leader of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party



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: Ane chast arbor
Motto Translation: One pure tree.


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  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)

Other References

  1. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Aitchison Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Aitchison 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 2 February 2016 at 09:56.

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