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Occassionally, the Anderson name is affiliated with Clan Ross, which creates some confusion among Andersons. The first five earls of Clan Ross bore the name "Aindrea", and not Ross. They too were "Servants of Andrew". As the title passed to descendants of the female line, the name, Ross, was assumed by the male representatives of the earls as it referred to their territorial origin. The name "Ross" is actually derived from the District of Ross, and is therefore a territorial name. In fact, the Ross's first referred to themselves as do the Andersons: "Andrew's Servants". It is also possible that some descendants of Highland Andersons rightfully share a heritage with what today is the Ross Clan.
Some other Highland "Gillanders" (Servants of Andrew) may be associated with Clan Donald, also through the female line. The Lord of the Isles (Clan Donald) assumed the title of Earl of Ross. In fact it was Donald MacGillandrish who accompanied Moira McDonald, daughter of Allan MacDonald 2nd chief of Clan Ranald of Clan Donald origins, when she became the wife of Ferquhard Mackintosh, 10th chief of Mackintosh of Mackintosh, 11th chief of Clan Chattan and heritary Baron of Moy. Their later descendants became known as MacAndrew (son of the servant of Andrew). This is the origin of the affiliation with Clan Chattan. This connection was furthered strengthed by the marriage of Duncan the 11th of Mackintosh to Florence MacDonald, daughter of the 10th Earl of Ross , alias Aindrea, and the Lord of the Isles.
The lands of Clan Andrew or MacAndrew are in Badenoch. The Clan itself is recorded in the Kinrara manuscript as coming to the lands of Badenoch, in the heart of the Chattan Confederation territory, from Moidart around 1400. Thus Clan Anderson became part of the Chattan Confederation.
The first recording of this name appears on the Ragman Rolls of 1296 when David le fiz Andreu, Burgess of Peebles, and Duncan fiz Andreu of Dumfries were among those to swear allegiance to Edward I of England.