The surname search can be 'Exact' or
'Wide'. The exact search looks for the surname entered in full, and
is generally faster. The wide search looks for any name that
contains the search key but requires at least 2 characters (4 with mac). Short
surnames, like 'Ab', can only be found in the 'Exact'
is not an exact science. In the days before 1745 when Clan warfare
was rife in the Highlands of Scotland, it was strongly advisable to
seek 'protection' from the strongest Clan in the neighbourhood, no
matter what your surname (if you had one) or your blood ties to the
family of the chief. Loyalties changed over time, and some family
names have historic links to more than one Clan.
database, the first Clan on the list is probably the best choice,
unless you know more about your own family's history. Very often,
the information is passed down verbally. Parents or grandparents may
hold a vital clue that could help you make the right choice.
Registered users are invited to share their findings in the Clan
Our list contains
over 18000 names including spelling variations. Many of these have
no direct Clan link. They may be 'Lowland' or 'Border' names, or may
be names derived from occupations that were common to many Clans
The most widely known
source for Clan and District connections is the book, Scots Kith
and Kin first published in 1953 revised 1989 by HarperCollins
Publishers. This database makes extensive use of Kith and Kin to
check and confirm the accuracy of the information supplied, but does
not rely on this source alone.
Many of the references to Scottish Districts come from the book,
The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and
History, George F. Black, New York 1946
A complete list of the surnames and spellings is available for download. This list can be freely used so long as the copyright references and links are retained.