On Mon, 16 Dec 1996, Paul Wagner wrote:
Scott Robert Ladd also wrote:
> > I just received a copy of THE SCOTTISH BANNER, an international
> > Now here's the rub: In the back of this paper, they have whole
> > pages filled with "Clan" advertisements. As I understand it,
> > these "clans" are mostly for American, Canadian, and
> > Australian folk who descend from Scottish emigrants. These
> > "clans" accept members with certain surnames, including those
> > who belonging to "septs" or sub-families.
> > So what do they do with someone like me, who can trace their
> > lineage to at LEAST four clans?
And so Paul answers:
> My experiance with the Australian branches of the Clans is that they
> do require some amount of documentary proof of descent. As to which
> clan you can join, theres no reason you can't be in more than one. In
> fact, it could be quite useful, especially if you've got Campbell
> blood in you....
Then Atheling throws in his two cents:
Ok, Paul and Scott, First you must understand the difference between a
Clan Society and the Clan. The Ads you saw in the back of the "Scottish
Banner" were for ***Clan Societies*** not for the Clans themselves. Two
distinct things. Reasonable presumtion of decending from a name associated
with the Clan often is enough for membership in a Clan Society. Some will
take you even if you are *interested* in the name of the Clan.
When you join you are joining the Clan Society except Clan Donald...there
you join the Clan itself...(basic and only exception to the general
Now as for Clan membership...you are born to a Clan or you associate with
Clan Societies have nothing to say about what a Clan does...nor do Chiefs
have anything to say as a general rule about a Clan Society.
Clan Societies were begun in the Early 18th century...the oldest being the
Clan Buchanan Society (in Scotland). In the USA Clan Societies were active
in the mid-late 19th Century. Highland Games were popular just before and
just after the American Civil War period. There were drop offs around each
of the World Wars but the Grandfather Mtn Highland Games more than any
other started the strong resurgeance in the late fifties and sixties.
About mid-1970s Clan Societies became very popular and increased in
popularity right along with Highland Games thru the 1980s and 90s.
This is a distinctly AMERICAN movement...by and for AMERICANS of Scottish
Along with the growth in the Highland Games and Clan Socities have been
the interest in Caledonian Socities and St.Andrew Societies. Many of these
date back almost to the earliest British settlements in America. Though
most date no farther back than 20 to 30 years ago.
AGAIN I will state that this is a distinctly ***American*** phenomenon and
way to celebrate heritage...I know of no other ethnic group that
celebrates their heritage in this manner but I do see the Irish begining
to do the same thing and I believe that it won't be long before the
American Irish will be doing the same thing on a national scale. In fact
with the Celebrations like the Celtic Nations Festival mingleing the Scots
and Irish I have seen both ethnic groups learning from each other! :)
I really don't care for a "Pan-Celtic" identity and I hope that's not what
occurs. Rather that each AMERICAN ethnic group keep it's own unique
More to come on Clan Societies and Clans..........