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Clans, Tartans, Regiments

This section covers Clans, Clan Societies, Families, Tartans, Kilts and Highland dress generally. Links to Regiments and Scottish historical Re-enactment organisations and Scots at Home and Abroad are also here. Elsewhere, the Genealogy section of Rampant Scotland Directory also contains references to some clan/family histories while Clan/Family Histories section covers over 100 Scottish surnames.

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Scottish Clan and Family Societies

There are links to web sites with long lists of clans and families in the sections later on this page. These are extremely useful but usually only provide basic information (tartan, crests, septs, and perhaps war cries). It is the individual clan and family societies or, in some cases, individual enthusiasts who create more extensive information. To be included in the list immediately below the site will usually cover clan history or possibly some genealogy and information about the area in which the clan was originally located. Many have a clan/family society for people with genealogical links to the clan.

If you know of any more clan societies with Web pages with more than just basic information, please let me know and they can be added to the list.

Rampant Scotland's Clan/Family Histories

Rampant Scotland has histories of a large number of clans and families who have been significant in the making of Scotland. These histories contain links to other sources of useful information including clan/family Web sites:

Scotland's Clans on YouTube

Copies of the BBC TV series by Paul Murton on aspects of the histories of a number of Scottish clans have been uploaded to YouTube. Each programme is 30 minutes long, though some of the earlier items have been split into three parts due to YouTube limitations in those days. The clans covered are:

  • Armstrong The turbulent history of the families who lived on the border with England and the raiding tradition that was part of this violent society.
  • Cameron Clan Cameron sacrificed everything for the Jacobite cause and paid the ultimate price for their loyalty to Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Campbell Part 1 and Campbell Part 2 and Campbell Part 3 The Campbells combined an understanding of the law with formidable might to become the most powerful and influential clan in the country. But in the middle of the 17th century Scotland was ravaged by a bloody civil war that gave the Campbell's bitter rivals, the MacDonalds an opportunity to exact revenge. Thousands died as these two mighty Highland Clans battled for supremacy.
  • Fraser of Lovat Part 1 and Fraser of Lovat Part 2 and Fraser of Lovat Part 3 documentary about the famous Highland clan that suffered severely as a result of Simon Fraser, known as Simon "the Fox", supporting the 1745/46 Jacobite Rebellion but the Lordship was later restored and later Lovats served with distinction in the British army.
  • Gordon In 1563, the corpse of George Gordon, the fourth earl of Huntley, was tried and found guilty of treason. A bizarre end for a nobleman whose power and arrogance had earned him the title of 'the cock o' the North'. Their prestige was resurrected by the sixth Earl of Huntley, whose intimate relationship with King James the Sixth set tongues wagging and resulted in a jealous feud with a memorably bloody finale - the brutal murder of the Bonny Earl of Moray.
  • Hamilton The Hamiltons have been one of Scotland's most famous lowland clans and one of her greatest families - from the Wars of Independence right through to the Second World War.
  • Leslie From as early as the Crusades the Leslies made their name as warriors. Many left Scotland seeking fame, fortune and glory, including Walter Leslie, who left behind his modest roots in Aberdeenshire and ended up a Count of the Holy Roman Empire, and Alexander Leslie, who also left Scotland with nothing, to fight in the Swedish Army, and became one of Europe's greatest generals.
  • MacDonald Part 1 and MacDonald Part 2 and MacDonald Part 3 For almost 400 years the MacDonalds dominated the Highlands and Islands of Scotland but at the end of the 15th century this mighty clan was ripped apart by a bitter family feud. The struggle between father and son had disastrous consequences from which the MacDonalds never recovered.
  • MacGregor Part 1 and MacGregor Part 2 and MacGregor Part 3 Outlawed for nearly two hundred years after losing their lands in a long power struggle with the Clan Campbell, the Clan Gregor claims descent from Constantin and wife and cousin Malvina, first son of Doungallas and wife Spontana (daughter of a High King of Ireland) and grandson of Giric, the third son of Alpín mac Echdach, the father of Kenneth MacAlpin, the first King of Scotland.
  • MacKenzie Part 1 and MacKenzie Part 2 and MacKenzie Part 3 The Mackenzies were of Celtic stock and were not among the clans that originated from Norman ancestors. Descendants of the long defunct royal Cenél Loairn of Dál Riata, they are believed to be related to Clan Matheson and Clan Anrias. All three descend from the 12th century GillEòin of the Aird.
  • MacLean were know as mercenaries for hire. Paul Murton explores this, their tools of the trade and even tries his hand at employing their sword skills.
  • MacLeod Part 1 and MacLeod Part 2 and MacLeod Part 3 The 16th century was an Age of Feuds and Forays stained with blood. One clan in particular flourished during this violent chapter in Scottish history and its name was MacLeod.
  • MacNeils of Barra Notorious pirates who exploited their superb knowledge of the sea who took over from where the Vikings left off through piracy, shipwreck and seaweed - to their decline in the 19th century.
  • Robertson About Alexander Robertson of Struan, the 13th and last chief of his clan who fought in all three Jacobite rebellions of the 17th and 18th centuries. Tracing the rise and fall of a clan that mythologised its own importance as the world around them changed.
  • Scott The story of the Scotts' journey from reivers to royalty. The Scotts were once an ordinary Borders family. Today, they have become one of the greatest private landowners in Britain through the canny determination of one of the most remarkable women in Clan history. Anna Scott was no more than a girl when she became the Duchess of Buccleuch in the mid-17th century. Her marriage to the son of Charles II propelled the Scotts into the first rank of British nobility - but it very nearly ended in disaster.

