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The age-old Pictish-Scottish family name Finlayson is derived from the Gaelic MacFhionnlaigh which means 'son of Finlay' or which is often Anglicized to fair hero.

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The surname Finlayson was first found in Stirlingshire, where traditionally this Clan is descended from Finlay Mor Farquharson, in turn descended from the ancient 11th century Thanes of Fife, through Shaw MacDuff, the first progenitor of the Farquharsons of the Braes of Mar. The descendants of Finlay Mor, a giant of a man, a man of daring and unequalled courage, settled in the lowlands with the name MacIanla, though, strangely, they had previously been called the Clan Eracher. It is claimed that the MacErachers of Perth also are descended from Finlay Mor. In the lowlands they became the Clan MacIanla. This was in turn anglicized to Finlayson, having many spellings, but approximately the same sound. The first Finlay married the heiress of the Garden, 'of that Ilk', and acquired those estates.

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Finlayson has been spelled Finlayson, Finleyson, Finlaison, Finlawson, Fynlawsone, Findlayson, Findleyson, Finlason, Findlaysoun, Finlaisone, Fynloson, McIanley, MacIanlay, MacKinlay, MacEracher, McEracher and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finlayson research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1450, 1455, 1478, and 1585 are included under the topic Early Finlayson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Finlayson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Finlayson:

Finlayson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • George Finlayson settled in Maryland in 1774
  • James Finlayson, who landed in Virginia in 1793

Finlayson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John, Lewis and Thomas Finlayson all arrived in Pennsylvania between 1813 and 1832
  • Alexander Finlayson, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1850

Finlayson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Francis Donald Finlayson, who landed in Colorado in 1907

Finlayson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Finlayson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Thomas Finlayson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Finlayson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Grame Finlayson, Scottish convict from Stirling, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Finlayson arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • Helen Finlayson arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • D. Finlayson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1849
  • Eric Finlayson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850
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Finlayson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Finlayson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865
  • Donald Finlayson, aged 31, a railway porter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • Bella Finlayson, aged 31, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • Roderick Finlayson, aged 3, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • James Finlayson, aged 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
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  • Patty Finlayson, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Delaware, 2004
  • John L. Finlayson, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1934
  • James R. Finlayson, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 9th District, 1880-81
  • H. A. Finlayson, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Minnesota 10th District, 1920
  • George P. Finlayson (b. 1886), American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Arica, 1917-18
  • Frank Graham Finlayson (1864-1947), American Republican politician, Member of California State Assembly, 1893-94; Superior Court Judge in California, 1911-19; Judge, California Court of Appeal, 1919-26
  • Alex Finlayson, American playwright
  • Paul Finlayson, American engineer in the Outer Planets Mission Analysis Group at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena
  • James Finlayson (1887-1953), Scottish born comedic actor, best known for his roles in Laurel & Hardy films
  • James Finlayson (1772-1852), Scottish self-trained engineer, founder of Finlayson & Compagnie
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Finlayson Historic Events



HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Harry Finlayson (1905-1941), Australian Mechanician 1st Class from North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. David A Finlayson (b. 1920), Scottish Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Edinburgh, Scotland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Wilfred Finlayson, British Canteen Manager NAAFI, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
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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: Coelitus datum
Motto Translation: Given by God.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
    3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
    5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
    10. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
    11. ...

    The Finlayson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Finlayson 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 1 June 2016 at 01:38.

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