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Anderson

  Origins and history Anderson is an English and Scottish patronymic surname, meaning ’son of Andrew‘. In this form, it is more common in the Lowlands, but it is widespread in Scotland in different forms.  In the Highlands, it was rendered as MacAndrew, of medieval Scottish origin. Both names share the same Scottish Gaelic derivation of ‘Gilleaindreas’ (More...)

Anstruther

History     Origin of name From the town of Anstruther, which was adopted as a familial name.     Origins of the Clan Alexander I of Scotland granted the lands of Anstruther to William de Candela in the early 12th century. There are a number of suggested origins for William but research points to the Normans in Italy. It is known that (More...)

Arbuthnott

History     Coat of Arms The Viscount of Arbuthnott, Chief of Clan Arbuthnott     Origin of name From the place name Aberbothenoth, which lies on a narrow peninsula on the north side of the river Bervie. On the north east side the land falls steeply down to the burn, once called Buthenot, and on the south side it slopes more (More...)

Armstrong

History The Armstrong name has a mythological origin, in that it is said their heroic progenitor, Fairbairn, saved his king of Scotland in battle, and not from a wild beast as is the case with another Border clan - the Turnbulls. It is said that, dressed in full armour, he lifted the king onto his own (More...)

Arthur

Clan Arthur, (Scottish Gaelic: Clann Artair), is a highland Scottish clan that once held lands on the shores of Loch Awe opposite Inishail. The clan has been described as one of the oldest clans in Argyll. Clan Arthur and Clan Campbell share a common origin, and at one point the MacArthurs challenged the seniority of (More...)

Bannerman

Origins of Name The Bannerman name is said to have originated in the privilege of carrying the king’s banner in wartime, an honour the Bannermans had from approximately the 11th through the 13th century. As a consequence of this role, the Bannermans held the rank of knights banneret, a title conferred on people of particular military (More...)

Barclay

Origins of the clan Since the eighteenth century, Barclay historians, noted for their low level in medieval scholarship, have assumed the Scottish family Barclay (de Berchelai) is a branch of one of the two Anglo-Norman families of de Berkeley of Berkeley in Gloucestershire, without any evidence which would link the Scottish and English families. A more plausible (More...)

Borthwick

Origins of the Clan The origins of the name “Borthwick” are territorial. The name seems likely to have been assumed from Borthwick Water in Roxburghshire. It is traditionally held that the first of the noble house was Andreas, who accompanied the Saxon Edgar Ætheling and his sister, Saint Margaret of Scotland, to Scotland in 1067.     15th Century Around 1410 (More...)

Boswell

  Origins of the Clan The Clan Boswell are accepted as of Norman or French origin, Black offers two derivations of the name – either from a vill, or manor, near Yvetot in Normandy, or from Beuzevill near Bolbec. The ‘sieur’, or Lord de Bosville, is said to have been one of the Norman commanders at the (More...)

Boyd

Origins of the clan There are two main theories on the origin of the name. The first asserts that name is descriptive, deriving from the Gaelic ‘buidhe’, meaning ‘fair’ or ‘blonde’. The ‘fair’ man in question is said to have been Robert, nephew of Walter Fitzalan, 1st High Steward of Scotland. The fess-chequey (see Heraldry) supports (More...)

Boyle

Origins There is little doubt that the de Beauvilles (or de Boyville) came to Britain following the Norman conquest of 1066. They settled in Wales and Cumberland initially, though some of the Welsh line later travelled to Ireland and are the ancestors of the Earls of Cork and Shannon. In 1124 Hugh de Morvile was granted the (More...)

Brodie

Early Clan History     origins of the clan The origins of the Brodie clan are mysterious. Much of the early Brodie records were destroyed when Clan Gordon pillaged and burnt Brodie Castle in 1645. It is known that the Brodies were always about since records began. From this it has been presumed that the Brodies are ancient, probably (More...)

Broun

Origins of the Name As well as the name being Scottish, Broun or Brown is also common name in Old English charters (as Brun) from an adjective meaning brown or dark red. It also occurs in Old High German as Brunn and is the source of the French surname le Brun. A family of this name (More...)

Bruce

History The name Bruce comes from the French ‘de Brus’ or ‘de Bruis’, what is now Brix between Cherbourg and Valognes in Normandy. The first Robert de Brus in Great Britain accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 and died, it is believed, around 1094. However, it was his son, also Robert de Brus (known as Robert le (More...)

Buchan

Origins of the Clan The Clan names derives from the district of Buchan. This in turn may have taken its name from ‘bwch’, a word meaning cow in the Brythonic language. The first recorded Buchan was Ricardus de Buchan, clerk of the bishopric of Aberdeen around 1207 and in 1281 William de Buchan is recorded as (More...)

Buchanan

Clan Buchanan (Pronounced B-eww-cannon in North America and Buck-annon in Europe and Australia) is an Armigerous Scottish clan whose origins are said to lie in the 1225 grant of lands on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond to clergyman Sir Absalon of Buchanan by the Earl of Lennox.     Origins of the Clan Clan Buchanan has occupied the (More...)

Burnett

History     Origins of the name There is still debate over the origin of the name Burnett. The Saxon Burford family held lands in Bedfordshire prior to 1066. This name derives from the Saxon ‘beornheard’ meaning ‘bear hand’ often translated as ‘brave warrior’. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the name derives from Burnet, a French name recorded (More...)

Cameron

Clan Cameron is a West Highland Scottish clan, with one main branch Lochiel, and numerous cadet branches such as Erracht, Clunes, Glen Nevis, and Fassifern. The Clan Cameron lands are in Lochaber and within their lands is the mountain Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in the British Isles.   Origin of the clan The origins (More...)

Campbell of Cawdor

Clan Campbell of Cawdor is a highland Scottish clan. While the clan is recognised by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, the clan does not have a clan chief recognised by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. Also, because the clan does not have a clan chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms (More...)

Campbell

Origins of the clan     The origins of Clan Campbell are uncertain. The earliest attested Campbell is Gilleasbaig of Menstrie (floruit 1260s), father of Cailean Mór, from whom the chiefs of the clan are thought to have taken their style MacCailean Mór. The byname kambel is recorded at this time. Fanciful reconstructions derive it from the French (More...)

Carmichael

Origins of the Clan The name Carmichael originally comes from lands in Lanarkshire which were granted to Sir James Douglas of Clan Douglas in 1321 and by his nephew to Sir John Carmichael between 1374 and 1384.d The name is also used to anglicise MacIlleMhicheil     Anglo-Scottish border conflicts The Carmichaels were strong supporters of the Clan Douglas during their (More...)

Carnegie

History     Origins of the Clan The Carnegies took their name from the area around Carmyllie, Angus. The family who adopted this name however, were originally known under an earlier adopted placename of Balinhard which is also in Angus. The Balinhards can be found in records from 1230. In 1358 John of Balinhard was granted the lands and barony (More...)

Cathcart

Origins of the Clan As well as being a surname Cathcart is a Scottish town just south of Glasgow. There is some speculation as to the origin of the name Cathcart. Some believe it is ancient Celtic meaning, “Fort on the River Cart”, as that river flows right past the ancient castle. Others believe it means, (More...)

Charteris

Origins of the Name Chartres, the French city famed for its cathedral, is claimed as the origin of this name. William, a son of the Lord of Chartres, is said to have come to England with the Norman Conquest, and his son or grandson came north to Scotland with the retinue of David I. One of (More...)

