Template talk:Scottish clans

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Correction to infobox at the bottom of Scottish clans[edit]

In the infobox at the bottom of Scottish clans, there is, I believe, a misspelling. Clan Russell, a sept of Clan Cumming, and presumably the Russell this box refers to, is generally spelled with two "l"s. Russell. [1] MarmadukePercy (talk) 05:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The spelling we are using is from The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs website. It only has one l there [2].--Celtus (talk) 07:48, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Curious because a google search for Clan Russell turns up roughly eight times as many results for the double 'l' than for the single. MarmadukePercy (talk) 08:01, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be about the most common variation of the surname. It seems to me, that clans take their spelling after the surname of the leading branch, or the last leading branch of the clan. For example clans Mackenzie, Macrae, Maclean, Macdonald of Sleat, and so on, use the lower-case letters k,r,d, where i'd expect most people with those surnames use upper-case letters in their own names. Maybe the last chief of the name was a "Russel" and not a "Russell".--Celtus (talk) 09:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
In this case, you are entirely right. The last leading branch of Clan Russell happened to spell its name with a single 'l,' and they resided at Aden Country Park. So that does explain why the single 'l' would appear on the Standing Council's website. (The more common spelling down the years was Russell.) Thank you, I've just learned something. Regards, MarmadukePercy (talk) 09:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I checked the The general armory, which gives Russell of that Ilk as the spelling of the chiefly line. I noted that the reference given is somewhat inspired from the text given by My Clan, which gives the spelling of Russel. I noted with interest that the Russel's of that Ilk did not have a recorded motto, but Scots Connection gives "Promptus", which The general armory links to the Russells of Charlton Park, Gloucester, yet as crest it gives that of that of the Russells of Montcoffer, Banff. The problem here is that the Russells of Montcoffer arms have a quarter as "a lion rampart gules and in chief two crescents sable" which is very similar to the Ducal house of Bedford arms, "lion rampart gules on a chief sable three escallop on the first." and not The Russell of that Ilks arms, "Argent, a chevron Gules between three tadpoles Sable". My thinking is that the sites are trying to collect scant information and that the spelling Russel is the old spelling, used by the chiefs of old. There seems to be good references for both spellings. If an article on the clan existed this could included this information on spelling. As to the motto and crest, this in my view is made up (in a cut and paste way) to fill a void. Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 10:18, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
What do you think we should do about a Clan Russell crest badge? Just following the one illustrated on the 'scotsconnection' website doesn't seem like a great idea to me. Maybe we should just leave it, and illustrate the arms of Russell of that Ilk.--Celtus (talk) 06:53, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I think leaving the matter will invite editors, who are only trying to be helpful, to fill the blank (with reference). This may cause annoyance to new editors who in a sense are clearly trying to be helpful and in all appearances following the rules. My comments above are based on research into the matter and may be considered under WP:NOR. My thinking is to put the crest and motto but add a strong note on the matter as to the probable (dubious) origins of these. Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 08:33, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

While the Russell family of Bedford certainly carried the name, some sources state that "it appears the Scottish branch had a chief as well." According to this source, a manuscript at the Harleian Collection gives an earlier source for the Russell arms of Russell of That Ilk. It's worth noting that the arms given by this source are different from those of the Aden branch: viz., "Argent, a chevron between three greinplovers, sable." Interestingly, these are the same arms given by Balfour, Lyon King of Arms in 1630. Although I believed earlier than the arms of Aden were correct, given my discovery of this new source, and the regard I have for the Harleian Collection, as well as whatever the Lyon King of Arms states, I would unquestionably go with these arms as outlined in this source. I suspect they antedate the Aden branch arms, which is what this source claims. And that appears to be correct. [3] Regards, MarmadukePercy (talk) 10:38, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

