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 own.



14th century

Farquhart Shaw, Shaw ‘Mor’, was leader of a sept of the Mackintosh from the Rothiemurchus area. It is believed that the lands and stronghold of Rothiemurchus were bestowed upon Shaw ‘Mor’ in 1396 for leading the Chattan Confederation to battle on the North Inch Perth. It is possible, however, that these lands were received as early as 1226.

The Shaws are an ancient Scottish clan, which played a considerable role in Highland history, and which traces its ancestry to the old Earls of Fife and thus the royal line of the Scottish kings. Initially, prior to the general adoption of surnames and, specifically, the use of the name Shaw for that purpose, the Shaws were the first Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh. The Clan name derives from Shaw “Mor” “Coriaclich”, great-grandson of Angus (6th Chief of Mackintosh) and Eva (heiress of Clan Chattan (a large confederation of Highland clans)). By tradition, he led the Clan Chattan contingent to victory at the famed Clan Battle of the North Inch at Perth in 1396 and was, as a reward, given the lands of Rothiemurchus, which became the first “seat” of the Clan. He is numbered as the third Chief of Clan Shaw. The lands of Rothiemurchus (site of the well-known castle Loch-an-Eilean), were sold and lost to the Clan in 1539.



Jacobite Uprsings

By the time of the 1715 Jacobite Rising, the Shaws had lost Rothiemurchus to Clan Grant. Shortly after, the lands were forfeit by the Crown following the murder of the Chief’s stepfather, at the hands of the Chief. Shaw and the Chattan Confederation tried to have the lands restored, but were unsuccessful.



Clan profile



Origin of the name

The surname Shaw has several different origins. The clan name is however derived from an Anglicisation of the Gaelic personal name Sitheach meaning “wolf”. The Gaelic names for the clan are Na Siach, or Mhic Sheaghd.



Clan badge and chief

      Clan badge: Red Whortleberry(Lingonberry) or Boxwood (By old tradition, also a sprig of fir).

      Clan chief: John Shaw of Tordarroch, 22nd Chief.



Clan septs

Adamson, Adamsone, Ademson, Ademsoun, Ademsoune, Aesone, Aison, Aissone, Aissoun, Aissoune, Asson, Assone, Aue, Ave, Ay, Aye, Ayesone, Ayson, Aysone, Aysoun, Ayssoun, Eason, Easone, Easson, Esson, Ison, Isone, MacAy, Saythe, Scaith, Scayth, Schau, Schaw, Schawe, Scheoch, Scheok, Schiach, Schioch, Schioche, Seah, Seath, Seith, Seth, Sha, Shau, Shawe, Shay, Sheach, Sheath, Sheehan, Sheoch, Shiach, Siache, Sith, Sithach, Sithech, Sithig, Skaith, Sythach, Sythag, Sythock, Tordarroch

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