The surname MacAlpine is held by a branch of the Ross-shire or native Gael, and is supposed to have been adopted from the Albanich, the first known inhabitants of Scotland.  The general denomination Siol Alpin includes several clans, descendants of the race to which belonged Kenneth MacAlpin, under whom the Scots and Picts were united, namely Clans Gregor, Grant, MacKinnon, MacNabs, MacDuffie or Macfie, MacQuarrie and Macaulay.  

The name itself has been recorded at various times and in various forms.  C.1260, John MacAlpine witnessed a charter by Malise, Earl of Stratherne of the lands of Cultenacloche and others in Glenalmond. 

Duncan Alpynsone of Augh (in) tulus, of Dunbretan, rendered homage in 1296.  

Mordec Makcalpy of Scotland had permission from the King of England to attend the schools of Oxford and Cambridge in 1405.  

The name can also be found in the following forms:  M’Calppin 1591, M’Calpyne 1569, M’Cavpy 1507, Mackalpe 1509, Makalpe 1511, Makcaply 1519, McKalpie 1663, Makcalpyn 1421, MkKalpy 1519, MacKalpin 1534, McKelpin 1507.  

Dunstaffnage was the original home of this clan, whose chiefship is now claimed by the MacGregors.  

The Alpins, Alpines, Elphine, Alphins and a host of other names are considered to be variations of MacAlpin and so may wear the tartan.