Chattan

Origin of name The origin of the name Chattan is disputed. There are three main theories The name derives from the Catti, a tribe of Gauls, driven out by the advancing Romans. The name is taken from Cait, an ancient name for the present counties of Caithness and Sutherland. The clan derives its name from Gillchattan Mor, baillie of (More...)

Chisholm

Origins of the Clan The early Scottish Chisholms were not to be found in the Highlands, but owned land near the English border. In 1296, in the Ragman Rolls, John de Chesolm (Chesehelm) was described as “of the county of Berwick” and Richard de Chesolm (Chesehelm) as “of the county of Roxburgh“, while in 1335 Alexander (More...)

Cochrane

Origins of the Name The name Cochrane is believed to originate from the lands of Coueran, Cochrane near Paisley in Renfrewshire.It is also believed that some people of the name MacEacherns changed their name to Cochrane when they came to the Scottish Lowlands to conceal their identity. Another theory is that after fighting so ferociously in (More...)

Colquhoun

Origins of the Clan In the thirteenth century Maol Domhnaich, Earl of Lennox granted the lands of Colquhoun, located in Dunbartonshire, to Humphry de Kilpatrick. Humphry’s son, Ingelram de Colquhoun, who lived in the reign of Alexander III, was the first person recorded as taking Colquhoun as a surname. Around 1368, Luss, on Loch Lomond, was (More...)

Colville

Origins of the Clan The name Colville is believed to be of ancient Norman origin. It is believed to be derived from the town of Colleville -Sur-Mur in Normandy, France. The word “Col” meaning dark and swarthy and the word “Ville” meaning Village or “Castle on the Hill”. Colville might also have come from the French word (More...)

Cranstoun

  History     Origins of the clan The name Cranstoun comes from the Barony of Cranstoun in Midlothian. The family owned lands in the counties of Edinburgh and Roxburgh. The first known person of the Cranstoun family was Elfric de Cranstoun who was a witness to a charter by William the Lion in Holyrood in about 1170. Around that time (More...)

Crawford

Clan Crawford is an ancient lowland House recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, which is the heraldic authority of Scotland, as an armigerous clan. More properly a “House” as most of the lowland families were titled, Clan Crawford is considered armigerous because Crawfords are matriculated with the Lyon Court as armigers.The clan is (More...)

Crighton

Clan History The lands of Kreitton formed one of the earliest baronies around Edinburgh and are mentioned in charters of the early 12th century.     Early Crichtons Thurstan de Cechtune was a witness to the foundation of the Holyrood Abbey by King David I of Scotland in 1128. Thomas de Crichton swore fealty to King Edward I of England (More...)

Cumming or Comyn

History     Origin of the name The origin of the surname Comyn and Cumming (in relation to this clan) is disputed. It is thought that the name may be derived from the a Celtic personal name derived from the element cam (meaning “bent” or “crooked”. These names were relatively frequent in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire in the twelfth (More...)

Cunningham

  History     Origins of the clan Traditionally, in 1059, King Malcolm rewarded Malcolm, son of Friskin with the Thanedom of Cunninghame. The first known Cunningham was Warnebald Cunningham and then his son Robertus Cunningham. Warnebald was granted the lands of Cunninghame by Hugh de Morville in around 1115. Robertus received the lands of Cunningham between the years 1160 and (More...)

Darroch

Origins of the Name The name darroch is said to derive from the Gaelic word ‘Macdara’ which meant “son of oak”. The Darrochs settled around Stirling. and appear to derive their name from Darroch near Falkirk, where there once may have been an Oak grove.     15th to 17th century John Darroch was baille of Stirling in 1406. John (More...)

Davidson

History When the power of the Comyns began to wane in Badenoch, Donald Dubh of Invernahaven, Chief of Davidsons, having married the daughter of Angus, 6th of MacKintosh, sought the protection of William, 7th of MacKintosh, before 1350, and Clan Davidson became associated with the Chattan Confederation. In the 18th century we find important families like the (More...)

Dewar

History Dewars were also recorded as Septs of Clan Menzies and Clan MacNab.     Origins of the Clan The infamous Ragman Rolls includes the record of the first known people by the name Dewar where Thomas and Piers de Deware both having swore fealty to King Edward I of England. The name is an anglicisation of “Deòrach” which originally means (More...)

Douglas

Clan Douglas, also referred to as the House of Douglas, is an ancient family from the Scottish Lowlands taking its name from Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and thence spreading through the Scottish Borderland, Angus, Lothian and beyond. The clan does not currently have a chief, therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan.     Clan crest of Clan Douglas The (More...)

Drummond

Origins of the Clan Clan traditions credit the founder of the clan as Maurice of Hungary, a Hungarian prince descended from Arpad, who is said to have accompanied Edgar Ætheling, heir to the English throne, and his sister Saint Margaret of Scotland, when they sailed there in 1066. This disregards accepted history that Edgar and Margaret (More...)

Dunbar

  Origins of the Clan The Clan Dunbar descends from Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria, grandson of Crínán of Dunkeld and Seneschal of the Isles and nephew to King Duncan I of Scotland who became Earl of Northumberland after his father. In 1072 this title was deprived from him by William the Conqueror and he fled back to (More...)

Dundas

Clan Dundas is the name given to one of Scotland’s most historically important families. Once widely regarded as one of the most noble in the British Empire. The fortunes of the family are now almost lost, with its lands sold to the state, its castles reclaimed and its stately homes either bought by the state, (More...)

Durie

Origins There is a persistent myth that the origin of the name Durie is from the French ‘Du Roi’ but there is no evidence for this. Rather, a younger son of the Earls of Strathearn was granted the existing lands of Durie (from the Gaelic for a small or black stream) and took the name. Another (More...)

Eliott

Origins of the name The name Eliott is believed to derive from the village of Eliot in Angus although the Old English form of Elwold also appears in Scotland. Little is known of the early history of Clan Eliott because few records survive. This could be because the Eliott’s Castle Stobs was burned down in 1712. Legend (More...)

Elphinstone

Origins of the Name The surname Elphinstone is derived from the territory of Elphinstone in the parish of Tranent, meaning ‘of Elphinstone.’ The original people of this name are believed to have been known as ‘de Erth’. Later still they were known as ‘Elfinstun’. The people of the Clan Elphinstone are believed to have originated from (More...)

Erskine

Origins of the Name Erskine is an area to the south of the River Clyde and ten miles to the west of Glasgow. The name is believed to be ancient or Old British for green rising ground. In the 13th century during the reign of King Alexander II of Scotland the first known person of the (More...)

Farquharson

Origins of the Clan Farquhar - from the Gaelic ‘fear’ and ‘char’ meaning ‘dear one’. In modern Scottish Gaelic, the surname is writtern “MacFhearchair”. The name derives its name from Farquhar Shaw, 4th son of Alexander “Ciar” Mackintosh of Rothiemurchus, 5th Chief of the Clan Shaw, who settled in the Braes of Mar, the source of the (More...)

Fergusson

History of the clan Before the 18th century, at least five groups of Fergusons possessed lands and lived in the style of a clan under their respective chiefs in Argyll, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Galloway, and Carrick. Today, the Kilkerran Fergusons in Ayrshire and the family of Ferguson of Baledmund and the Fergusons of Balquhidder, both in Perthshire, (More...)

Forrester

Clan Forrester is a Lowland Scottish clan. The clan is an armigerous clan, and has no position under Scots law, because there is no chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.     History     Origins of the Clan It is believed that the Clan Forrester is of Celtic origin. The founder of the clan is believed to be (More...)

