Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The interest started in 1970 when my son was born and was the last male of our line to carry the name. Over the years this became a One Name study, with collaboration with Christison's around the world, amassing a lot of data and family trees. Our branch has been in Berwick upon Tweed since 1760.

Variant names

The registered variant is Chrystison, which appears in early records also Christisone, C(h)ristysoun and Crysteson. There are other variants mainly due to phonetic spellings, but at present no research being done into these as no firm links to main study.

Name origin

The name appears on page 151 of George Black's 'The Surnames of Scotland' '' 'the son of Christopher' from the diminutive CHRISTIE. Also possible to be from Christini ( latin gen) as in 1436 in Brechin an Alexander Christini is listed also as Christysoun.'

Historical occurrences of the name

Sir Robert Christison Bt. 1797- 1882 Chair of Medical Jurisprudence Edinburgh University Physician to Queen Victoria

Sir Alexander Christison Bt. 1828-1918 Surgeon General 1877, President of Royal Victoria Hospital Edinburgh. Championed medical education for women.

General Sir Alexander Frank Philip Christison Bt. 1893-1993. Commanded 14th Army in Burma during World War Two C-in-C Allied Land Forces South-East Asia.

Robert Christison 1837-1915 Pastoralist. Introduced Hereford cattle to Australia and was a founder of shipping frozen meat to UK.

Henry David Alexander Christison 1870-1943 Elected Mayor of Vaucluse, Sydney in 1910. Gave land for a Christison Park in 1918 now part of Maquire Lighthouse Reserve.

Name frequency

Surname is most frequent in Scotland the 1891 Census lists 345 with 131 in England.

Many emmigrated to USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Distribution of the name

The name is most prevelant in Angus/Forfarshire from earliest records. 160 of the 345 Christison's in 1891 census are to be found in Angus/Forfarshire. In England the highest concentration is County Durham 47 in 1891 census, followed by London with 31. The name is to be found in some numbers in USA, New Zealand, Australia. With a few in Canada and South Africa.


Births, Deaths & Marriages for England and Wales 1837-2004 (in Guild online archive)

Outbound Shipping Lists 1890-1960

1841,1851,1861,1871,1881,1891 Census for England Wales & Scotland

Old Parish Registers, mainly Scotland /England border area.

Wills 1858-1965