Alistair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Alistair family

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

Early History of the Alistair family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alistair research. Another 462 words (33 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 Alistair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alistair Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Alistair family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alistair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Alistair family to Ireland

Some of the Alistair family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Alistair family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who colonized Nova Scotia, in Antigonish, Pictou, the Carolinas, Virginia and Upper Canada. Richard H. Alexander, traveled from Ontario in a group called the ".


Contemporary Notables of the name Alistair (post 1700) +

  • Mr. David Alistair Willey M.B.E., British Lieutenant Colonel for Royal Army Dental Corps, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [1]
  • Mr. Leon Alistair Daniels O.B.E., British Managing Director for Surface Transport, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Transport for London [1]
  • Robert Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014), Baron McAlpine of West Green, best known as Alistair McAlpine, a British businessman, politician, author and advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
  • Stuart Alistair Holden (b. 1985), Scottish-born American soccer player at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Dr David Alistair Kemp (b. 1941), Australian politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for Goldstein (1990-2004)
  • David Alistair Shand (b. 1956), retired Canadian NHL ice hockey defenceman
  • Mr. Alistair Paisley B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for political and public service
  • Mr. Alistair McInnes Newton M.B.E., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to People with Neurological Illnesses particularly Dystonia [2]
  • Mr. Alistair John Huddleston M.B.E., British Biology Teacher for Peebles High School, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Education [2]
  • Mr. Alistair Handyside M.B.E., British owner of Higher Wiscombe, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for voluntary service to the Tourism Sector in the South West [2]


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


  1. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1


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