Forsyth

Origins of the Clan The first recorded person of the name was William de Firsith on the Ragman Roll in Berwick on the 28th August 1296. Much of the records of Clan Forsyth were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War, therefore little is known.     Wars of Scottish Independence In the 14th century during the Wars of (More...)

Fraser of Lovat

Clan Fraser of Lovat is a Highland Scottish clan and is a branch of the Clan Fraser. The Frasers of Lovat are descendants from a younger brother of Sir Alexander Fraser. It is Sir Alexander Fraser descendants whom are the chief line of the Fraser clan. The current chief of the clan is Simon Fraser, (More...)

Fraser

Clan Fraser (Scottish Gaelic: Clann Frisealach, French: Clan Frasier) is a Scottish clan of French origin. The Clan has been strongly associated with Inverness and the surrounding area since the Clan’s founder gained lands there in the 13th century. Since its founding, the Clan has dominated local politics and been active in every major military (More...)

Galbraith

  Origin of the clan The surname Galbraith means Foreign Briton. The surname denoted the ethnic differences between the Gaels who migrated to Scotland in about the fifth century and the native Welsh speaking Britons of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. The Strathclyde Britons remained a distinct ethnic group from the Highland Gaels and Lowland Angles until the (More...)

Gayre

Origins of the Clan There are several theories as to the origin of the name Gayre. The first is that it is a name of Celtic origin. However it is now believed that the name hails from Cornwall in the south of England, where the de Ke Kayres were lords of many manors. The name as (More...)

Gordon

  History     Origins of the clan The origin of the Gordon clan in Scotland was not Gaelic. The Gordon clan is originally from Normandy, where their ancestors are said to have had large possessions. From the great antiquity of the race, many fabulous accounts have been given of the descent of the Gordons. Some derive them from a (More...)

Graham

  History     Origins of the Clan The early history of the Grahams of Scotland remains complex. Legend suggests that the Roman Antonine Wall, which forged the divide between Roman Britannia and the unconquered highlands, was broken by Graeme (sic.), a great Caledonian chief, as he drove the Roman legions from his lands. This, unfortunately, might never be proven, (More...)

Grant

Clan Grant is a Highland Scottish clan which inhabited land in Northern Scotland since 1316, although the clan is known to have existed farther back than that. During the various times of personal financial hardship in Scotland (particularly in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellions) many Grants moved elsewhere, mostly across the former British Empire (More...)

Gregor or MacGregor

  Clan Gregor, or Clan MacGregor, is a Highland Scottish clan. Outlawed for nearly two hundred years after losing their lands in a long power struggle with the Clan Campbell, the Clan Gregor claims descent from Constantin and wife and cousin Malvina, first son of Doungallas and wife Spontana (daughter of a High King of Ireland) (More...)

Grierson

Clan Grierson is a lowland Scottish clan. The surname Grierson is a patronymic form of the medieval Scottish personal name Grier which is a form of the personal name Gregory. It has been speculated by some that they may descend from the same line as Clan Gregor, however this is refuted by others. Gilbrid MacGregor was (More...)

Gunn

Clan Gunn is a Scottish clan associated with northeastern Scotland, including Caithness and Sutherland as well as the Orkney Islands.The clan’s origins stretch over the sea to Norway, and the Clan Gunn themselves claim descent from the legendary Sweyn Asleifsson, the so-called ‘Ultimate Viking’, the progenitor of the clan, and through his grandson Gunni, considered (More...)

Guthrie

  Clan History     Origins of the Name The name Guthrie almost certainly derives from the barony of the same name near Forfar. Other theories are that it is a corruption of Guthrum, which was the name of a Scandinavian Prince.     Wars of Scottish Independence The first of the name Guthrie on record in Scotland was one Squire Guthrie in 1303 (More...)

Haig

Origins The first known person of the name was Petrus de Haga, who is mentioned in documents from 1162. However, the Clan Haig are traditionally said to descend from Druskine, the King of Picts, who was killed at the Battle of Camelon by Kenneth, the King of Scots, in 839. His son, Hago, escaped to Norway and (More...)

Haldane

Origins of the Clan It is believed that the name ‘Haldane’ originates from a phrase meaning ‘Half-Dane’. It is an ancient Scottish name dating back to around the 12th century with the manor of Haldane being granted to the family around this time by William the Lion. A cadet branch of the family are reported to (More...)

Hamilton

The House of Hamilton is a Scottish family who historically held broad territories throughout central and southern Scotland, particularly Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and the Lothians. The Hamiltons were a lowland family, and were never organised as a clan in the Highland, Gaelic sense. However, modern usage tends to ascribe clan status to all Scottish families. The family (More...)

Hannay

Origins of the Clan The name Hannay may have originally been spelt Ahannay, possibaly deriving from the Gaelic word ‘O’Hannaidh’ or ‘Ap Shenaeigh’. The family can betraced back to Galloway in South-West Scotland. The name ‘Gillbert de Hannethe’ appears on the Ragman Rolls of 1296, submitting to King Edward I of England. The Hannay’s lands of (More...)

Hay

Origin of the name The family name is derived from that of several villages called La Haye in the Cotentin peninsula of Normandy, France. The word, haye comes from haia, a hedge, which in modern French is haie. It can also mean stockade, but it may have been used here because this part of Normandy is (More...)

Henderson

Origins of the Clan Clann Eanruig (pronounced KLAHN YAHN-reegk) is the Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) name for the Scottish clan known as “the Hendersons” in English. The words “Scot,” “Scots” (not scotch), “Scottish,” and “Scotland” derive from the Latin word “Scotus” meaning a Celtic inhabitant of Hibernia (Ireland) at the time of the Roman occupation of southern (More...)

Home

The Homes (pronounced and sometimes spelt Hume) are a Scottish family. They were a powerful force in medieval Lothian and the Borders. The chief of the name is David Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home.     Origins of the Clan The origins of the clan are a matter of historical debate. Some sources maintain that William of Home (alive (More...)

Hope

Origins of the Clan Hope is a native Scottish name. However in middle English it means ’small valley’. Another suggestion is that it derives from ‘oublon’, which is French for ‘hop’ and could be from the family de H’oublons of Picardy. The Clan Hope was a Scottish boarder family and their name is amongst those found on (More...)

Houston

  History     Origins of the Clan The name is territorial in origin, derived from an old barony of the name in Lanarkshire. Hugh de Padinan, who is believed to have lived in the twelfth century, was granted the lands of Kilpeter. By about the middle of the fourteenth century, these lands had become known as Huston. Sir Finlay (More...)

Hunter

  Clan Hunter (Gaelic: “Clann an t-Sealgair”) is a Scottish clan which has its seat at Hunterston in Ayrshire. It has historical connections with both the ‘Highlands’ and ‘Lowlands’ of Scotland due to several centuries of operation in some of the formerly Gaelic speaking Scottish Islands including Arran, Bute and the Cumbraes where the Hunters also (More...)

Irvine

Origins of the clan The names Erewine and Erwinne are Old English forenames and have been recorded as such since the 12th century. However as a surname it is of territorial origins from one of two places of the same name. Firstly from Irving, an old parish in Dumfriesshire and from Irvine in Ayrshire. It is (More...)

Jardine

  Origins of the clan The Clan Jardine is believed to be of French origin. The French word jardin means garden or orchard and it is presumed that the Jardine family originally came from France. Members of the Jardine family travelled with William during the Norman conquest of England in 1066. However records of the name Jardine (More...)

