Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Shetland - Family Heads

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

People Connected to Shetland

Historic County

Image right - Shetland location


See also Shetland - Main Page

People connected to Shetland can be placed in the following groups.


Historical and Political people

- accommodated by the project Historical Shetland which covers the History of Shetland and historical/political people. Some of these are also listed in the Famous people category.

Families with their roots in Shetland.

Please add the earliest head of the family to the list of Shetland Families on Geni below and link their profiles to the project. These should be male! Adding anyone with a birthplace in Shetland to the project would cause the project to be a little cluttered, so please restrict this to the earliest head of family!

Famous or Notable People

Those people of note with connections to the county are listed below. Some of these connections are a little tenuous - counties like to lay claim to people of renown! Please visit Shetland - Famous People and add them to the listing there.


People from Shetland who went to the "New world" and were early progenitors in those countries. Where the earliest ancestor is known please add them to the list of "Shetland families on Geni" below if that was their roots, or to the appropriate county project.

Where the earliest known ancestor is the emigrant add them to the list below. In some cases if there is a project that covers them in detail please link the project - there is no point in duplicating the list.

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles. Non-bold links take you to other biographical web pages.

How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

ShetlandGenealogical Resources

The Surnames of Shetland

The history of the Shetland Islands is reflected in the surnames found there to this day. A patronymic naming practice was followed by the Norse descendants, sometimes into the early 1800s when permanent Andersons, Johnsons, Williamsons, etc. There are also Scottish names such as Sinclair, Neven, and Bruce handed down in the same manner as English surnames from the time of the first Scottish migrations in the late 1400s.

A list at SHETLAND ISLANDS SURNAMES in 1804 24 surnames (many with spelling variations) made up half of the population of the Shetland Islands.

  • Anderson,
  • Jamieson,
  • Robertson,
  • Smith,
  • Williamson,
  • Irvine,
  • Tait,
  • Johnson,
  • Leask,
  • Halcrow,
  • Henderson,
  • Laurenceson,
  • Manson,
  • Mowat,
  • Nicolson,
  • Peterson,
  • Sinclair,
  • Thomason,
  • Galdie,
  • Fraser,
  • Hughson,
  • Hunter,
  • Sutherland,
  • Tulloch.

An additional 53 names brought the total to 75% of the population. These names are: Abernethy, Arthurson, Blance, Burgar, Brown, Bruce, Clerk, Duncan, Garrioch, Georgeson, Goodlad, Gray, Leslie, Malcolmson, Moncrieff, Morrison, Redland, Sandison, Aitken, Bain, Bairnson, Cogle, Davidson, Erasmuson, Gilbertson, Harper, Linklater, Murray, Ollason, Rendal, Scollay, Shewan, Stewart, Stout, and White. Also, Cheyne, Christie, Couper, Coutts, Dalziel, Eunson, Gifford, Hutchison, Inkster, Isbister, Moar, Pole, Pottenger, Priest, Simpson, Scott, Spence, Watt.

Less common were, Adamson, Archibald, Bartleson, Charleson, Danielson, Dickson, Donaldson, Dwardson, Erickson, Evanson, Frederickson, Gavinson, Garthson, Grierson, Harrison, Hectorson, Herculson, Hoseason, Jacobson, Jeromson, Mattewson, Neilson, Ninianson, Rogerson, Samuelson, Theodorson, Turvelson, Walterson plus others not recorded by Sandison [not sure who this is - but could be CJB] but with ancient ties to Shetland such as Arcus, Barclay, Beattie, Copland, Guthrie, Hay, Henry, Mail, Mann, Moodie, Nisbet, Slater. Garster

Shetland Families on Geni
























Emigrants from Shetland

Please add the names of people from Shetland who settled in the "New World"




South Africa

1820 British Settlers in South Africa

Other Pages Scottish Family Heads