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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Buchan family come from? What is the Scottish Buchan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Buchan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Buchan family history?

The current generations of the Buchan family have inherited a surname that was first used hundreds of years ago by descendants of the ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Buchan family lived in the lands of Buchan in Aberdeenshire having derived from the Gaelic word for little or small.


Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Buchan has been spelled Buchan, Buccan, Buckan, Buchane and others.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buchan research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1296 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Buchan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Buchan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Buchan:

Buchan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Buchan, who landed in Virginia in 1772
  • James Buchan who arrived in New York in 1774
  • Thomas Buchan arrived in New York city in 1775
  • Thomas Buchan, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1775

Buchan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Buchan, aged 29, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Buchan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • George Buchan arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1821
  • Sarah Buchan, aged 58, landed in New York in 1854
  • James Buchan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1877

Buchan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Buchan arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837
  • Frederick George Buchan, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"

Buchan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Buchan, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Jane Buchan, aged 32, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879


  • Martin McLean Buchan (b. 1949), Scottish football player
  • Norman Findlay Buchan, Scottish politician, member of the UK Parliament
  • Sir John Buchan (1875-1940), Scottish novelist, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada, best known for his novel "The Thirty-Nine Steps"
  • Peter Buchan (1790-1854), Scottish editor, and Scottish Ballad collector
  • David Buchan, Scottish naval officer and Arctic explorer
  • William Buchan (1729-1805), Scottish physician
  • Alexander Buchan (1829-1907), Scottish meteorologist
  • Alastair Francis Buchan (1918-1976), Scottish authority on geopolitics
  • James Buchan (b. 1954), British novelist and journalist
  • Ven. Eric Buchan (1908-2001), English Catholic clergyman, Archdeacon of Coventry (1965-)


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: Non inferioria secutus
Motto Translation: Not having followed mean pursuits.


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  1. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. 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.
  4. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Buchan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Buchan 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 30 January 2015 at 21:09.

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