Johnstone

Origin of the name Johnstone comes from “John’s toun”, not “John’s stone” or John’s son.” Historically, “Johnston” has been an alternate spelling of the surname. The first known person of this name was John of Johnstone, who in 1174 gave his name to the lands of Annandale in Dumfrieshire which he had been granted.   His son, (More...)

Keith

Origins of the Name A Scottish warrior slew the Danish General Camus at the Battle of Barrie in 1010 for which King Máel Coluim II of Scotland dipped three fingers into the blood of the slain and drew them down the shield of the warrior. Thereafter the warrior was named Marbhachir Chamius or Camus Slayer. Ever (More...)

Kennedy

  Origins of the name There are two origins of the Kennedy surname: one Scottish and the other Irish. The most commonly known Kennedy family is the Irish one made famous by the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, whose ancestors came from County Wexford.     Irish Kennedy The Irish Kennedys takes their name from Kennedy, the nephew of High-King (More...)

Kerr

  History     Origins of the Name The origins of the name Kerr are disputed as being either:       Caer (British for “fort”)       Ciar (Scottish Gaelic for “dusky”)       Ceàrr (Scottish Gaelic for “left handed” - carrie handit in Lowland Scots)       Mac Ghiolla Cheara (Irish language)       Kjrr (Old Norse for “marsh dweller”) Asked how to say his name, Admiral Mark Kerr told (More...)

Kincaid

  History The Kincaid surname is of territorial origin being taken from the former lands of Kincaid in the Parish of Campsie, Stirlingshire, Scotland. The lands are located just north of Kirkintilloch, in the north-west angle formed by the River Kelvin and its tributary the Glazert. The topography of the area is hilly, being on the northern (More...)

Kirkpatrick

Clan Kirkpatrick is a Lowland Scottish clan. The clan is recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, however the clan does not currently have a chief so recognised. The clan takes its name from the church of Saint Patrick in the parish of Closeburn in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. The first record of the clan is in (More...)

Lamont

Clan Lamont is a Highland Scottish clan. Clan Lamont claim descent from Lauman who lived in Cowal in 1238. Tradition gives this Lauman a descent from an Irish prince named Anrothan O’Neill. Clan Lamont like several other clans, such as Clan MacEwen of Otter, Clan Maclachlan, Clan MacNeil of Barra, and the MacSweens, all claim (More...)

Leask

Origins There is more than one theory as to the origin of the name Leask. One is from the Anglo-Saxon word lisse which means happy. Another is that it comes from the Norse meaning of stirring fellow. Another is that it comes from Liscus which was the name of the chief of a tribe called the (More...)

Lennox

Origins of the name The name Lennox in gaelic comes from the place of the same name. The clan name comes from the title of Earl of Lennox which commanded the vale of Leven between the 12th and 15th centuries.     15th century In 1424 the Clan Lennox was decimated and Iain Colquhoun of Luss of Clan Colquhoun took (More...)

Leslie

  Origins The family name comes from the Leslie lands of Aberdeenshire and was to become famous in Germany, Poland, France and Russia. A Hungarian (or more likely by onomastics and typical of the times as well as later Leslie history, a Kievan of Varangian origins) nobleman, named Bartholomew arrived in the retinue of Agatha, wife of (More...)

Lindsay

Origins of the Clan The Lindsays are descended from Danes who had come to England between the 6th and 9th centuries. After the Norman conquest of 1066 Baldric de Lindsay became a tenant under the Earl of Chester in England. In 1120 Sir Walter Lindsay was a member of the council of David, Earl of Huntingdon (More...)

Lockhart

Origins of the Clan The Clan Lockhart arrived in Scotland among the waves of Normans who arrived after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The Lockharts settled in Lanark and Ayrshire where the towns of Symington and Stevenson remain to mark the past influence of Simon and Steven Locard. The exact date when the lands (More...)

Logan

Clan Logan is a both a Highland and Lowland Scottish clan. The clan does not have a Chief recognised by Lord Lyon King of Arms, and therefore can be considered an Armigerous clan. Today, it is thought by some that Clan MacLennan is a variant of the Highland Logan Clan.     History     An early Logan tartan, which has (More...)

Lumsden

Origins of the clan The name Lumsden derives from the old manor of Lumsden in the parrish of Coldingham in Berwickshire. The earliest known recordings of the name appear between 1166 and 1182 when the brothers Gillem (William) and Cren de Lumsden witnessed a charter by Waldeve Earl of Dunbar to the Priory of Coldingham. The (More...)

Lyon

  Origin of the name Although Sir Iain Moncreiffe, perhaps the greatest herald genealogist, believed his family were of Celtic origin and descended from a younger son of the Lamonts, the generally accepted view is that they descended from a French family called de Leon, who came north with Edgar, son of Malcolm III, at the end (More...)

MacAlister

Origins Clan MacAlister is a branch of Clan Donald, and traces its descent from Alasdair Mor, son of Domhnall mac Raghnaill who was grandson of Somerled.Somerled is claimed as the ancestor of the MacAlisters, MacDonalds and MacDougalls. Gaelic tradition gave Somerled a Celtic descent in the male line, though a recent DNA study has shown that (More...)

MacAulay of Lewis

The MacAulays of Lewis were sept or clan located on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. There is no connection between the MacAulays of Lewis and the Clan MacAulay who were centred in the Loch Lomond area, bordering the Scottish Highlands and Scottish Lowlands. Up until the turn of the seventeenth (More...)

MacAulay of Ullapool and Loch Broom

The MacAulays of Ullapool and Loch Broom were a minor sept or clan, located in the area of Loch Broom on the north-western coast of the Scottish Highlands. There is no connection between the MacAulays and the Clan MacAulay who were centred in the Loch Lomond area bordering the Highlands and Scottish Lowlands. Some historians (More...)

MacAulay

Clan MacAulay is a Scottish clan. The clan was historically centred around the lands of Ardincaple, which are today consumed by the little village of Rhu and burgh of Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute. The MacAulays of Ardincaple were located mainly in the traditional county of Dunbartonshire, which straddles the “Highland Line” between the Scottish (More...)

MacBain

  Origins of the Clan There are several possible Gaelic origins for this name but the most likely is bheathain which means lively one. This could also have been renderd as Mac ic Bheatha which means MacBeth, a name which was very important in early Scottish history. When King Malcolm II of Scotland removed the MacBeth line (More...)

MacCallum

Origins of the Clan In Gaelic, Saint Columba’s name was Colm. MacCallum means ’son of Colm’. The ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata where the first Scots of Ireland settled was home to Columba and the ancestors of the MacCallums. Despite all this we should not see the two as relations in blood but interpret the name (More...)

MacCulloch

  Families of the name MacCulloch     MacCulloch of Myreton 1. The MacCullochs of Myreton were a Lowland family who lived in southern Scotland overlooking Luce Bay near the Water of Luce. Unlike other MacCulloch families the MacCullochs of Myreton were not septs of another clan but owned their own territory and were seated at Cardoness Castle. Myreton is (More...)

MacDonald of Clanranald

Clan Macdonald of Clanranald is a Scottish clan. The clan is one of several branches of Clan Donald. The clan chief of Clan Macdonald of Clanranald is designated Captain of Clanranald. Both chief and clan are recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.   Origins of the clan Clan Macdonald of Clanranald descends from Raghnall (d.1207), son (More...)

