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Clan Gordon
Clan Graham of Montrose
Clan Graham of Monteith
Clan Grant
Clan Gunn




The Gordon's are an ancient and distinguished family, originally from Normandy , where their ancestors are said to have had large possessions, and vast tracts of fertile land. From the great antiquity of the race, many amazing accounts have been given of the descent of the Gordons. Some derive them from a city of Macedonia , called Gordonia, whence they went to Gaul ; others find their origin in Spain , Flanders , and of course Normandy . Some writers suppose Bertrand de Gourden who, in 1199, wounded Richard the Lion-heart mortally with an arrow before the castle of Chalus in the Limoges, to have been the great ancestor of the Gordons, but there does not seem to be any other foundation for such a conjecture than that there was a manor in Normandy called Gourden.

It is probable that the first persons of the name in this island came over with William the Conqueror in 1066. According to Chalmers, the founder of this great family came from England in the reign of David the First (1124-53), and obtained from that prince the lands of Gordon (anciently Gordun, or Gordyn, from, as Chalmers supposes, the Gaelic Gordin, "on the hill").

He left two sons, Richard, and Adam, who, though the younger son had a portion of the territory of Gordon , with the lands of Fanys on the southern side of it. When the family came to Scotland they first landed in England but soon made their way North with King David .Although now based mainly in the North of Scotland, the Gordon's hailed from the Scottish Border and originally held lands in Berwickshire.

The Gordons were heavily involved in the war for Scotland's Independence and fought at the Battle of Bannockburn on the twenty-fourth of June 1314 when the English army commanded by Edward the second were soundly beaten by King Robert the Bruce the heroic Scottish figure.Following the Wars of Independence, they acquired vast tracts of lands in Strathbogie, now Huntly, that were granted to Sir Adam Gordon (a friend of the great Scottish patriot William Wallace) by Robert the Bruce. Sir Adam died at the battle of Halidon Hill, in 1333, fighting the army of Edward III. His descendant, Alexander, 3 rd Earl of Huntly, fell at Flodden in 1513 fighting the forces of Henry VIII. King James VI created George, 6 th Earl of Huntly, Marquis of Huntly in 1599 and George, 4 th Marquis, was styled Duke of Gordon in 1684 and the clan was out with Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1745. The Dukedom survived till 1836, when it lapsed, the Marquisate being devolved upon the Earl of Aboyne. The Earls of Aberdeen are descended from Patrick Gordon of Methlie who died at the battle of Arbroath in 1445.

The clan counts no less than ten Baronetcies, namely those of Gordonstoun, Cluny , Lismore, Lochinvar, Park, Dalpholly, Earlstoun, Embo, Halkin and Niton. The clan raised two regiments, namely the ninety second, or Gordon Highlanders, dating from 1794, and the old seventy-fifth and the ninety second amalgamated together, now known as the Gordon Highlanders.


Chief: Marquis of Huntly

Clan Seat: Huntly Castle, Huntly; Aboyne castle, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

Plant: Rock Ivy

Memorials: Elgin Cathedral

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Legend has it that the first Graham was one Gramus who forced a breach in the Roman Antonine wall known as Graeme's Dyke in 420 A.D. However, historians generally believe that the Grahams were of Norman descent. The first record of the name was William de Graham who received the lands of Abercorn and Dalkeith in the year 1117, from David the first. It has been said that all the Grahams of Montrose are descended from this man.

The Clan and their families became numerous in Liddesdale and the Borders and later obtained vast amounts of lands in Strathearn and Lower Perthshire, the area with which the clan is now associated. The main line of Graham chiefs were long and loyal supporters of the Scottish cause. Sir John Graham of Dundaff, a friend and follower of Wallace was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298.

His son Sir David received the lands of Montrose for faithful service to King Robert the Bruce.


The 3rd Lord Graham was created earl in 1504 and fell at Flodden in 1513. James, the firth earl was created Marquis of Montrose. Two of Scotland 's greatest generals have been provided by the Grahams of Montrose. James Graham, first Marquis led the war in Scotland on behalf of Charles the first and John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee), led the highly successful campaign for James the seventh during which time he managed to organise the Highlanders into a strong single force and gain great victories, notably the Battles of Inverlochy and Killiecrankie. He was so irreplaceable that the campaign collapsed without him.

It was the Marquis of Graham, later, Duke of Montrose who moved the motion in parliament to repeal the Act of Proscription of the Highland Dress passed in 1782. 

