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  1. #11
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    My wife and I are English, although we live in the US. My wife's claim to belong to Clan Davidson is that she was told as much by her Scottish maternal grandmother, maiden name Davidson. That's good enough for me.

    Callaghan is my mother's fathers family name, and also the title of one of only a dozen Irish clan chiefs recognised by the Irish government, when they used to recognise such chiefs. This was almost certainly always unconstitutional, as the Irish constitution forbids recognition of titles of nobility, which is rather ironic, as it does not exclude Irish titles.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Callaghan View Post
    My wife and I are English, although we live in the US. My wife's claim to belong to Clan Davidson is that she was told as much by her Scottish maternal grandmother, maiden name Davidson. That's good enough for me.
    Go for it. We should all believe everything our grannies told us. Mind you, at the time your wife's granny was alive there was no chief of Davidson, so in fact the 'clan' Davidson was broken and didn't then exist. It does now, under Davidson of Davidston, descended from a Davidson of Tulloch. He lives in New Zealand. There is also a pretty lively Davidson Society based in the UK with its own Museum at Tulloch Castle Hotel.

    All this really to help the OP understand clans.

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  4. #13
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    As an Innes I have a little bit of knowledge on how the Mitchel name relates. Technically for Clan Innes we could say their are many Septs, However most of these are mere spelling variations (Ennes, Dinnes and Innis etc.) and throughout history many of us were a bit naughty and got "put to the horn" (outlawed) so they changed their names thus they became associated with Clan Innes (McTary, Reidfurd, Middleton etc. And even the name "Marnoch" is regarded as a sept, Not sure the history behind that though. However there are two exceptions.
    Wilson: The Wilson's who descend from the Wilson's of Littlefield are related to the Inneses by Marriage, And have since been regarded as a Sept.
    And the Mitchel's of the Northeast are also related to the Inneses by Marriage.
    Sadly however I cannot tell you who married who, or when for I don't know. But you're very welcome to wear any Innes tartan etc, You can even join the Society or even just join the Facebook page.
    If you'd like any extra Information on the Inneses just say and I'll send you over a PDF file of a book written by one of the guys at the Innes Society. Since she came from Braemar it's hard to say if she would have had any relation to the Northeastern Mitchel family, But it is possible I'd say 50% 50% chance, And since Braemar is technically in Aberdeenshire then the chances are higher but I have no idea where the Mitchel's originate from. And the last bit: Innes tartan is mostly red

    I was gonna write more about the Clan System but im too tired tonight, Basically think of it as this:

    In the Lowland's it seems to be based on Kinship mostly, Where everyone in a Clan was related, But it wasn't taken as seriously as Highland Clans, Although families did feud against each other (the majority of feuding in Scotland happend in the Lowlands) and Chief's were recognised.
    Wheras in the Highland's it was taken very seriously, The poor folk of a clan thought of the land as clan land, Not the lairds land etc, Not all Highlander's were related to the chief but just sharing the surname was good enough and you could lay claim to this land too and such.
    This can be seen in the late 18th Century during the Highland and Lowland clearances
    The Lowlanders survived it, They had no problem leaving their land, And because of the mutual respect between them and their lairds they didn't cause any problems and just moved on to small towns that were built for rural people, The Clans remained normal as they were more a kinship thing (like a large extended family).
    But in the Highlands because people didn't want to leave the land that they thought of as Clan land, Sacred land almost, Along with the fact how fast everything happend, It caused the Highlanders to suffer greatly.

    nowadays we have a more Highland perception of Clans, Personally I just see my Clan as an extended family of sorts, Treat other Inneses how I would my Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles etc, We're all mostly related in one way or another, be it incredibly distant or very close I don't care. But I don't speak for everyone who is part of a clan so eh. I'm not too bothered about tartan's and such, But we shouldn't think back to history and say "oh no we can't do clans like this because in history..." instead we should be proud of the modern version of clans, no matter how much rubbish was made up about clans in the last two centuries. Scotland has it really unique here and it gives the Higher class people and the average common people something to come together with, For example it's very rare even in the modern day to see those rich high class folk mingling with working class people, But I've seen many societies where the Chief although he might be a rich duke or whatever, Will just sit down and talk about the clans and stuff with common people it gives us something to come together for which I find cool.
    PROUD descendent of the Innes Clan! and a Yorkshireman! Or maybe I'm a.... Yorkshire Clansman?

