Patterson A Scottish surname meaning ‘son of Patrick’, from the Latin patricius meaning ‘nobleman’. The native home of the Clan Pheadirean (Patersons) was on the north side of Lochfyne. MacPhadruig has been anglicised both as MacPatrick and Paterson. In 1863 Paterson was the nineteenth most numerous surname in Scotland. In 1890 Patterson was numerous in Down, it was also to be found in Antrim, Armagh, Derry and Tyrone. The estimated number of bearers was 6,854 (including variants). In the United States it is the 87th most numerous surname with an estimated 253,000 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the 354th most numerous surname. In Scotland in 1995 Paterson was the 18th most numerous surname.