Scottish Clans

An extensive A to Z of Scottish Clans and Families. Clan information provides tartans (often) and links to clan Web sites (when available). There is also a search engine and an Alphabetical list of Scottish names associated as septs of specific clans and families.

Clan Map of Scotland

Many clans were asociated with particular areas of Scotland. Here is a map of Scotland showing where they belonged.

Lochcarron Clan Map of Scotland

Map of Scotland from Lochcarron Weavers showing the areas associated with many of the clans of Scotland and brief background history for each one.

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs

Details of the the current Clan Chiefs who are members of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, with links to associated Web addresses, are shown on this site. Not all clans are represented on the Standing Council, but most of the major (and many of the minor) ones are listed. There are also specific clan sections where you can learn more about the history of the clan and view its various tartan and location in Scotland.

Council of Scottish Clans and Assoviations, Inc ( COSCA )

COSCA is a registered charity incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA. It was founded in 1976 for the purpose of supporting Scottish Clan organizations and preserving Scottish heritage. The initial meeting was held at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, NC and wthery continue this tradition by gathering on the mountain annually. COSCA welcomes all kinds of Scottish American organizations as well as interested individuals to join in their work to strengthen and energize the Scottish American diaspora and to preserve Scottish heritage.

Swyrich Corporation

Supplies coats of arms, surname histories, and heraldic clipart and researches and produces name histories and coats of arms. There is an online search for finding the origins of large numbers of surnames and the company supplies surname history scrolls and full colour representation of the coat of arms.

Scottish Tartans Authority

The Scottish Tartans Authority was originally formed in 1996 by Scotland's leading weavers and tartan retailers. Their objective was to promote a deeper knowledge of Scottish Tartans, their origins, manufacture, use, history and development. An important aspect is to compile and maintain the International Tartan Index to record and document all known historical tartans and to provide a free information resource for the public and a 'register' for the Recording of all new tartans. In 2009 two private tartan registers operating in Scotland, namely the International Tartan Index of the Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) and the Scottish Tartans World Register (STWR) were combined to create an official register under the terms of the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008. The on-line website database facility is maintained by the National Archives of Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish Government. The site has a searchable database of all the registered tartans.

Tartans of Scotland

Scotland on Line have teamed up with the Scottish Tartans World Register to bring you the complete Register of all Publicly Known Tartans online, which includes details and images of over 2800 tartans.

Scottish Tartans Museum

The only American extension of the Scottish Tartans Society in Scotland, the US version is in Franklin, North Carolina.

Scottish Tartan Desktop Themes and Screensavers

Cece has created an amazing collection of 400 Clan, Family and District Tartan Desktop Themes for free download. There are clan badges, a map of Scotland and Celtic, Saints and Crosses Themes plus Celtic midi tunes to download as well. And as if that wasn't enough, there are screen savers based on illustrations from around Scotland. Clearly this site is a labor of love!

"Sconemac" or Nancy A. MacCorkill has an authentic history of the Kilt and Tartan

Tartan Day Events

The US Senate has approved 6th April to be "National Tartan Day" in recognition of the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans. The above page provides details of a large number of large and small events which take place not just in the US but around the world (sometimes on dates other than 6 April).

Pipefest is the Web site set up by Epic Concepts who organise a number of major events such as the Tunes of Glory Tartan Day parades in New York and Chicago. They are also inviting every pipe band in the World to the capital of Scotland for the Dunedin Gathering in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 2005.

The US-based National Tartan Day site has a history of National Tartan Day but when last accessed (in 2012) the events page had not been updated since 2007!