on a sub note, I'll draw the arms (not those with tadpoles per my clan, but with pewits per general armory), I'll also do the branches, but not those of the Russells of Montcoffer who are not clearly defined as part of the Scottish clan (arms in Scotland have genealogical similarities and these arms seem to bear no resemblance to the chiefly line, but seem to indicate a possible connection to the English Russells). It seems pretty certain that the crest and motto of Clan Russell should be those of the Russell of Kingseat (Peebles) and Russell of Ashiestiel (Selkirk), these both beeing- crest: a fountain proper, motto: Agitatione Purgatus, as both these arms have what in scotland are defined with a mark of difference to show cedet branches to the chiefly line (a border sable for kingseat), or a mullet and border engrailed gule as difference for Ashiestiel). The reference you gave seems to confirm this in my view (see note at bottom of your ref) rather than confirm your stament "And that appears to be correct". Can we make an assumption here without infringing WP:NOR? i.e. go for crest: a fountain proper, motto: Agitatione Purgatus as of that Ilk using the said reference? Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 11:09, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I meant. I think that the arms you've just delineated are, in fact, the original arms for Russell of that ilk, and that the later arms of Aden and Montcoffer are just that. I don't think there's any original research involved. It's simply what a good reporter does: trying to ferret out the facts, and I think all sources now point to the arms you've described (and that are mentioned in the Paterson work I posted) as the coat armor of the original armigerous family. It's my belief now that Paterson is in fact correct about this. Given the age of his manuscript, it holds up remarkably well on rereading today. Many thanks and regards, MarmadukePercy (talk) 11:18, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
great. so we draw arms as Ar. a Chevron sa. between three pewits sa. (note: a greinplover is old english for green plower, or pewit). And use the crest: a fountain proper, motto: Agitatione Purgatus for the clan's crest badge. and use general armory as ref for shield, and the ref Scottish surnames as confirming those of chiefly crest and motto. I state this clearly as you keep mentioning Russell of Montcoffer that does not have pewits in its arms. Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 11:38, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds excellent and completely agree. My only point about Aden and Montcoffer is that they're just 'noise' -- as well as a vivid demonstration why Burke is not always reliable. The authentic arms are the ones you've just described and date from much earlier. (Also, most interesting about 'greinplover,' a usage I'd never encountered!) Thanks and regards, MarmadukePercy (talk) 12:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I have drawn the arms and added a note at the picture's commons page outlining the various versions. see Summary at: Russell of that Ilk Arms.svg, Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 16:28, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

What sort of criteria should there be for inclusion on 'armigerous list' part? Any Scottish surname/family (excluding branches) with a coat of arms attributed to it?.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:24, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Although I am not a Wiki editor, and with the greatest respect to Brianann MacAmhlaidh, it is not simply a matter of what surname/family has a Coat of Arms attributed to it. It is about Armigerous Clans aka a Clan that at some point in history did have a ‘chief of the name’ but are at present chiefless. The Clan may be represented at present by an established Territorial House or in some cases the first of the name to be granted undifferenced arms. Some of these families are also in the process of formal recognition of Chiefly Arms. It must be noted that the Lord Lyon does not appoint Chiefs/Chieftains of a Clan and by his own words “only grants arms” however most of us from heraldic/clan circles realise the importance of his recognition and work towards it. Sketraw (talk) 21:27, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
You added Duncan to the list. I noticed it isn't listed at clanchiefs.org; the rest of the hundred plus Armigerous clans are. What is your reasoning for adding Duncan and not any of the countless other Scottish surnames? Did Clan Duncan have a chief of the name? The article makes no mention of one. Doesn't the template become pointless when we start adding every Scottish surname? So where does the list end?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 08:54, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes I added Duncan to the list. Not all Armigerous clans are listed on clanchiefs.org website for one example Clan McAlpine one of the better known Armigerous clans. "What is your reasoning for adding Duncan and not any of the countless other Scottish surnames?" Clan Duncan was also present, with their own Clan tent, at the recent Gathering 2009 organised by The Standing Council of Chiefs. Wikipedia's own Clan map includes Clan Duncan. There is absolutely no reason that a Scottish name set could not start a new Clan and there is provision for recognition of new Chiefs of Clans laid down by Lyon Court through the Derbhfine process, a well known example of this was Clan Gayre and another example in more recent times Clan MacAuley. (See www.clanmacaulay.org.uk/node/74). “Did Clan Duncan have a chief of the name? The article makes no mention of one.” Clan Donachie/Donnachadh had emerged in the early 1300s from the Earls of Athole. The clan name is said to come from Donnachadh Reamhar -‘Stout Duncan’ Robert Duncan(son) was the 4th and last Chief.Sketraw (talk) 13:14, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Did the MacAlpines really have a chief of the name? The first coat of arms ever recorded to a MacAlpine was in 2003 [4]. Your arguments have switched from coats of arms and chiefs of the name, to clan-tents at highland games and user-created maps on Wikipedia. Donnchadh Reamhar was a chieftain of the Robertsons, wasn't he? Before you claimed "the Duncans are a separate clan of which no links exists between the Clan Robertson and the Duncans" [5]. I understand any surname can strive to be recognised as a clan of its own, with a recognised chief of the name, and all that. That's the whole point. The list would be endless if we added every Scottish surname, that has members with arms, with societies and websites. If we just stick with clans with current chiefs of the name, or chiefs of their clans; and those which in the past had recognised chiefs of the name, then there are no problems. That's the kind of thing that we should be able to verify with disinterested sources.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:55, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

