So, what is a “Clan”?
For over 700 years, the Clan system was the effective means of government in the Highlands of Scotland from sometime before the year 1000 AD until it was essentially eliminated by the British in 1745. Translated from the ancient Scottish Gaelic language, the word clan means“children – of the family” and is a group whose
membership stipulates common descent from a single ancestor. A Clan might, therefore, be said to be a bunch of cousins! Clans give a sense of shared identity and descent to its members. In modern times, most clans have their own specifically designed family crests and tartan patterns dating from the 19th century, which members may incorporate into kilts or other clothing. Many historians estimate that originally as few as 30-40 recognized clans existed in Scotland – concentrated mostly in the northern highland areas. However in modern times, these numbers have expanded to include almost anyone of Scottish and Irish descent and are organized worldwide to communicate and promote family heritage and traditions!
Do I have a Clan?
This is a question of the ages! Many ancient clans now include “septs” or families that joined clans over the centuries for mutual benefit and protection. For instance the modern version of Clan MacKintosh includes over 100 different spellings of names long associated as members of their clan including Clark, Farquhar, Dallas, Esson, Hardie, McCartney, MacKay, MacPhail, MacTavish, Nobel, Paul, Ritchie and more! With the modern conveniences of today’s internet, a quick search is all that’s needed to find your family origins and which clan your family is associated with!
I DO want to March in 2017!
At the Gathering of the Scots in Perth-Andover, our own version of a Clan March is hosted at 12 noon on Saturday, June 3rd at the festival grounds (Veteran’s Field, Perth). Over the years, many families have requested the opportunity to “march with their family” during this stirring and emotional event. Festival organizers have now accumulated over 40 “clan banners” showing the family names and ancient crests of many local families.
To participate is simple and fun! Simply arrive at the festival grounds a bit early (11:00AM) and look for the area where the clans are congregating to begin their march (near the festival main gate). Speak with the clan march organizer, Amy MacIntosh (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure your banner is ready for display and line up to prepare for the experience to remember! And if we do not have your banner yet, ask about one for 2017! We’ll have it ready for you!
2015 CLANS AT THE GATHERING OF THE SCOTS