This surname was originally derived from the Greek Andreas, a name meaning manly. It was the name of the first of Jesus Christ's disciples, which is known in various local forms throughout Christendom. The disciple is the patron saint of Scotland and there is a legend that his relics were brought to Scotland in the 4th century by a certain St. Regulus. He is also the patron saint of Russia. The name was popular in Eastern Europe and in Poland. Early records of the name mention Andrew (without surname) who was a monk of Dunfermline, and became bishop of Caithness in the reign of David I. Willelmus Anderewe, of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Andreu was the vicar of Briston in County Norfolk, in the year 1442. Malcolm Andree was a tenant of the bishop of Aberdeen in 1511. Thomas Fuller and Elizabeth Andrewes were married in London in the year 1619. The name was a very popular font name in the 12th century in Scotland, but it soon became widespread all over England and Europe. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards.
During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. This Scottish and English surname is in Ireland in all the provinces since the early seventeenth century and is now numerous in Dublin and north-east Ulster. It has been sometimes used as a synonym of MacAndrew, and that name was found frequently in medieval records. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames.
They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were found before the year 1000.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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