Select Sloan Surname Genealogy

Sloan has Gaelic origins.  The name comes from the Gaelic name Sluaghadhan, meaning "leader of a military expedition" and from shaughadh "expedition" or "raid."  Sloan is the anglicized form.

The word appears in early times in both Scottish and Irish records.  A certain Sluagadagh went forth to Rome around the year 966, according to the Chronicle of the Picts in Scotland.  The Annals of the Four Masters recorded the name of Maelpatrick O'Shuaghadh, a Celtic bard, in 1015 in Ireland.  Sloan developed later as both a Scottish and Irish surname.

Sloan, Sloane and Slone are the main spellings today.

Select Sloan Resources on The Internet

Select Sloan Ancestry

Scotland.  Early examples of the Sloan surname date from the 16th century:
  • William Slowane who held a tenemant in Dalkeith, Midlothian in 1504
  • John Aslowane who was a burgess in Edinburgh in 1562
  • and John Sloane who held lands in Traquair, Peebleshire in 1565
However, the greater frequency of the name at that time was on the west coast of Scotland.  Sloans there included Donald Showan the sheriff of Ayr, John Sloan a merchant in neartby Maybole, and the Sloans at Kirkcudbright near Galloway.  A branch of this family migrated to Ulster, while James Sloan was a prominent Glasgow merchant in the early 19th century. 

William Sloan
from Dalry in north Ayrshire was a 19th century missionary to the Faroe Islands.  After his death in 1914 his youngest son Andrew continued the practice there.  An Ayrshire farmer Andrew Sloan started Sloanís Dairies in 1911 for milk delivery in the Glasgow area.  The business expanded and continued until 1972 when it was sold to Express Dairies.

Today the Sloan name in Scotland is most common in Ayrshire and around Glasgow.

.   The Sloan name is mainly to be found in the Ulster counties of Down and Antrim.  In fact in the southern part of county Down known as the kingdom of Mourne, Sloan is the second most common surname in the region.

Sloans of Catholic Irish origin form the larger number here.  One Sloan family has been traced to the 18th century and Henry Sloan, born in Drummonds in Kilkeel parish.  His descendants continue to farm there. Other Sloans were and are to be found at Attical, Glenloughlan, and Greencastle.

There were Protestant Sloans as well.  Alexander Sloan had arrived from Kirkcudbright in the early 17th century as one of the Scottish planters.  He settled at Killyleagh to the north of Mourne by Strangford Lough.  He was of the landed or merchant class and held the office of Receiver General.  Sir Hans Sloane of this family was an avid collector and bequeathed his collection to the British Museum.  His name lives on as Sloane Square in London.

England.  There were few Sloans from England.  The largest number of Sloans in the late 19th century were to be found in Cumberland and Lancashire in NE England, reflecting either Scottish or Irish Sloan arrivals.

America.  Sloans in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as a few from Eastern Europe (possibly Slones from Slovenia).  The largest number, however, came from Ireland.  

These Sloans in the 18th century included:
  • into Massachusetts.  William Sloan came from Ulster to Rutland, Massachusetts in the 1720's.  He and his family were later one of the first settlers of Lyme, New Hampshire. 
  • into Pennsylvania.  Hanover, Pennsylvania contained many Sloans, starting with John Sloan who died there in 1741.  The Sloans of Rockbridge county in Vriginia, first evident in the 1750's, were thought to have come via Pennsylvania.  Samuel Sloan was an early settler in Westmoreland county in 1768. Captain John "Bigfoot" Sloan of the same county was an officer in the Revolutionary War and a well-known Indian fighter.  Andrew Sloan arrived in Pennsylvania after the War was over.  His descendant Earl Sloan was the inventor of Sloan's Liniment.
  • and into the Carolinas.   Caleb Sloan from county Antrim came to North Carolina in the 1730's.  David Sloan from county Down arrived there some fifty years later and settled in South Carolina.
Australia and New Zealand.  From north Ayrshire came Alexander Sloane and his wife Annabella in 1849.  He became a successful cattle farmer at Mulwala, NSW.  His son Thomas continued his fatherís merino stud farm.  But he is best remembered for his collection of ground and tiger beetles and his published work on new varieties of these beetles.

Walter Sloane
arrived in Auckland, New Zealand as a young lad from Glasgow in 1862.  He was an inn keeper there but died apparently in Sydney, Australia.

Select Sloan Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Sloan Names

Sir Hans Sloane was an 18th century Irish physician and collector, whose collection became the foundation of the British Museum.  Sloane Square in London was named after him.
Samuel Sloan, born to Irish immigrant parents, was the 19th century Philadelphia-based architect and best selling author of architecture books.
Tod Sloan was an American-born jockey who made his mark in both America and Britain at the turn of the 20th century.
Alfred P. Sloan was the long-time CEO of General Motors and the man who, after Henry Ford, transformed the US automobile industry.
The Sloane Ranger, a term invented in the 1980's, described the upper-class lifestyle of a woman who lived in the neighborhood of Sloane Square, a fashionable area of London.

Select Sloans Today
  • 12,000 in the UK (most numerous in Glasgow)
  • 18,000 in America (most numerous in Texas) 
  • 11,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

Click here for reader feedback
Click here for return to front page