The surname of SLOAN was originally of Irish origin, an old and well known east Ulster name of counties Armagh and Down. The name is now numerous in Antrim, and found in County Mayo as Sloyan. The name in Gaelic is O'Sluaghain meaning 'army'. 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 formed before the year 1000. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers. Early mentions of the name in Scotland include William Slowane, who held a tenement near Dalkeith in 1504. Johanne Slowane was a juror on an assize at Kirkcudbright in 1508. John Asloan of Garroch appears as a witness in 1542, and John Sloane had sasine of land in Traquair in 1565. John Aslowane was the burgess of Edinburgh in the year 1568. Alexander Slowen was a baker in Edinburgh in 1569. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufactures. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and when Henry II (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome. A notable member of the name was Sir Hans Sloane, British physician and naturalist (1660-1753) was born in the north of Ireland of Scots parents and his collections were the foundations of the British Museum which he bequeathed to the nation. A family by the name of Sloane emigrated from Scotland to Ireland in the reign of James I An earlier spelling was Slowan or Slowman. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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