Anderson, Andersson, or Andersen is a surname deriving from a patronymic meaning “son of Anders/Andrew” (itself derived from the Greek name “Andreas”, meaning “man” or “manly”). It originated in parallel in Britain and the Nordic countries.
In Scotland, the name first appeared in records of the 14th century as “Fitz Andreu” (meaning son of Andrew), and developed in various forms by the Scottish Gaelic patronymic of “MacGhilleAndrais” which means the servant of St. Andrew. Variations of this name were MacAndrew, Gillanders and Anderson. The name soon migrated to other parts of Scotland due to the popularity of the name “Andrew” as associated with the Patron Saint of Scotland and the largest grouping lies in the north-east of Scotland from the Mearns through Aberdeenshire, Banff and Moray.
In England, the very first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere, is probably that of William Andreu, which was dated 1237, in the ancient charters of the county of Buckinghamshire, England, in the year 1237.
Anderson is the eighth most frequent surname in Scotland and 52nd most common in England.
In Sweden, the form Andersson is the most common surname. In Norway and Denmark, the form Andersen is quite common, being the fifth most common surname in both countries.