X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website The Scottish Trading Company
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Croft website Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    17th September 16
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Trying to Understand how Nixon fits into the clan system

    I am trying to figure out how Nixon fits into the clan system.
    there is a July 1587 Act of Scottish Parliament that includes "The roll of the clans that have captains, chiefs and chieftains whom on they depend"
    Nixon is listed as a Middle March Clan with a captain, chief or chieftain.
    My understanding is that once recognized as a clan, legally you may no longer claim to be a sept of another family.

    so it would seem, that Nixon is more of a family association with Armstrong - does this sound historically accurate?

    On these forums there have been some mention that Borderland families were never clans in the way people understand clans to have been and most certainly never wore any form of highland garb. They were little more than bands of outlaws related to each other, able to exist in the lawless border country before the Union of the Crowns, and to find nowadays pseudo clan societies set up in their names.

    So trying to reconcile whether Nixon is a clan as 1587 parliament indicated or not.
    If they are, does anyone have any knowledge of who the last clan chief may have been and when - 1500's or later.

    thanks for the help,
    Shaun

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd January 07
    Location
    Morganton, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,123
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shaun,

    I think you're over-thinking this. In the modern world, clans are "ideas", albeit official in the case of clans which have a chief recognized by the Lord Lyon. The whole clan/tartan/bagpipes phenomenon is culturally a Highland thing.

    Historical, the Nixons were a reiving family in the Borders. Have you read George MacDonald Fraser's book, The Steel Bonnets? It would be a great introduction to the particular history of Borders families and their culture.

    David

  3. The Following 3 Users say 'Aye' to davidlpope For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
    Posts
    3,820
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And also remember that it is not as much the name you carry but where your people are from that is most important. The Clan system existed in the NW part of the country and was about areas. A chief gave his name to the Clan that controlled or claimed an area, but how the Clan was structured can be seen as similar to how the N. American Indian tribes were structured.

    For example - The Campbell family from around Ayrshire were different and distinct from the Highland Campbell Clan. The Gordon family from the south were different from, and not part of, the Gordon Highland Clan.

    The vast majority of Scots lived in the Lowlands. All the major cities save Inverness were in the lowlands. The Lowlanders would not, and do not today, consider themselves as part of the Clan system.

    The idea that - I'm Scottish, therefore I have to find what Clan I belong to, is a far more recent concept.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  5. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Steve Ashton For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    9th July 15
    Location
    Banks of the Black Warrior River USA
    Posts
    861
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Slàinte...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	6D590AF6-1701-4E2A-942B-AC10CC0A8FB6.png 
Views:	0 
Size:	68.0 KB 
ID:	35144
    "We are all connected...to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the universe, atomically...and that makes me smile." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Profane James For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    2nd May 08
    Location
    Mandurah, Western Australia
    Posts
    544
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by davidlpope View Post
    Shaun,

    I think you're over-thinking this. In the modern world, clans are "ideas", albeit official in the case of clans which have a chief recognized by the Lord Lyon. The whole clan/tartan/bagpipes phenomenon is culturally a Highland thing.

    Historical, the Nixons were a reiving family in the Borders. Have you read George MacDonald Fraser's book, The Steel Bonnets? It would be a great introduction to the particular history of Borders families and their culture.

    David

    From GMF's The Steel Bonnets:


    Also found this:

    Last edited by Bruce Scott; 15th September 18 at 03:49 PM.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    17th September 16
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thanks everyone

    I more than likely am over thinking things.
    I was hoping the historical record would contain info, like the last Armstrong chief was archibald Armstrong of Mangerton.
    Was hoping it would indicate who the last Nixon chief was, considering there is some mention of them being a clan as recognized by the parliament of the day.
    My great grandfather came from Wigton in the U.K., and am still tracing ancestry back but I expect it to be difficult when I get past the first census.
    I know Nixons lived on Armstrong land on both sides of border and this has fueled my curiosity on where Nixon fits in.
    I appreciate the answers. I have got a copy of the steel bonnets but have yet to read it.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    17th September 16
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Profane James View Post
    Slàinte...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	6D590AF6-1701-4E2A-942B-AC10CC0A8FB6.png 
Views:	0 
Size:	68.0 KB 
ID:	35144
    Slainte Mhor
    You know how often as a kid I was asked if I was related to the pres?
    Thanks for the cool meme

  11. The Following User Says 'Aye' to nixonshaun For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Join Date
    17th September 16
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Fingerless Will

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Scott View Post
    From GMF's The Steel Bonnets:


    Also found this:

    Fingerless Will sounds like a stand up guy.
    I am researching the debatable lands now based on info you provided.
    Thanks

  13. #9
    Join Date
    17th September 16
    Location
    Maine, USA
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What I know so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    And also remember that it is not as much the name you carry but where your people are from that is most important. The Clan system existed in the NW part of the country and was about areas. A chief gave his name to the Clan that controlled or claimed an area, but how the Clan was structured can be seen as similar to how the N. American Indian tribes were structured.