MacDonald of Keppoch

Clan MacDonald of Keppoch, also known as Clan Ranald of Lochaber, is a Scottish Clan.     History The MacDonalds of Keppoch are descended from Alistair Carrach Macdonald who was a younger son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald and his second wife Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II of (More...)

MacDonald of Sleat

The MacDonalds of Sleat are a branch of the Clan Donald or MacDonald.     History     Origins of the clan The Macdonalds of Sleat are descendants of Hugh MacDonald (d.1498) who was a younger son of Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross, 3rd Lord of the Isles and 8th chief of Clan Donald. Hugh had ability and power and sat (More...)

MacDonald or Donald

Clan Donald is one of the largest Scottish clans. The MacDonald clan has many separate branches:     Clan Donald Clan crest These are the Clan Donald branches with extant chiefs, including the main Clan Donald followed by their Gaelic patronymics:       Lord Macdonald who is the High Chief of Clan Donald whose ancestor was the Lord of the Isles. (More...)

MacDonnell of Glengarry

Clan MacDonell of Glengarry is a branch of Clan Donald taking its name from Glen Garry where the river Garry runs eastwards through Loch Garry to join the Great Glen about 16 miles (25 km) north of Fort William. The principal families descended from the house of Glengarry were the McDonells of Barrisdale, in Knoydart, (More...)

MacDougall

  Origins of the clan     Clan MacDougall is a Scottish clan traditionally associated with the lands of Argyll and Lorn in Scotland. Like the Clan Donald or MacDonald and all of its MacDonald branches, the MacDougalls are also descended from the King Somerled. The clan takes its name from Dougall, a son of Somerled, who, after his (More...)

MacDowall

Clan Macdowall is a Scottish clan. The clan claims to descend from the senior descendants in the male line of the princely house of Fergus, first of the ancient Lords of Galloway. The main branches of the family include the MacDowalls of Garthland, the Makdougals of Makerston, the MacDoualls of Logan, the MacDoualls of Freugh, (More...)

MacDuff

Clan MacDuff is a Scottish armigerous clan, which is registered with Lyon Court, though currently without a chief. Moncreiffe wrote that the Clan MacDuff was the premier clan among the Scottish Gaels. The early chiefs of Clan MacDuff were the Earls of Fife. Today the Earls of Wemyss are thought to be the direct descendants (More...)

MacEwen

Clan MacEwen is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan does not have a chief recognized by Lord Lyon King of Arms and as such the clan can be considered an Armigerous clan. The principle clan with the name MacEwen was Clan MacEwen of Otter that was centred on the shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll. (More...)

MacFarlane

Clan MacFarlane is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan claims a descent from the old line of the Earls of Lennox. For some time there had been some controversy as to the descent of these earls, with both Gaelic and Anglo-Saxon origins given. Though today it is generally accepted that the earls, and in consequence (More...)

Macfie

Clan Macfie is a Scottish clan. Since 1981, the clan has been officially registered with the Court of the Lord Lyon, which is the heraldic authority of Scotland. The clan is considered an armigerous clan because even though the clan is recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, it is currently without a chief (More...)

MacGillivray

  History     Origins of the clan The MacGillivrays were a principal clan even before King Somerled, progenitor of the MacDonalds drove the Norsemen from the western Isles. The Clann Mhic Gillebràth were dispersed after King Alexander II of Scotland subdued Argyll in the year 1222.     14th century & clan conflicts The Clan MacGillivray eventually joined the Chattan Confederation which was (More...)

MacInnes

  History     Origins of the name     From the Gaelic MacAonghais (Sons of Angus). Mac or Mc (as they are interchangeable) means son or family of, aon means one or unique, and gusa means choice. Therefore Unique Choice or Choice One. Mac does not imply strict bloodlines, but could reflect kinship, dependent allies or tenants. This name first appears (More...)

MacIntyre

  History     Origins of the clan In Gaelic, the name Macintyre is rendered ‘Mac an t-Saoir’, meaning ‘son of the carpenter’. A traditional account dates the origins of the name to the early twelfth century, when Somerled was establishing his lordship in the Western Isles. After Olav the Red, Norse King of Mann and the Isles, resisted Somerled’s ambitions, (More...)

MacIver

The Clan MacIver is a Scottish clan and sept of several larger clans. The name MacIver is a sept name for the Clan Campbell and Clan MacKenzie. The Clan MacIver is also considered an Armigerous clan as there is no Chief recognised by the Lord Lyon of Lyon Court.     Origins The surname MacIver is an Anglicisation of (More...)

Mackay

The Clan Mackay (Gaelic: Mac Aoidh) is an ancient and once powerful Scottish clan from the country’s far north in the Scottish Highlands, but with roots in the old province of Moray. They played a powerful force in politics beginning in the 14th century, supporting Robert the Bruce. Mackays became famous for strength, courage and (More...)

Mackenzie

  Origins The Mackenzies were of Celtic stock and were not among the clans that originated from Norman ancestors. They are believed to be related to Clan Matheson and Clan Anrias, all three descending from the 12th century Gilleoin of the Aird. Based initially in Kintail, the clan was recorded at Eilean Donan on Loch Duich, a (More...)

Mackinnon

Clan Mackinnon or Clan Fingon is a Highland Scottish clan associated with the islands of Mull and Skye, in the Inner Hebrides.       Arms of the Chief and the Mackinnon of Mackinnon Popular tradition gives the clan a Dalriadic Gaelic origin. The 19th century historian W. F. Skene named the clan as one of the seven clans of (More...)

Mackintosh

Clan Mackintosh is a Scottish clan from Inverness with strong Jacobite ties. The Mackintoshes share a common history with the Chattan Confederation.     Origins of the clan Shaw, son of Duncan Macduff, accompanied King Malcolm IV of Scotland to Morayshire to suppress rebellion in 1160. In 1163 he was granted land in the Findhorn valley and made constable (More...)

Maclachlan

Clan Maclachlan, also known as Clan Lachlan, is a Highland Scottish clan that historically centred on the lands of Strathlachlan on Loch Fyne, Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. The clan claims descent from Lachlan Mor, who lived on Loch Fyne in the 13th century, and who has left his name upon the countryside (More...)

Maclaine of Lochbuie

  History The Maclaines of Lochbuie, Mull are descended from Gillean-na-Tauighe, (Gillean of the Battle Axe), a fierce warrior who lived in the thirteenth century. He is said to have fought, along with his sons, at the battle of Largs in 1263. Gillean’s great-grandson, Iain Dubh, or Black John, had two sons, Eachann Reaganach (Hector the Stern), (More...)

MacLaren

Origins of the clan The origins of the clan are uncertain but by tradition the MacLarens are descended from a man called Lorn who was the son of Erc who landed in Argyll in 503 A.D. However there is no concrete evidence of Lorn being the progenitor of the family. A more likely origin of the (More...)

MacLea

The Clan MacLea is a Highland Scottish clan, which was traditionally located in the district of Lorn in Argyll, Scotland, and is seated on the Isle of Lismore. There is a tradition of some MacLeas Anglicising their names to Livingstone, thus the Clan Livingstone Society’s website also refers to clan as the Highland Livingstones. The (More...)

Maclean

Name Dates and Notes Designation Sir Charles Hector Fitzroy Maclean of Duart and Morvern, KT, KBE, GCVO, 27th Clan Chief. Created Lord Maclean (Life Peer) in 1970. b. 1916 - d. 1990. Lord Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household; Lord Lieutenant of Argyll; Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth. 11th Baronet Morvern Sir Fitzroy Donald Maclean of Duart and Morvern, 26th Clan (More...)