Scottish Regiments

Electric Scotland history section has details of Montgomery's Highlanders and the early history of the Black Watch as well as Fraser's Highlanders and Keiths's and Campbell's Highlanders.

There is a history of the formation of the Black Watch

The history of 78th Highland Regiment the "Ross-Shire Buffs" is commemmorated by the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association.

Black Watch Archive has rolls of honour and casualty lists from a number of Black Watch engagements

Royal British Legion Scotland

The main aims of RBLS are to act as the leading ex-service Charity in Scotland, promoting remembrance and comradeship and, in partnership with other Scottish Charities, to be responsible for providing welfare, benevolence and War Pension Appeals Support. They aspire to support veterans and their dependants of any nationality in Scotland and any monies received goes to that worthy cause. The Legion is the largest ex-servicemen’s/women’s organisation in Scotland providing access to 194 branches and associated well equipped clubs, from Shetland to the Solway.

The Black Watch

This Internet site is designed to show visitors glimpses into the real life work performed by all branches of The Black Watch family. It covers a number of aspects including the history of the regiment, its museum at Balhousie Castle in Perth and the Black Watch Association.

Re-enactment and Living History Organisations

Border Reivers has a wide range of topics relating to the history of the Anglo-Scottish Borders during the time of the Border Reivers including clans & families, Border towns and strongholds, people, battles and Border life.

Clann Tartan is a non-profit cultural, educational, historical, recreational and social group founded in 1987 and based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota. They appear and perform at many historically based events, providing historical interactions that not only please crowds, but educate people on the important roots of the USA's Scottish forebears. The regiment represented is a detailed recreation of a Scottish mercenary army that fought throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Historic Highlanders is a Scottish cultural and educational organization based in the United States. Its objective is to preserve authentic Scottish heritage by researching and recreating elements of everyday life of Highland society from 1314 to 1746 the battles of Bannockburn and Culloden respectively), and to share that information with the public through lectures and demonstrations. There is a schedule of events they are involved in and a newsletter on the site, with illustrations of the members in action!

Queensland Scottish Volunteer Corps is a historical re-enactment and living history group based in Brisbane, Australia. The Corps are kilted, wearing the uniform of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders. The original regiment was formed in 1885 when there was a threat of war between Britain and Russia.

ScotWars is a Scottish Military History/Re-enactment Portal to all things about the military history of Scotland, the current re-enactment of such, traders and references for all concerned with history. It mainly covers the period 1638 to 1746.

Caledonia, Scottish and St Andrew Societies

One of the popular ways for Scots abroad to keep in touch is by way of specialist societies and clubs in their local area. This list of Caledonia, Scottish, St Andrew and Celtic Societies is probably the most comprehensive available on the Web and covers over 120 locations around the world.

Magazines and Newspapers

A useful resource for Scots abroad is the list of on-line Scottish Magazines and Newspapers in the above sections of the Rampant Scotland site. And the free weekly "Scottish Snippets" gives you a summary of all the Scottish news from the local media as well as numerous sections on aspects of Scottish culture and history.

Scots at Home and Abroad

American Scottish Foundation is a nationwide, non-profit American organisation whose purpose is to build bonds of interest and co-operation, both social and commercial, between the people of Scotland and the United States. It includes institutions and individuals with cultural, economic, educational, genealogical and travel interests.

Australian Scottish Heritage collects as much information as possible about all aspects of Scottish/Australian heritage, history, ancestry and culture. Sections of the site cover clans and clan links, groups and societies, families research and stories, national archives, military connections and an extensive picture gallery.

Central New York Scots has Scottish links and information on CNY Scottish Games, St. Andrew's Society of CNY and the Daughters of Scotia activities and programmes. Links for the Irish and Welsh, too!

Clan Boyd Newsletter is published quarterly and mailed tp to members via 1st class mail and contains Boyd clan biographies, marriages, burials, etc.

Brits in Crete is aimed at UK citizens living on this Greek island and covers aspects such as retiring or working there, travel to the area, importing motor cars, schooling, education and house buying. And of course, there is plenty of information and pictures of this lovely island.

Expat Index provides information for people living or working overseas - though the content is only available if you register. The site provides links to expatriate services and there are noticeboards for sharing experiences and information on how to look after your interests while abroad. There is also an online shop with expat supplies and British food favourites: Marmite, Ovaltine, Birds Custard or Lea and Perrins.

Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival takes place in Massachusetts in July with athletics, pipe bands, highland dancing competitions and sheepdog trials. An added attraction is the availability of meat pies, bridies and fish and chips!

Gold Country Celtic Society, Nevada City, CA is a social organization celebrating all Celtic culture. Classes in Scottish Country Dancing and Piping are available and the annual Robert Burns Celebration is the highlight of the social calendar. The website features a listing of games and Celtic events throughout the California/Nevada area.