    For example - The Campbell family from around Ayrshire were different and distinct from the Highland Campbell Clan. The Gordon family from the south were different from, and not part of, the Gordon Highland Clan.

    The vast majority of Scots lived in the Lowlands. All the major cities save Inverness were in the lowlands. The Lowlanders would not, and do not today, consider themselves as part of the Clan system.

    The idea that - I'm Scottish, therefore I have to find what Clan I belong to, is a far more recent concept.
    Thanks Steve,
    That is great information. I am trying to get as much information as possible on the history of the Nixon's.
    I welcome any input from any one on these forums who can add to what i already have, debunk it or provide greater detail and insight.
    Here's what i know so far - it may be helpful to others with the same Surname:

    From House of Names:
    The name Nixon is generally believed to be descended from the Strathclyde Britons.
    they were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the south, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.
    Divided into three kingdoms: Selgovians south of the Clyde, Novantii in Galloway and the Rhiged to the south in Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire.
    From 400-900 AD territory was overrun by Irish Gaels, then Angles from the east and,
    finally, Picts and Daldrians from the north.
    By 1000 AD had discernible clans and families.
    Seated in Upper Liddesdale in Scotland and in Bewcastle in Cumberland with manor and
    estates in that shire.
    Part of the Armstrong, Elliot, Nixon, Crozier confederacy.
    Nixon also responsible for well being of the Thomsons, Glendennings and Hunters.

    Walter Scott - Provincial Antiquities of Scotland vol 5
    Nixons lived in the Debatable lands, and were found in Liddesdale but were more numerous
    in Cumberland. Might rather be termed English than Scottish Borders.

    Scottish Parliament Act 1587
    Nixon listed as a clan with a 'captain, chief or chieftain' living on the Middle Marches
    by the parliament of the day.


    Clan Armstrong Society
    from late 13th century until early 17th century the English/Scottish border was in turmoil.
    The parishes of Canonbie and Kirkandrews passed back and forth between Scottish and
    English rule, forming a 7,400 acre area that came to be known as the Debatable land.
    Armstrong’s lived in and around the Debatable land in Liddesdale, Eskdale and Annandale.

    https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surn...ics/nixon/107/
    Nixon’s lived in the lands controlled by the Armstrong Lairds on both sides of the border.
    Rode with them on cattle raids, fought in wars with them, and otherwise serves as
    members of the clan.

    Wikipedia -- Scottish Clan
    The modern image of clans, each with their own tartan and specific land, was
    promulgated by the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott after influence by others.
    Historically, tartan designs were associated with Lowland and Highland districts
    whose weavers tended to produce cloth patterns favored in those districts.
    By process of social evolution, it followed that the clans/families prominent in a
    particular district would wear the tartan of that district, and it was but a short step
    for that community to become identified by it.

    Most tartan searches for Nixon indicate they wore/wear the Armstrong tartan.
    Armstrong tartan was registered with the tartan registry in the 1800s but is presumed
    to have originated earlier.

    Nixon's can still join the Armstrong Clan Association.

  14. #10
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
    Posts
    3,820
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Honestly, the best way to do your search is to get off the web for now.

    Do your genealogy. A genealogy is not a google search, it is a paper chase. You start with one piece of paper, say your birth certificate. That gives you your parents names, perhaps where they were married or where they are from. Then you go to that place and find the next piece of paper in the line. Your parents birth certificates, tax records, deeds, old family bibles, any document.

    This leads you down a trail of paper from you, back along your ancestors.

    Remember that if you go back even 5 generations you have 32 grandparents with 32 different names from 32 different places.

    Following just your current last name is only one of those 32 lines from which you are descended.

    The spelling of last names is one of those things that is very hard to keep straight. Even as recent as the American Civil War 5-8 generations) most people did not read or write. If they wanted to send a letter they dictated it to someone who could write and that person would write what they thought they heard. Spelling of a name can change with just one document such as an Ellis Island Immigration form where the clerk was processing thousand of people a day with all sorts of accents.

    Typing your current last name into a computer is a very poor way to do a genealogy. There can be many tens of thousands of people with the same last name.

    The House of Names and wiki are notoriously poor reference materials. The only real way to know where you come from is to do a genealogy. Many people find it a rewarding hobby and it can take a lifetime.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  15. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Steve Ashton For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0