MacLellan

  History     Origins of the Name The name MacLellan has evolved from the Gaelic MacGille Fhaolain - ’son of a servant of Saint Fillan‘. The name is Gaelic in origin, deriving from ‘Mac Gille Fhaolain’ ‘son of the servant of St Filan’. St Filan was a missionary of the old Celtic church, and there is a village in (More...)

MacLennan

Clan MacLennan, also known as Siol Ghillinnein, is a Highland Scottish clan which historically populated lands in the north-west of Scotland. The surname MacLennan in Scottish Gaelic is Mac Gille Fhinnein meaning the son of the follower of St Finnan.     History     Origins of the clan According to tradition the clans MacLennan and Logan are related. In the fifteenth (More...)

MacLeod of Lewis

Clan Macleod of The Lewes, also known as Clan MacLeod of Lewis, or Sìol Torcaill, is a Highland Scottish clan, which at its height held extensive lands in the Western Isles and west coast of Scotland. From the 14th century up until the beginning of the 17th century there were two branches of Macleods: the (More...)

MacLeod

Clan MacLeod is a Highland Scottish clan. The Gaelic form is Clann Mhic Leòid. Clann means children, while mhic is the genitive of mac, the Gaelic for son, and Leòid is the genitive of Leòd. The whole phrase therefore means The children of the son of Leod. The Clan MacLeod is made up of two (More...)

MacMillan

Origins of the clan The Clan MacMillan has its roots in an ancient royal house and from the orders of the Celtic church. The progenitor of the clan was Gille Chriosd, one of the six sons of Cormac, the Bishop of Dunkeld. As a Columban priest, his head would have been shaved over the front of (More...)

Macnab

History Clan Macnab is often said to have been a branch of the Clan Macdonald. However a bond of manrent exists to say that the Clan Macnab was an ally of the Clan Mackinnon and the Clan Gregor. The current village of Killin, on the shores of Loch Tay, is the traditional homeland of the Clan (More...)

MacNaghten

Origins of the clan The earliest reference to the Clan Macnaghten is in connection with great Pictish rulers of Moray. The name ‘Nechten’ which means “pure” or “clear” was popular in the Pictish royal line. The originator of the clan is believed to have been “Nechtan Mor” who lived in the 10th Century.     13th century Castle in (More...)

MacNeacail or MacNicol

Clan MacNeacail or Clan MacNicol is Scottish clan long associated with the Isle of Skye, and were also a sept of the Clan MacLeod. In the 1980s Sir David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock was recognized by Lord Lyon King of Arms as Chief of Clan Nicolson. Not content with this Ian Nicolson, an Australian, petitioned (More...)

MacNeil

Clan MacNeil, also known in Scotland as Clan Niall, is a highland Scottish clan, particularly associated with the Outer Hebridean island of Barra. The early history of Clan Macneil is obscure, however despite this the clan claims to descend from the legendary Niall of the nine hostages. The clan itself takes its name from a (More...)

MacPherson

Origins of the Name The name Macpherson — or MacPherson or McPherson, according to different spellings — comes from the Gaelic Mac a’ Phearsain and means ‘Son of the Parson’. The Parson in question was Muriach, a 12th century parson, or lay preacher, of Kingussie in Badenoch. Historically, the term ‘parson’ (in the Gaelic pearsain or (More...)

MacQuarrie

Clan MacQuarrie is a Highland Scottish clan, associated with the islands of Ulva, Staffa and the Isle of Mull, which are all located in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. The last chief of Clan MacQuarrie died in 1818 and since the clan does not have a current Chief recognized by Lord Lyon it can be viewed (More...)

MacQueen

  Origin The surname MacQueen is an Anglicization of Mac Shuibhne (Gaelic), meaning son of Shuibhne. Suibhne was a Gaelic byname meaning ‘pleasant’. Suibhne could also be used as a Gaelic equivalent of the Old Norse byname Sveinn, meaning ‘boy’ or ’servant’.     History A group of MacQueens were thought to have provided an escort for a marriage between an (More...)

Macrae

Origins     Loch Duich and Eilean Donan castle, seat of the Clan MacRae The name MacRae or Macrae began by being given to individual men in various places who were thought to be endowed with an unusual gift of sanctity and grace. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries it was used as the personal name of lords, poets (More...)

MacTavish

  History     Origins of the Clan The Gaelic name for the Clan was MacTamhais (pronounced MacTavis or MacTavish - the “mh” in Gaelic pronounced as the “v” in the word very). In old charters, the name had many variant spellings. Some spellings found within old charters, post-Culloden parish registers, and in The Commons Argyll appear as MacAvis, MacCamis, (More...)

MacThomas

Clan MacThomas is a Highland Scottish clan, associated with the Chattan Confederation. The clan traces its descent from a fifteenth century Thomaidh, who was the great-grandson of the 8th chief of the Clan Chattan MacKintoshes. The seat of the Clan MacThomas was at Finegand (Scottish Gaelic: Feith nan Ceann, meaning “burn of the heads”) in (More...)

Maitland

Origins of the Clan The name Maitland is of Norman origin and was originally spelt Mautalent, Matulant or Matalan, it translates as “evil genius”. The Mautalents come from the village of Les Moitiers d’Allonne near Carteret in Normandy. The name is found to occur frequently in Northumberland during the 12th and 13th centuries. The first time (More...)

Makgill

  Origins The name Makgill is said to derive from ‘Mac a Ghoill’, meaning ‘son of the lowlander’ or ‘son of the stranger’. The name became established in Galloway prior to the thirteenth century. Maurice Macgeil witnessed a charter of Maldouen, Earl of Lennox, to the church of St Thomas the Martyr of Arbroath in 1231.     15th & (More...)

Malcolm

Clan Malcolm is a Highland Scottish clan. The Clan Malcolm is sometimes also called MacCallum. The Clan MacCallum was originally a separate clan until the 18th century when the chief of Clan MacCallum adopted the name Malcolm and the two clans were drawn together.     History     Origins of the Clan The name Malcolm derives from the gaelic ‘Maol’, meaning (More...)

Mar

Clan Mar is a Scottish clan from the Grampian Highlands, sometimes referred to as the Tribe of Mar. The chiefs of the clan held the position of Mormaer of Mar from the 1130s to the early 15th century as the original Earls of Mar. The position was later taken over by chiefs of the Clan (More...)

Marjoribanks

Origins of the Clan Princess Marjorie, the only daughter of King Robert the Bruce, married Walter Stewart, High Steward of Scotland, in 1316. She was thus the mother of the first of the royal Stewarts, and received as part of her marriage settlement lands in Renfrewshire which became known as Terre de Marjorie, later Marjoribanks. The (More...)

Matheson

Origins of the clan The name Matheson has been attributed to the Gaelic words Mic Mhathghamhuin which means Son of the Bear or Son of the Heroes. Traditionally the Clan Matheson descends from a twelfth century man called Gilleoin, who is thought to have been from the ancient royal house of Lorne. According to tradition the (More...)

Maxwell

Origins of the Clan The name is taken probably from Maccuswell, or Maxwell, near Kelso, Scotland, in the barony of Holydean. The name Maxwell originates from Maccus, a Norse chief and son of Undweyn, who gave his name to Maccuswell, a pool of the river Tweed near Kelso bridge. A grandson of Maccus, John Maxwell, became (More...)

