Show ContentsAlistair 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Alistair family

The surname Alistair was first found in Down and Antrim, where the family claim descent from Colla Uais. [2]

One of the first records of the family was William Alysaundre or Alesander (died after 1313), an Irish judge and Crown official in the reigns of King Edward I of England and his son Edward II. He is thought to have been born in Dublin and was appointed High Sheriff of Kildare in 1299. He was Deputy Justiciar of Ireland in 1313.

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, 1610, 1614, 1615, 1640, 1689, 1755, 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

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 [3]
  • 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 [3]
  • 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
  • Sir Alistair Maurice Archibald Denny (1922-1995), 3rd Baronet of Dumbarton
  • Alistair John "Ally" Dawson (1958-2021), Scottish professional football defender, inducted into Rangers' Hall of Fame in 2011
  • Alistair Edward Brownlee M.B.E., (b. 1988), British triathlete. He holds two Olympic titles in the triathlon event, winning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and won Olympic Gold. He is also a two-time Triathlon World Champion (2009, 2011), a two-time World Team Champion (2011, 2014), a four-time European Champion (2010, 2011, 2014, 2019), and the 2014 Commonwealth champion. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013, he came 2nd in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2016
  • Alistair John "Ack" Soper (1936-2020), New Zealand rugby union player for the New Zealand National Team in 1957 from Invercargill, New Zealand

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. MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook