As Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland the surname Anderson, which means Son of Andrew is found common over most of the country. The Scottish Gaelic derivation of the name is Gilleaindreas which means Macandrew. The Scottish historian, Ian Grimble, states that although arms were granted to an Anderson of that Ilk in the sixteenth century, as the name is so widespread no exact place of origin can be established.
16th and 17th centuries
The historian George Fraser Black lists Andersons as being burgesses of Peebles as well as in the county of Dumfries. In 1585 John Anderson was a commissioner to Parliament for Cupar.Alexander Anderson was a famous mathematician who was born near Aberdeen and later settled in Paris, where he published works on Algebra and Geometry. Alexander's kinsman, David Anderson of Finshaugh, also a scientist, is renowned for removing a rock that was obstructing the entrance to Aberdeen harbour with the application of science and mechanics.
19th and 20th centuries
In 1863 William Anderson published his famous biographical history of the people of Scotland, The Scottish Nation, in three volumes. In this book he praised the above-mentioned rock remover, David Anderson, stating that he had been rich enough and generous enough to found and endow a hospital in Aberdeen for the maintenance and education of ten poor orphans.