What Is A Clan?

The clan system is closely bound up with Scottish heraldry. more…

Who Is A Member Of A Clan?

Every person who has the same surname as the chief is deemed to be a member of the clan. Equally a person who offers allegiance to the chief is recognised as a member of the clan unless the chief decides that he will not accept that person’s allegiance.

The Search For Clan Chiefs

If the Lord Lyon is so minded a Commander will be appointed. Once that has happened a 10 year period must then elapse before any question of a chief can be considered.


Find out about Heraldic crests and who is entitled to wear them.


There are no strict rules on who has the right to wear a particular tartan. People normally wear only the tartan (if any) of their surname, or a “district tartan” connected with where they live or where their family come from.

Suggested Further Reading

If you are interested in finding out more about Heraldry and the Scottish clan system, we would recommend the following books