Menzies

Origins of the Clan Mesnnieres in Normandy was the original home of the Norman family whose name was transformed to Manners, which was the surname of the Dukes of Rutland. A branch of this family moved into Lothian in Scotland and gradually into the Scottish Highlands, where they first became known by the name Meyneris and (More...)

Moffat

Origins of the clan The Moffats are an ancient Borders family who were influential and powerful as far back as the time of Sir William Wallace. The ancestor of the Moffats most likely gave their name to the town of Moffat in Dumfriesshire. The origin of the name itself is thought to be Norse. William de (More...)

Moncrieffe

Origins of the Clan The Moncreiffes are of great antiquity, and possibly descend through a female stem of the Celtic Royal Dynasty. The name Moncreiffe is derived from the Barony of Moncreiffe in Perthshire. Their lands take their name from the Gaelic name Monadh Croibhe meaning hill of the sacred bough. This is represented on the (More...)

Montgomery

Origins of the Clan     The name Montgomery (or “Montgomerie”) derives from an ancient Norman family who held the Castle St. Foy de Montgomery near Lisieux in France. Clan tradition asserts that the name can be traced to a 9th-century Viking raider called Gomeric who ventured south until he reached Normandy. He was the son of Ingvar (More...)

Morrison

Origins of the clan The two branches in the Hebrides, Morrison of Lewis and Morrison of Harris, trace their lineage to Norseman Olaf the Black who married a Kintyre noblewoman named Lauon in 1214. Shortly after the birth of their first son, GilleMhuire (Gaelic for “the servant of Mary”), Olaf’s ship, carrying his wife, child and (More...)

Muir

  Origins and history The surname Muir is a topographical name meaning someone who lived on a moor. The name is derived from the Scots form of the Middle English word “more” which means moor or fen.     Mures of Rowallan     The family is said to have come from Ireland and the name to be of celtic origin. Polkelly seems (More...)

Munro

Origins of the clan     Some people believe that the Munros came from Ireland and settled in Scotland in the 11th Century. Another theory is that they were originally from Scotland and moved to Ireland to escape Roman rule and then returned to Scotland 300 years later to expel Viking invaders. None of these theories can be (More...)

Murray

Origins of the Clan Famed for their patriotism from earliest times they boasted a royal origin. They are descended from the Flemish nobleman Freskin de Moravia (also progenitor of Clan Sutherland). Flemish and Norman lords crossed the North Sea and established themselves in the Scottish realm at the invitation of the Kings of Scots from the (More...)

Napier

  Origins of the Clan There is some debate about the origin of the name Napier. One theory holds that a “naperer” is “a person in charge of table linen in a royal or manor house” and that the original Napiers must have been “naperers” from England or France. The other theory is that the name Napier (More...)

Nesbitt or Nisbet

Clan Nesbitt (or Nisbet) is a Scottish clan recognised by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms and first mentioned in a Scottish charter of 1139. It is a lowland family centred in Berwickshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh and Ayrshire, with a significant historical presence in Northumberland and Durham. It has a Chief, Mark Nesbitt of that (More...)

Nicolson

Clan Nicolson is a Lowland Scottish clan. In the 1980s Sir David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock was recognized by Lord Lyon King of Arms as Chief of Clan Nicolson. Not content with this, Ian Nicolson, an Australian, petitioned Lord Lyon to be chief of the Nicolsons of Scorrybreac, and in 1988 was regonized as Ian (More...)

Ogilvie

Origins of the clan The Ogilvys are one of the most distinguished families in Scotland and take their name from Gillibride the second son of Gilliechriost, Earl of Angus. The name Ogilvy or Ogilvie derives from Gilbert one of the descendants of the ancient Earls of Angus. The name is also believed to be derived from (More...)

Oliphant

Origins of the Clan The Oliphants were a Norman family who first held lands in England around Northampton. David de Olifard is commonly held to be the progenitor of the clan. In the 12th century he was granted lands in Roxburghshire, Scotland by the Earl of Huntingdon who later became King David I of Scotland. He (More...)

Primrose

  Origins of the Clan This name Primrose is taken from the lands of Primrose in the parish of Dunfermline, in Scotland. It has been suggested that it originally came from the old British, “prenn rhos”: meaning “tree of the moor”. The Primroses were well settled in Fife by the fifteenth century, particularly around the Abbey of Culross. (More...)

Ramsay

  Origins A ram in the sea is said to have been an emblem on the seal of Ramsay Abbey in Huntingdon in the 11th century. When David, Earl of Huntingdon, travelled north to claim his kingdom of Scotland in 1124, he was accompanied by many young Norman noblemen keen to share in their overlord’s heritage. These (More...)

Rattray

Origins of the clan The name Rattray is derived from the barony of Rattray in Perthshire, Scotland. Legend has it that their land there was acquired from King Malcolm III of Scotland (Malcolm Cean Mór) in the 11th century. Unfortunately there is no extant written record of this. The Rattray estate includes a ruined Pictish fort (More...)

Riddell

  Origins of the Clan One theory for the origin of the name “Riddell” suggests that a family from Gascony, France may have come to Scotland via Ryedale in Yorkshire. It is much more likely, however, that the name is of Norman origin. The first record of the name Riddell was found in Northumberland where they were seated (More...)

Robertson

Clan Donnachaidh, sometimes known as Clan Robertson, is a Scottish clan. William Forbes Skene (1809-92), Historiographer Royal of Scotland, wrote in 1837 that: “the Robertsons of Struan are unquestionably the oldest family in Scotland, being the sole remaining branch of that Royal House of Atholl which occupied the throne of Scotland during the 11th and (More...)

Rollo

Origins of the Clan The Clan Rollo are of Norman origin. However they can trace their roots to the feared Norsemen who raided the coast of England and Scotland in the seventh and eighth centuries. Sigurd Rollo was Jarl of Shetland and Orkney, and his son, Einar, was a renowned Viking who not only raided Scotland, (More...)

Rose

Origins of the clan The clan Rose was formed in the early 13th century in Nairn, in Kilravock County, Scotland. The name Rose originates from the Norman family ‘de Ros’ who settled in Scotland in the middle of the 13th century. By tradition the Clan Rose traces its origin to deRos, a Norman knight who emigrated (More...)

Ross

Origins of the Clan Clan Ross is a Highland Scottish clan first named as such by King Malcolm IV of Scotland in 1160. The first of the chiefs was Fearchar, Earl of Ross from the O’Beolain family, also known as ‘Fearchar Mac-an-t-sagairt’ (meaning “son of the priest”) of Applecross. Ferquhard Ross helped King Alexander II of Scotland (More...)

Ruthven

History     Origins of the Clan The family traces its descent from Thor, who settled in Scotland during the reign of David I of Scotland. Thor was, by tradition son of Sweyn the Viking chief, who was the founder of the Clan Ruthven. The name Ruthven comes from the lands north of Loch Rannoch in Perthshire. In Gaelic (More...)

Sandilands

Origins of the Clan The name Sandilands comes from lands by that name in Clydesdale. The family to bear the name may have originally fled to Scotland from Northumberland in the reign of King Malcolm III of Scotland.     Wars of Scottish Independence During the Wars of Scottish Independence Sir James de Sandilands distinguished himself in the wars against (More...)

Scott

Origins of the Clan One of the most powerful of the Border families, the name was derived from the Scots who invaded Dalriada (Argyll) from Ireland and the surname is found in all parts of Scotland. However in the Borders, an area that was never fully Gaelic speaking, it may have meant a Scottish Gaelic speaker. The (More...)

