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.
In our 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 Names database.
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