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  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    Yes, both points are correct. There are many Davidsons -- particularly in the 'New World' -- who would like to think they are related to each other in some distant way, but this is obviously incorrect. Just as not all those who bear the name Robert-son, John-son, Hender-son are related. The only ones who can correctly refer to themselves as members of Clan Davidson are those who are descended from Davidsons in Lochaber, Badenoch, Strathdearn and Petty (and, latterly, Easter Ross). But that's set aside these days in favour of the Society system which is based on name and not on descendency.

    As for the Clan Chattan this confederation was dissimilar to other 'confederations', such as Macdonald, only in that the individual clans kept their individuality; they did not become merely a part of the whole. Several times in history this was reinforced by way of bonds of friendship and relationship to strengthen what would otherwise have made them weak. And, of course, they intermarried all the while retaining their patronymic. Today the chiefs of those clans are all part of the society bearing common identity as Clan Chattan.

    But the designation of those chiefs is important to note: Mackintosh of Mackintosh (that is, of the whole name, despite its various spellings), Macpherson of Cluny (there are Macphersons unrelated to the clan in the Central Highlands), Farquharson of Invercauld (a territorial differentiating him from other Farquhars), Macthomas of Finegand (no relationship to Macthomases in the West Highlands), Shaw of Tordarroch (there are many unrelated Shaws in other parts of Scotland and in England), Maclean of Dochgarroch (also referred to as Macleans of the North and Clan Tearlach), and Davidson of Davidston. MacBain of MacBain is chief of all of that distinct spelling of the name, but not of all Macbeans. There are other clans within the Clan Chattan currently without chiefs. When the Macphail chief is found and acknowledged by Lord Lyon, he will not be Macphail of Macphail because there other Macphails and Pauls from other regions in Scotland.

    As for the Clan Chattan tartan, this was one of two designs by Wilsons of Bannockburn in the early 19c, both called Mackintosh: one from much earlier has become well known as the Mackintosh, the other as Clan Chattan with no particular connection with Mackintosh. This is a simplified explanation, I know, but a more complete one needs it's own thread.
    My wife was told she was Clan Davidson by her Scottish grandmother, maiden name Davidson but then living just across the border in England, before the latter died [ETA: Oops! I see I already said that]. In most cases, even in Scotland, this is as close as most people will get to being able to prove that they belong to a particular clan.

    As my wife was never told anything about the Clan Chattan Confederation by her grandmother, she declines to claim it.

    Ironically, her grandfather was a Wilson, but English, not Scottish, and of no known Scottish provenance, although as we know there is no Wilson clan and nor is it a sept of any clan [ETA: I see from above in this thread that Wilson is now regarded as a sept of Innes, but that wouldn't include English Wilsons, unless of Scottish descent, because that's not how it works]. However, as I'm sure you know a Scottish Wilson owned the first ever commercial tartan mill, so of course there is a Wilson tartan, simply because they owned the mill! [ETA: Moreover, as thrifty Scots, I'm sure they would have been more than happy to take the money of Sassenach Wilsons who wanted to wear it!]
    Last edited by O'Callaghan; 31st October 17 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Callaghan View Post
    My wife was told she was Clan Davidson by her Scottish grandmother, maiden name Davidson but then living just across the border in England, before the latter died [ETA: Oops! I see I already said that]. In most cases, even in Scotland, this is as close as most people will get to being able to prove that they belong to a particular clan.

    As my wife was never told anything about the Clan Chattan Confederation by her grandmother, she declines to claim it.

    Ironically, her grandfather was a Wilson, but English, not Scottish, and of no known Scottish provenance, although as we know there is no Wilson clan and nor is it a sept of any clan [ETA: I see from above in this thread that Wilson is now regarded as a sept of Innes, but that wouldn't include English Wilsons, unless of Scottish descent, because that's not how it works]. However, as I'm sure you know a Scottish Wilson owned the first ever commercial tartan mill, so of course there is a Wilson tartan, simply because they owned the mill! [ETA: Moreover, as thrifty Scots, I'm sure they would have been more than happy to take the money of Sassenach Wilsons who wanted to wear it!]
    I thought Wilson was claimed as a sept of Clan Gunn? http://www.clangunn.us/septs.htm

  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wareyin View Post
    I thought Wilson was claimed as a sept of Clan Gunn? http://www.clangunn.us/septs.htm
    You don't claim surnames as septs, you more accept them as septs. Wilson is accepted as a sept for Clan Innes and Clan Gunn but the two Wilson families are unrelated.

    The Wilsons of Clan Innes descend from the Wilson's of Littlefield and are related to Innes through marriage. I'm not sure about the history of the Wilson family related to the Gunn's.
    PROUD descendent of the Innes Clan! and a Yorkshireman! Or maybe I'm a.... Yorkshire Clansman?