Scrymgeour

Origins of the Clan The name Scrymgeour is believed to derive from the Old English word ’skrymsher’ which means ’swordsman’. The clan appears to have been well established in Fife long before their connection with the city of Dundee where the chiefs of the clan would later become the Earls of Dundee and the hereditary royal (More...)

Sempill

Origins of the Clan The name Sempill has been known in Renfrewshire since the 12th century. It is tradition that the name originates from someone who is humble or simple. An alternate, unlikely, etymology is that Sempill is a corruption of St Pauls. Robert de Semple witnessed a charter to Paisley Abbey in around 1246. Later as (More...)

Seton

Origins of the Clan The name Seton is believed to be derived from the village of Sai in Normandy although other explanations have been suggested, such as from Tranent meaning “a sea town” which happens to have been in an area owned by the Setons. The first known Seton was Alexander Seton who witnessed a charter of (More...)

Shaw

Origins of the clan The Shaw family found themselves constantly beset by their larger neighbour the Clan Cumming. They sought support by becoming allies with the powerful Clan Donald through marriage. Later they also became part of the Chattan Confederation as a sept of the Clan Mackintosh and then later they became a clan of their (More...)

Sinclair

  History     Origins of the clan The Sinclairs were a noble family which has its origins in Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, in Normandy, France. William “The Seemly” Sinclair, among others, accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 on his invasion of England. He also accompanied Margaret, daughter of Edward the Exile to Scotland in 1068, where she eventually married Malcolm III of (More...)

Skene

  History     Origins of the Clan The Clan Skene is thought to have originally been an exceptionally early sept of the Clan Donnachaidh before it became known as the Clan Robertson. clan Skene is known in Gaelic as Siol Sgeine or Clann Donnachaidh Mhar. the traditional origin of the name is found in an eleventh century legend of (More...)

Spalding

Clan Spalding is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan does not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms so the clan is considered an Armigerous clan. The Spalding family lived in Perthshire, Scotland, for several hundred years before 1745, and dispersed to Germany, Sweden, Jamacia, Georgia, Liverpool and elsewhere. The Castle (More...)

Spens

  History     Origins of the Clan The name Spens or Spence means ‘custodian’ or ‘dispenser’ of the larder, possibly derived from Old French. The principal Scottish family of Clan Spens descend from one of the ancient Earls of Fife. John “Dispensator or Le Dispenser” appeared in a list of the tenants and vassals of Walter Fitz-Alan High Stewart (More...)

Stewart of Appin

Clan Stewart of Appin is a west highland branch of the Clan Stewart and have been considered a distinct clan since the 15th century. They are descended from Sir James Stewart of Perston, who was himself the grandson of Alexander Stewart, the fourth hereditary High Steward of Scotland.     Geography Appin is located in the western Highlands of (More...)

Stewart

Clan Stewart or Clan Stuart is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan is recognised by Court of the Lord Lyon, however it does not have a clan chief recognised by the Lord Lyon. Because the clan has no chief it can be considered an armigerous clan. There are several other ‘Stewart’ clans recognised by the (More...)

Stirling

Origins of the Clan The originator of the Clan Stirling is believed to be a man by the name of Thoraldus who was granted a charter of lands in Cadder by King David I of Scotland in 1147. His descendant Sir Alexander de Strivelyn, the fith Laird of Cadder died in 1304.     Wars of Scottish Independence During the (More...)

Strachan

Clan Strachan is a Highland clan from the Grampian Highlands of Scotland. The clan does not currently have a chief therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan. The Clan Strachan warcry/slogan is Clachnaben!     History     Origins In the year 1200, Walderus de Stratheihen made a grant of lands to the church of St Andrews. John, son of Rudolph de Strachane, gave (More...)

Straiton

Clan Straiton also called Straton or Stratton is a Lowland Scottish clan. The clan does not currently have a chief therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan. The barony of Straiton lies in the county of Midlothian on the outskirts of the city of Edinburgh. There are also baronies of a similar name in Ayrshire (More...)

Strange

  History     Origins of the Clan This name Strange is often found more commonly as Strang, and is probably derived from the Norman or French word ‘étrange’, meaning ‘foreign’. When rendered as ‘Strang’, its etymology was believed in the past to derive from the Scots dialect word for ‘strong’. Home le Estraunge was in the service of the (More...)

Stuart of Bute

Clan Stuart of Bute is a Scottish clan. The Stuarts or Stewarts descend from Norman seneschals of Dol, Brittany who settled in England around the time of the Norman Invasion. The current chief of Clan Stuart of Bute is John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute. The clan chief of the clan is a member of (More...)

Sutherland

Origins of the Clan     The progenitor of the Clan Sutherland was also the progenitor of the Clan Murray who was a Flemish nobleman by the name of Freskin de Moravia. This is why the original Clan Sutherland chiefs who also held the title Earl of Sutherland were all called by the surname de Moravia. The de (More...)

Swinton

Origins of the Clan The Swintons appear to be of Saxon origin, descended from the nobles who were prominent in the ancient Kingdom of Northumberland which straddled the present day border between England and Scotland. Ancestry can be traced back to Eadulf I of Bernicia who accepted Alfred the Great as overlord in 886 making the (More...)

Trotter

Origins of the Clan The name of Trotter is said to derive from the French, ‘trotier’, a ‘runner’ or ‘messenger’. One legend says that this name was given to a brother of Lord Gifford for delivering a message to King James III of Scotland with great speed. The Borders clan bearing this name was headed by (More...)

Turnbull

Origins of the name Wars of Scottish Independence: The origin of the Turnbull name was told by Hector Boece, in his “History of Scotland.” Boece tells the legend that during the Wars of Scottish Independence William of Rule saved King Robert Bruce by wrestling to the ground a bull that had charged at the King. For (More...)

Tweedie

Tweedie or Tweedy is a Scottish clan name. The Clan Tweedie is a sept of the Clan Fraser, but is considered an Armigerous clan. The name is derived from the lands of Tweedie which were along the Valley of the River Tweed in Peebleshire in the Scottish Borders. Mythical origins of the clan Scottish tradition ascribes the (More...)

Urquhart

Urquhart is a Highland Scottish clan. They traditionally occupied the lands in the district and town of Cromarty, a former Royal Burgh with an excellent natural harbour on the tip of The Black Isle. Chiefs of the Clan were Barons and hereditary Sheriffs of the county for hundreds of years. Today the Clan is an (More...)

Wedderburn

Origins of the Clan The first person by the name of Wedderburn to appear on record in Scotland is Wautier de Wederburn, who rendered homage to King Edward I of England on the Ragman Rolls in 1296. The lands of the Clan Wederburn lay in Berwickshire. References can also be found to John de Wedderburn living (More...)

Wemyss

Origins of the Clan The name “Wemyss” is derived from the Gaelic word ‘uaimh’, meaning ‘cave’, and is believed to be taken from the caves and cliffs of the Firth of Forth in that part of Fife where the family of Wemyss made its home. Wemyss in Fife has been the seat of the chiefs since (More...)

Wood

History The erroneous notion that clans are Highland groups and families are Lowland units is very much a Victorian one. In fact, the terms are interchangeable, and many a Lowland laird has held from the Lyon Court the title ‘Chief of the Name and Arms’. This is true of the Woods.   Origins of the Clan The Old English (More...)