A very warm welcome to the website!

‘Allanach’ is a very special and unique name. I do not say this simply because I am an Allanach and proud to be one. I say this firstly because we are few in number – perhaps 250-500 worldwide. On the Scotland’s People website (repository for all birth, death and marriage records in Scotland), there are just 1,024 records from 1513 to present day. When you consider most individuals have multiple records, that is not many. Indeed by comparison, ‘McDonald’ has 630,603 records, ‘Stewart’ 1,040, 536, and ‘Thomson’ 1,118,235.

Secondly, the sheer number of stories I have found associated with the family has been incredible. I have detailed some of these below.


I had long been interested in my family’s surname but lockdown gave an opportunity to broaden the research. The uniqueness of the name and limited geographic spread in the 1700s opened up many stories through online newspaper articles and digitilised document repositories.

I had put together the information I had found into a research file, but it was cumbersome to update and couldn’t be easily widely shared. As such, the idea for a website dedicated to Allanach family history was born.

Given the speed of digitilisation as well as the vagueness of Scottish records, I am sure that many future updates will be needed and I apologise now for any mistakes I have made in any of the records! If you contact me, I will be happy to correct. Likewise, I have tried not to include any records for living Allanachs – if you want to be included I am more than happy to do so, providing I have your express consent. Additionally if I have inadvertently used a photograph or other document that is copyrighted , please let me know so I can replace. All Scottish public records (eg birth records are Crown Copyright, stock photos used on site are Shutterstock.)

How to search for a specific Allanach

On the homepage you have three options. You can use the search box to search for a specific name, or underneath it by geographical location where a specific Allanach was born. You can also search by generation – this also pulls up a map view should you wish to see where Allanachs were born in any given century.

Another good place to start is the family tree section. You can search the table by family grouping, or by name/ place of birth/ death in the search field. Please be aware that the table works optimally on desktop, suboptimally on tablet, and in a limited way on mobile.

How you can help

It is intended that this site keeps growing as more documents, photos and stories become digitalised. You can help by sending any stories, photos, documents you have to help grow the site and the Allanach family story. I would really welcome you connecting and getting in touch!

Explore stories – Some of the more interesting stories associated with the name :

  • Farm life 1860s Aberdeenshire : A very detailed account of an Allanach family in Alford, Aberdeenshire in the 1860s and their interactions with their lodger John Duncan. Click here.
  • Opening up Australia : How an Allanach became Captain of a ship that helped bring migrants to Australia in the 1850s. Click here
  • Culloden : How an Allanach fought at Culloden alongside the infamous John ‘Old Glenbucket’ Gordon. Click here
  • Whisky Smuggling : How the Allanachs would have been involved in the illicit whisky trade. Click here.
  • Montana in the 1880s : How an Allanach robbed a railway to fund his trip to Montana, where he ended up working on the Mullan Pass to cross the Continental Divide, and in the silver rush of the late 1880s. Click here
  • 1700s Murder : How an Allanach got involved in a deadly fight and set a legal precedent. Click here.
  • Womens Equality – How an Allanach became the first female Actuary in the City of London. Click here.
  • Early 1800s crofting – A Scottish writer describes a memorable visit to an Allanach croft one winter around 1815-20. Click here
  • An audio recording of an interview giving first-hand account of meeting a neighbour born in the 1700s– This recording is from 1953 in which James Taylor recounts meeting Eppie Thain as a child. Incredibly this is a first-hand account of one of the Allanachs neighbours who was born in the 1700s! (note there are multiple recordings on various topics relating to Eppie and Duff Defiance on the site. Click here (external)