The name of ‘son of Andrew’ is widespread in Scotland in different forms. In the Highlands it was rendered as MacAndrew, more commonly in the lowlands as Anderson. They share the same Gaelic derivation of ‘Gilleaindreas’ – literally a servant of St. Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint.
Though it is said there is no exact place of origin, the Kinrara manuscript contains details of a claim that the MacAndrews came to Badenoch from Moidart c.1400 The tales of the vengeance of Iain beg MacAindrea on cattle lifters who raided Badenoch may confirm this. However, there is no disputing the intellectual pedigree that his kin folk subsequently established.
The tradition of scholarly erudition has significant roots in Anderson clan history throughout all the disciplines. This tradition was first established by Alexander Anderson who published works on geometry and algebra in Paris between 1612 and 1619. His cousin, David Anderson of Finshaugh, shared a similar skill in mechanics and mathematics that he applied to removing a large rock that had obstructed the entrance to Aberdeen harbour.
This achievement earned him the nick-name ‘Davie-Do-a’-Things.’