Strachan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Strachan family

The surname Strachan was first found in Kincardineshire (Gaelic: A' Mhaoirne), a former county on the northeast coast of the Grampian region of Scotland, and part of the Aberdeenshire Council Area since 1996, where the family sometimes spelled their Strachen or Straughan.

The family derive their name from the valley of the Aan (Strath Aan). The earliest record of the Clan was in 1057 AD, when they accompanied King Malcolm Canmore northward in his attempt to overthrow the King MacBeth after his usurpation of the Scottish throne.

The Clan Strachan was one of the major Clans participating in the Battle of Lumphanen, 25 miles west of Aberdeen. MacBeth died in the Battle on the 15th day of August, 1057 AD. MacBeth's Cairn may still be seen there to this day. Later in 1165 AD, a Walderus de Strathecan had extensive territories in the lands of Strachan (pronounced Stawn, but many in North America have now reverted to the original pronunciation of Stracken).

Early History of the Strachan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Strachan research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1200, 1268, 1278, 1342, 1361, 1400, 1600, 1463, 1684, 1650, 1799, 1671, 1662, 1671, 1652, 1651, 1777, 1760, 1828 and are included under the topic Early Strachan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Strachan Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Strachan, Strawn, Strachen, Straughan, Straghan and many more.

Early Notables of the Strachan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was David Strachan (died 1671), Church of Scotland prelate, Bishop of Brechin (1662-1671). Archibald Strachan (died 1652) was a Scottish soldier from Musselburgh, Edinburghshire who fought in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, reaching the rank of Colonel. He was excommunicated at Perth on 12 January 1651; in April he was declared a traitor and his goods were...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Strachan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Strachan family to Ireland

Some of the Strachan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Strachan migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Strachan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Strachan, who landed in Jamaica in 1713 [1]
  • Robert Strachan, who settled in New England in 1773
  • Susan Strachan, who landed in Virginia in 1796 [1]
Strachan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James and John Strachan, who settled in Philadelphia in 1802
  • Alexander Strachan, who landed in America in 1810 [1]
  • William Strachan, who settled in Norfolk, Virginia in 1820
  • John Strachan, who landed in New York in 1821 [1]
  • John, Strachan Jr., who arrived in New York in 1821 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Strachan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Strachan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Strachan, aged 44, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [2]

New Zealand Strachan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Strachan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • David Strachan, who landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Strachan, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1841
  • Mr. T. Strachan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Simlah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1851 [3]
  • David Strachan, aged 33, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • Elizabeth Strachan, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Strachan (post 1700) +

  • Gordon Creighton Strachan (b. 1943), American aide to H.R. Haldeman, Chief of Staff for U.S. President Richard Nixon and a figure in the Watergate scandal
  • Hugh Strachan (b. 1939), Scottish former professional footballer
  • Sir Hew Francis Anthony Strachan DL, FRSE, FRHistS, FBA (b. 1949), Scottish military historian, former Chichele Professor of the History of War at All Souls College, Oxford
  • Gavin David Strachan (b. 1978), Scottish former professional footballer, current coach and sports journalist
  • Robert Douglas Strachan (1875-1950), Scottish designer of stained glass windows from Aberdeen
  • Gordon David Strachan OBE (b. 1957), Scottish football former player and manager of the Scotland national team
  • Zoe Strachan (b. 1975), one of Scotland's leading contemporary writers
  • Mrs. Olive Strachan M.B.E., British Founder for Olive Strachan Resources, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Exports in Professional Business Services [4]
  • Admiral Sir Richard Strachan (1760-1828), British Naval officer, eldest son of Lieutenant Patrick Strachan of the Navy, nephew of Sir John Strachan
  • Sir John Strachan (d. 1777), British Captain in the Navy, descendant of a younger branch of the family of Strachan of Thornton in Kincardineshire
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. John  Strachan, Scottish stationed aboard the SS Picton from Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom who died in the explosion [5]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Ross Strachan, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [6]


The Strachan 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: Non timeo, sed caveo
Motto Translation: I fear not but am cautious


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ "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
  5. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  6. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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