The first arms of MacAlpine may well be registered in 2003, however not all clan chiefs arms, if they were still in existence at the start of the Register of All arms Scotland in 1672, [6] recorded there arms in the register. My argument is not switching from Coats of Arms to Chiefs of the Name they are both interlinked. My Mention of the gathering 2009 was to point out that it was organised by The Standing Council of Chiefs who’s website you had already made mention. I never said there was no links between the Duncans and Robertsons and the article points out that thy both have common genealogical links However, historically Clan Donachie aka Duncan was a clan in its own right with its own Duncan Chief. “That's the kind of thing that we should be able to verify with disinterested sources”; - Travels in Scotland Vol 2 page 489 by James Hall 1807 [7]; Dictionnaire de la noblesse, contenant les généalogies 1783 Vol 13 page 402 [8]; Nobiliare universel de France, ou recueil général des généalogies 1814 [9]; The Gentleman's Magazine Volume 94. part 2 page 87 [10] talks about James Grant's connection with Clan Duncan. A quote from Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands by Frank Adam and Sir Thomas Innes of Learney (Lord Lyon) 3rd ediition 1934 p.177; "Duncan, Duncanson -- Instead of the Duncans, Donnachies. etc., appearing as septs of the Robertsons, the position should, properly speaking, be reversed. As explained in notes on the Clan Robertson the progenitor of the Clan Donnachie was Duncan, or Donnachadh Reamar; the appellation of Robertson having been derived from the name of the Chief, Robert who flourished during the reign of King James I." No one has said, apart from you, about adding every Scottish surname, however as I said before, there is a procedure laid down by the Court of the Lord Lyon for Recognition of new Chiefs which you have totally ignored and these families should be taken into consideration if they request a mention in Wikipedia, or is a Scottish Judicial Court not good enough for you. [11].Sketraw (talk) 20:37, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure what those 18th century publications are suppose to show. The Robertsons call themselves Clan Donnachaidh; couldn't "Clan de Donachie" / "Clan Donachie" / "Clan Duncan" refer to them? The children of Duncan. How did James Grant actually descend from Duncan? You've got to realise that 'clan procedure', highland games, and personal websites have no bearing on whether something is notable or as a reliable source (just read through some of the guidelines like Wikipedia:No original research). The other clans and their chiefs/history are written about. It doesn't look as if Innes of Learney had the Duncans as a clan of their own. He seems to have had them tagged as a sept of the Robertsons, right? So why shouldn't it be treated as a sept, or a surname? Are there any books which make a distinction between the Duncans and Robertsons; that the Duncans were a distinct clan of their own, with their own recognised chief?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 11:33, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Brianann, Lets go back to go forward, the reason you removed Clan Duncan was because it did not appear on clanchiefs.org likewise neither does Clan Donnachaidh as the Clan is Clan Robertson and you are quite right when you say they “call themselves” Clan Donnachaidh. On the Grant of Arms of the present Chiefs father; ref - Register of All Arms Scotland, Book 40 /Folio 14. Lyon Court it states; "Langton George Duncan Haldane Robertson of Struan, Chief of the name and head of Clan Robertson otherwise entitled Clan Donnachaidh", It shows he is the Chief of the Name Robertson and head of the Clan Robertson, entitled (known as) Clan Donnachaidh he is not Chief of the name Donnachaidh / Donachie / Duncan or head of the Clan Doncachaidh / Clan Donachie / Clan Duncan. What I was pointing out by quoting Learney on my last entry was, that the position of the Duncans and Robertsons should be reversed and that the progenitor of the "Clan Donnachie was Duncan", or Donnachadh Reamar (not Robertson). It should be also noted that above reference to the Letters Patent of Robertson, was signed by Learney. The Chiefs of Clan Donachie/Duncan were all Duncans up until Robert Duncan(son) the 4th Chief his son Alexander abandoned the name Duncan and took the name Alexander Robertson ending the line of Duncan Chiefs. As for "Septs" this is a Victorian fabrication brought about by the 1822 Gathering and, to quote Learney once again in Clan Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 1952 edition co-authored by Frank Adam he says; “septs must be regarded as a rather wonderful effort of imagination” and “The very word ‘sept’ is delusive and no serious attention can now be attached to Skene’s theories about ‘septs”. He also states that some Clan historians could be found guilty of “sept-snatching”. As for the Grant connection, they also lay claim to be the proginators of Clan Duncan through Sir Duncan de Grant. The first Chief of Clan Donachie / Duncan was Duncan de Atholia.Sketraw (talk) 17:04, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Ahh, you made that perfectly clear, I think I understand things better now. Thank you Sketraw. Haha, I didn't catch the Grant/Reamhar thing: Duncan Reamhar (fat Duncan) and Duncan de Grant (large Duncan).--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:26, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I am glad it is resolved Brianann Sketraw (talk) 01:16, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I imagine just about every Scottish name is going to have at least one family which claims to descend from some some lord or whatnot. I had figured the clans listed on the standing council site were ones in which a member was regarded as 'of that ilk', etc., in historical record. So what's the point of the list?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I use archives of myclan.com as a reference for inclusion, and as reference to the proper spelling of clan name designation (re the recent edit of whiteford from the correct Whitefoord and the resent creation of "clan Macbeth" whose proper designation is Clan Bethune). This is the old Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs web site that has the advantage of listing all the clans, both with an without chief, on one page. Clans without chiefs do have pages at clanchiefs.org, the new web site, but these are difficult to find, e.g. page for clan Bethune. Note I do make exceptions to this rulle, e.g. Clan Gardyne, which is listed as "clan Garden" at both MyClan.com and ClanChiefs.org, yet their histories only mention the clan as "Gardyne". Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 10:37, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that this is an another example of where a couple different families are confused under similar, or the same, surname. There are atleast two families here: The 'Norman' Bethune family; and a Gaelic family that produced the well known physicians, whose name has been Anglicised in so many ways (see this review of a book on them by John Bannerman "He clearly distinguishes between the Bethunes of French origin and the Beatons/Bethunes of the medical tradition, dispelling any myth that may have linked the two". [12]. The archived page reads to me like the 'clan' deals with the 'Norman' family who held lands in 'Creich in Fife', and somehow some Lindsays from Fife acquired the Bethune name and heraldry. I think the family of physicians could live in their own article, (probably not as Clan MacBeth though) as they are well known, and must have a number of publications devoted to them. At least I think, some sort of division should be noted between them and the 'Norman' Bethunes in Clan Bethune (because I think "Clan Bethune" must refer to the 'Norman' family).--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 11:23, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are two families but the MacBeths would be a sept of Clan Macbain, Clan Macdonald, or Clan Maclean, depending on their location. I checked and these clans do claim MacBeth as their kinsmen. Beaton is another matter, in my view this name has mostly been used as a common spelling variation of Bethune, the classic example is Cardinal Beaton younger son of the chief, even the chiefly line was known by the name Beaton of Balfour (e.g. article at James Beaton). Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 09:38, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
According to Black Bethune was confused with Beaton in the sixteeth century and Beaton, was merged in English from a name of from two families named Macbeth and Beaton (or Bethune). These two families were hereditary doctors practicing in the isles, the Macbeths in Mull and the Beatons in Sky. Those on Mull were doctors to Clan Maclean and later Clan Fraser of Lovat, they seemed to have eventualy been known as Beaton. Also according to Black the other Beaton family of hereditary doctors, those of Sky were Bethunes descended fron the Bethunes in Fife, the Bethunes of Balfour. they are descended from the 5th Bethune of Balfour and settled Sky in the sixteenth century. Yours ever, Czar Brodie (talk) 14:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed what Black wrote. This confuses me, because the way I understood things was that the Hebridean Beatons/MacBeths were of the same family - originally a learned family from Ireland. I think that Black's take on it might be the 'myth' that Bannerman 'dispelled' in his book. But I can't say for sure, it's just an opinion, I haven't read Bannerman's book. Google scholar turns up a couple publications on the physician Beatons, but it's hard to find a freely viewable one. Here's one: [13] (the second page [14] mentions the Beaton family).--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:46, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Getting back to the first point - I have serious doubts about the idea of 'armigerous clans'. AS I have said elsewhere -

