Humanities › History & Culture Alexander Surname Share Flipboard Email Print Getty / Hero Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated November 25, 2019 The Alexander surname means "repulser of the enemy" or "defender of men." It derives from the personal name Alexander, derived from the Greek Aλεξαvδpoς (Alexandros), made up of alexin, meaning "to defend" and andros, meaning "man." Although derived from a personal name of Greek origin, the Alexander surname is most commonly found in Scotland as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name MacAlasdair. MACALLISTER is a common derivation. Alexander is the 104th most popular surname in Scotland, just dropping out of the top 100 during the past decade. Surname Origin: Scottish, English, Dutch, GermanAlternate Surname Spellings: ALEXANDRE, ALESANDER, ALESANDRE, ALAXANDAIR, ALASDAIR, ALEXANDAR, ALEKSANDER, MACALEXANDER Where the Alexander Surname is Found Perhaps surprising, but the Alexander surname is found in the greatest frequency in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, where one in 52 people bears the surname. According to Forebears, it also ranks among the top 20 surnames in several other Caribbean countries, including St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Alexander is also popular in Scotland and the United States; it ranks just out of the top 100 surnames in both countries. WorldNames PublicProfiler highlights Alexander as an especially popular surname in Australia and New Zealand, followed by the United States and Great Britain. Within Scotland, Alexander is found most frequently in South Ayrshire. Famous People Harold Alexander: British commander who fought in both World WarsNathaniel Alexander: inventor of the folding chairJason Alexander: American film, theater, and television actor, most well known for his role as George in Seinfeld.Archibald Alexander: Protestant clergyman and educator Genealogy Resources Alexander Surname Y-DNA Project: Over 340 members belong to this Y-DNA surname project at FamilyTreeDNA, organized to connect individuals with the Alexander surname interested in DNA testing.Alexander Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Alexander surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Alexander query.FamilySearch: Explore over 3.5 million historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Alexander surname and its variations on the free FamilySearch website.Alexander Surname & Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Alexander surname.DistantCousin.com: Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Alexander.The Alexander Genealogy and Family Tree Page: Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the popular last name Alexander from the website of Genealogy Today. Sources Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.