  9. #17
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    I was thinking more along the lines that someone is claiming that Wilson (of at least one family) is a sept of Gunn, without going into who. Clan Gunn finally has a chief after some 230 years without, but I have no idea who would have been officially accepting anyone (or barring them) as a sept before 2015.

  10. #18
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    Talk about learning more than I though I didn't know.

    My paternal grandmother is (was?) a Mitchell, and family documents show that branch of the family coming from NE Scotland, as well as some recordings my cousins made in the late 1960's when I was a wee lad, of Great Grandpa Mitchell relating what his father and grand father told him about the family's past. Innes and Cameron have been transcribed as "part of our kin". Quite a few stories about family members "doing things" as favors / payment to lords or chiefs - No proof any are true, but adds color to what is really a more likely a plain family story of a bunch of farmers immigrating in the late 1700's / early 1800's.

    Family name is Martin, and based on what we've been able to track down, my paternal grandfather's family made their way to the mid-west (Oklahoma Territory) via Canada, after making their way from Scotland after hiding out in Ireland for a bit with relatives. There seems to be much information / disinformation about who / what / where that line of the family came from. There's a strong Irish branch, but also information suggesting links to MacDonald and Cameron, and very much not being fond of the crown - where the 'smart ones' made their way to Canada, and the rest of the Martins, and Macmartins ending up in Australia. It's been difficult to find much information as much seems to have been intentionally destroyed, which does not appear to be that uncommon.

    Mom's side of the family is German (grandmother) and "we don't really know" as "Pa" was a Reynolds, and as he raised himself from the age of about 8 we really don't know much about his side of the family. There's some family information through an aunt (his father's sister) that the family was originally Scottish that was brought over to Ireland to 'clear the land' in the mid to late 1600's, which is as best of an interpretation as could be made by what documents could be found.

    Based on that, Mitchell sounds like a safe Tartan. Not sure on Innes. The Kilts I wear are the Leatherneck tartan, as that one I'm 100% sure I can wear.

  11. #19
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    If you have not yet caught on to what our resident experts are saying -
    This whole thing is not about your surname.
    It is not some romantic notion that became popular in the Victorian era where everyone who is of Scottish descent can find their Clan on some list.
    And it is not the current "neo-celtic" idea of 'this all goes back to antiquity and has come down to us today unchanged."

    It is actually far more complex than any of those ideas.

    Do your genealogy. Spend the time to do the research and find the facts of where your people come from. Typing your surname into a google search is not doing your genealogy.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 29th April 18 at 02:28 PM.
    Steve Ashton
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  12. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    If you have not yet caught on to what our resident experts are saying -
    This whole thing is not about your surname.
    It is not some romantic notion that became popular in the Victorian era where everyone who is of Scottish descent can find their Clan on some list.
    And it is not the current "neo-celtic" idea of 'this all goes back to antiquity and has come down to us today unchanged."

    It is actually far more complex that any of those ideas.

    Do your genealogy. Spend the time to do the research and find the facts of where your people come from. Typing your surname into a google search is not doing your genealogy.
    I suck at words sometimes. My apologies. One of my primary tasks after chatting with you last week was to get in touch with my cousins and get more information on where we're from.

    Extensive genealogy research has been conducted by my cousins since the late '70s, resulting in half a dozen banker's boxes of copied documents tracked down (slowly being scanned)Most work was done before Google was thing, the old fashioned way. What we do know is one line of the family is from NE Scotland, what is now between Dores and Inverness, which happens to be tied to the Mithchell surname.

    There are gaps, dead ends galore we will likely never fill in. Every so often, a few strands are unraveled. Sadly there has been a good deal of "good luck with that" as swaths of the paper trail ends right around 1861 ~ 1865 here in the states. Some for the family lore fits the paper trail, some not-so-much, and other pieces fit some if you apply accurate detective work to unravel the truths, and most of that truth is the kin were a bunch of near-do-well farmers and mercenaries that held very little, if any influence. DNA tests are showing some interesting and unexpected results leading us in directions we never imagined. One cousin put it "Our family tree looks more like a poorly pruned bush, full of holes, with a few twigs sticking out in strange directions

    The disappearance of documents are highly interesting, and I feel is indeed being highly romanticized. There's a trail, and then gaps for no apparent reason. Along the line, something happened - and we may never know. Was it something the ancestors did? Or was it simply a fire in the church where records were kept?

    There's more we don't know than what we do know and I strive to keep learning.

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