As I understand Lord Lyon there is no such thing as an 'armigerous clan'.

From the Lyon web page - 'There is a widespread misconception that a family or a clan can have a family or clan Coat of Arms. Many heraldic and clan web sites and other media suggest that a person has the right to use the family or clan Arms. This is completely incorrect...What is permitted is for a member of a clan to use the clan crest . Usually what is referred to as the clan Coat of Arms is in fact the personal Arms of the chief of the clan which can only be used by the chief.' http://www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/216.181.html

He has also said "there is no such thing as a clan cost of arms" Lord Lyon information leaflet 10 http://www.scotarmigers.net/pdfs/info-leaflet-10.pdf accessed 23 January 2014.

So if Lord Lyon quite clearly states that Clans do not have 'coats of arms' by definition clans can not be armigerous. This, even more so, is true for the Clan Gunn as they have never had a chief recognised by Lord Lyon...

I suggest the idea of an 'armigerous clan' should be edited from this entry. (AlastairJG (talk) 11:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Clan Hetherington[edit]

As for the alleged Clan Hetherington. Any officially recognized clan with a chief is listed on the website of the Standing Council of Scottish chiefs here:[15] It is possibly for a clan to be an "Armigerous clan" if it has no chief but it still needs to be registered as an official clan with the Court of the Lord Lyon. I cannot find any reference to Hethrington being an Armigerous clan, and it is not in the Collins Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia. May I remind you again that any unsourced info can be removed from Wikipedia and that reliable sources should be used only.QuintusPetillius (talk) 18:08, 31 August 2013 (UTC)