AITKEN - Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Aitken Mean?

Peat Cutting on Isle of Skye, Scotland
Ashley Cooper / Getty Images

Found primarily in Scotland, the surname Aitken is a diminutive form of the patronymic name ADAM, meaning "man," derived from the Hebrew adama, meaning "earth."

  • Surname Origin: Scottish

Famous People With the AITKEN Surname

  • James Macrae Aitken - Scottish chess player and World War II cryptographer
  • Robert Aitken - 18th-century American bible publisher
  • Robert Grant Aitken - American astronomer
  • Michael Aitkens - British television writer
  • Jacqueline Aitken - British children's writer Jacqueline Wilson
  • A. J. Aitken - Scottish lexicographer

Where Is the AITKEN Surname Most Common?

According to surname distribution from Forebears, the Aitken surname is a characteristic surname in the central counties of Scotland, found most commonly in West Lothian (ranked 21st), Peeblesshire (22nd), East Lothian (33rd) and Stirlingshire (41st). It is also fairly common in Midlothian and Lanarkshire. The surname is much less common in England, where it is found in greatest numbers in Cumberland, but fairly widespread through Northern Ireland, especially in County Antrim.

WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates a similar distribution, although it also indicates fairly widespread distribution of the surname in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It also points to the Aitken surname being found most commonly throughout central Scotland.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname AITKEN

Meanings of Common Scottish Surnames
Uncover the meaning of your Scottish last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common Scottish surnames.

Aitken Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Aitken family crest or coat of arms for the Aitken surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

AITKEN Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on descendants of Aitken ancestors around the world. Search the archives for messages about your Aitken family, or join the group and post your own Aitken query.

FamilySearch - AITKEN Genealogy
Explore over 3 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Aitken surname on FamilySearch, a free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

AITKEN Surname Mailing List
A free mailing list for researchers of the Aitken surname and its variations includes subscription details and searchable archives of past messages.

GeneaNet - Aitken Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Aitken surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Aitken Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Aitken surname from the website of Genealogy Today.


  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "AITKEN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). AITKEN - Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "AITKEN - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).