Anderson Name Meaning & Origin

Wes Anderson in front of Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, Filmmaker.

Getty Images / Mike Pont

Patronymic surname meaning "son of Andrew." Andrew (man, manly) was the first of Jesus' disciples and was a revered name in medieval times due to its church connections. St. Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia.

Swedish patronymic "son" names traditionally end in -son, not -sen. In Denmark, the regular patronymic is -sen. In Norway, both are used, although -sen is more common. Icelandic names traditionally end in -son or -dotir.

Surname Origin

Swedish, Danish, Norwegian English

Alternate Surname Spellings


Famous Andersons

  • Pamela Anderson: Canadian-American model and actress
  • Mary Anderson: inventor of the windshield wiper
  • Willie Anderson: professional Scottish golfer
  • Joe Anderson: British actor
  • Wes Anderson: independent filmmaker
  • Hans Christian Anderson: Danish author

Genealogy Resources

  • 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?
  • Anderson and Andersen Family DNA Project: Join Anderson and Andersen individuals worldwide working together to sort out Anderson families from different countries and connect Anderson families who came to America through DNA.
  • Anderson Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Anderson surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Anderson query. There are also separate forums for the Andersen and Anderssen variations of the Anderson surname.
  • FamilySearch - ANDERSON Genealogy: Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Anderson surname and its variations.
  • Anderson Surname & Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Anderson surname.
  • Cousin Connect: Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Anderson, and sign up for free notification when new Anderson queries are added.
  • Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Anderson.


  • 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.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Anderson Name Meaning & Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 28). Anderson Name Meaning & Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Anderson Name Meaning & Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).