Scots in Melbourne is a page on eMelbourne recounting the major contribution made by Scots to the development of this Australian city.

New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association was formed in 1980 and promotes and encourages public interest in the history, traditions, culture, arts and crafts of Scotland and of those of Scottish descent and the languages of Scotland within the Province of New Brunswick. It encompasses and represents New Brunswick's Scottish associations and communities (according to the Canadian Census, 220,000 New Brunswick residents claim Scottish ancestry).

US Scots' Home Page is a large site with lots of information from an American perspective on cultural and commercial sites, clans, events and societies.

Windsor's Scottish Heritage refers to Windsor in Ontario, Canada, where the Public Library has created a website dedicated to Windsor's Scottish heritage and featuring dozens of pages about Scotland's history from pre-Roman times to parliamentary devolution, Scottish culture, folklore, and dozens of biographies of influential Scots in Canada and Windsor as well as in Scotland itself are all covered in some detail.

Encyclopedia of New Zealand - The Scots is an extensive history of Scots in New Zealand beginning with the sailors and missionaries before 1840, through the organised settlements of 1840-1852, the settlement at Otago, a surge of Scots 1853-1870, the ebbs and flows of 1900-1945 and immigration after 1945. There are sections on the influence of Scottish culture, education and Scots in public life and the New Zealand economy, plus lots of facts and figures. The site has lots of images, audio and viseo, a biographies gallery and sources of further information.

Ohio Scottish Games take place each year attracting Scots from far and wide. In addition to the usual features of such events, the Ohio games has massed pipe bands, border collies and a genealogy booth to help those researching their family tree.

Polish Club in Glasgow provides a link for the many Poles who live in Scotland, either as a result of wartime service or more recently as football players. The site lists the many historical connections between Scotland and Poland.

ReloEXPRESS Atlanta is run by a Scot who offers to help people relocate to Atlanta, Georgia.

Amici della Scozia is an Italian web site created by people with a passion for Scotland. Their pages cover events, Scottish country dancing, whisky, photos, golf , bagpipes, photos and Scottish related links.

Barga News is the Web site of the Tuscan town which claims to be "the most Scottish town in Italy". Each year they have a Scottish festival celebrating its many links with Scotland, many of which date back over a century.

Sons of Scotland is a fraternal association for Scottish people and their decendants which seeks to preserve and promote Scottish heritage and culture across Canada, by keeping alive the great traditions of history, literature and the music of Scotland. The Web site has a tartan viewer, Scottish Links and a Newsletter.

SzkocjaPL! is a Polish site dedicated to all things Scottish. It is written in Polish and English and has a page with translations of some Scottish words into Polish (with a long section on whisky) and articles and illustrations on various aspects of Scotland.

Friends Reunited

A database listing over 40,000 UK Secondary and Primary Schools, Colleges and Universities. You have to register in order to be able to access the database.

Expats Reunite aims to keep ex-patriates around the world in touch and help them find people with whom they have lost contact.

My Old Mate also has a database containing details of many thousands of people and is dedicated to helping people find old friends, relatives, colleagues and school mates, searching using name (surname, maiden name, nickname), town, school or company name. Once found, you can contact your old friends in privacy.

Look Up UK is a Resource Centre for finding lost friends or relatives in the UK. is dedicated to the armed forces of the alliance fighting against terrorism, from whatever country and their family and friends.

Association Franco-Ecossaise

A French speaking site dedicated to the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France. Contains a history of the Auld Alliance and French sources of information including the Association Franco-Ecossaise itself.

Franco-Scottish Society

The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1895. Its members are now spread over the main cities and towns of Scotland. The Society aims to foster contacts between the French and the Scots and to develop their traditional friendship through educational, cultural and social activities. There is an eqivalent web site in French.

Alliance France-Ecosse

Founded in Orléans, France in 1996, Alliance France-Ecosse strives to preserve the spirit of the Auld Alliance (the Franco-Scottish treaty signed in 1295) by promoting friendly, cultural and economic exchange between the two nations. Alliance France-Ecosse is a French registered Loi 1901, non profit making, totally independent, non religious, self financed association. Alliance France-Ecosse says it should not to be confused with any other association that may possibly bear a similar name or title...

Scottish Community Foundation

The Scottish Community Foundation has been created to give people and organisations, around the world a means of supporting Scotland. The Web site invites visitors to join their international network to play a part in building an even better Scotland. The Foundation is a non-sectarian non-political charitable trust raising funds around the world, to help the work of charities in Scotland.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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