An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Alison comes from the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. The name comes from the name for the son of "Ellis" or Ellis' son. Conversely, the surname could be is derived from "Alice" as in "the son of Alice." It is likely though that the name was derived from "Ellis" rather than the female personal name. 
The surname Alison was first found in the county of Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, where they acquired some time before 1300 the territories of their family seat at Loupe. They were descended from Angus Mor MacDonnell, Lord of the Isles, their Gaelic name was MacAllister, and it is difficult through history to distinguish one name from the other.
The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Alison has appeared as Allison, Alison, Alinson, Allinson, McAllister, MacAllister, Ellison and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alison research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1296 and 1314 are included under the topic Early Alison History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Alison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Alison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Alison or a variant listed above:
Alison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Alison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Alison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Alison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Alison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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: Truth prevails
Motto Translation: Truth prevails
The Alison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Alison 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 31 August 2015 at 13:59.