The Graham family clan from the borders are descended from Sir John Graham of Kilbrude, called for his heroic acts of unselfish personal bravery, ‘Sir John with the bright sword' he had been born a second son of Malise, who was the very first earl of Strathearn and later of Menteith, by his newly married wife the lady Anne Vere, Daughter of Henry Earl of Oxford. Sir John "with the bright sword" was also ancestor of the Grahams of Gartmore in Perthshire. Later in life Sir William Graham of Gartmore would be awarded a Baronetcy in Nova Scotia Canada, he married Elizabeth, second daughter of John Graham, Lord Kilpont (son of the Earl of Airth), who was slain by one of his own vassals, James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, in the camp of the Marquis of Montrose, in 1644; In the year 1696 He had a son born who unfortunately was declared insane, his name was John Graham. Sir William Graham died on the twelfth day of July 1708, without issue, the baronetcy became extinct, and the representation of the family devolved upon his sister Mary, wife of James Hodge, Esq., of Gladsmuir, advocate. Their only daughter Mary Hodge, married, in 1701, William, son of John Graham of Callingod, and had a son, William Graham, who assumed the title of Earl of Menteith.


Chief: Duke of Montrose

Clan Seat: Mugdock Castle , Stirlingshire

Plant: Spurge Laurel

Memorials: Inchmahome Priory

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William graham witness the charter of the Abbey at Holyrood in the year 1128, he was awarded huge lands in the area of Dalkeith by the king at that time who was David the first. Towards the end of the twelfth century his descendant acquired the lands of Dundaff. Towards the end of the fourteenth century Sir Patrick Graham of Dundaff, second son of a chief of the Grahams, married Euphemia, heiress of Prince David, Earl of Stratherne, son of King Robert II. Their son, Malise Graham, had the earldom of Stratherne removed from him by King James I and given to his uncle, Robert Graham, on the grounds that his mother should not have inherited a title whose descent was strictly through the male line, but received the earldom of Menteith instead

The castle of Kilbryde , near Dunblane, built by Sir John "with the bright sword", in 1460, was possessed by his representatives, the Earls of Menteith, till 1640, when it was sold. The Menteith Grahams were called the Grahams "of the hens", from the following circumstances. An armed party of the Stewarts of Appin, headed by Donald Nan Ord, called Donald the Hammer, in their retreat from the disastrous field of Pinkie in 1547, in passing the lake of Menteith, stopped at a house of the Earl of Menteith, where a large feast, consisting principally of poultry, was prepared for a marriage party, and ate up all the provisions; but, immediately pursued, they were overtaken in the gorge of a pass, near a rock called Craig-Vad, or the Wolf's cliff, where a bloody encounter took place. The earl and nearly the whole of his followers were killed, and Donald of the Hammer escaped, amidst the darkness of the night, with only a single attendant. From the cause of the fight the Highlanders gave the name of Gramoch na Gerie, or "Graham of the hens", to the Menteith branch ever after.

Patrick Graham, of Kincardine, the son of Alexander, the eldest son, succeeded his grandfather, and created a peer of parliament in 1451, under the title of Lord Graham. He died in 1465. His only son, William, second Lord Graham, married lady Anne Douglas, eldest daughter of the fourth Earl of Angus, and had two sons, William, third Lord Graham, and George, ancestor of the Grahams of Calendar.

In 1448 at the battle of Sauchiburn, the place that saw the death of James the third, the king's rearmost regiments were commanded by the loyal Graham of Menteith with the Lord of Erskine and Lord of Graham as his lieutenants, and, at a later day, in 1504, on account of his gallantry, Lord Graham was made Earl of Montrose. Still later, at the battle of Flodden in 1513, he led part of the Scottish vanguard along with the Earl of Crawford, and fell along with his royal master on the disastrous field. By his third wife, a daughter of Lord Halyburton, the Earl was the ancestor of the Grahams of Inchbraikie, while his eldest son, the second Earl, was ancestor, through the youngest of his four sons, of the Grahams of Orchil and Killearn.


Chief: Graham of Gartmore

Clan Seat: Inchtalla Castle , Lake of Menteith

Plant: Spurge Laurel

Memorials: Inchmahome Priory

No Crest
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The first of the name noted on any record in Scotland is Gregory de Grant, who it is said, in the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249), was sheriff of Inverness-shire which then, and till 1583, comprehended Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness ,. Gregory married the daughter of Sir John Bisset of Lovat, her name was Mary Bisset. He was granted the lands of Stratherrick, in the province of Moray , and had two sons, named, Sir Lawrence, his heir, and Robert, who appears to have succeeded his father as sheriff of Inverness-shire. The elder son, Sir Lawrence de Grant, with his brother Robert, witnessed an agreement, dated ninth of Sept, in the year1258, between Archibald, Bishop of Moray, and John Bisset of Lovat;

Sir Lawrence is particularly mentioned as the friend and kinsman of the latter. Chalmers states that he married Bigla, the heiress of Comyn of Glenchernach, and obtained his father-in-law's estates in Strathspey, and a connection with the post potent family in Scotland .

Douglas , however, in his Baronage, says that she was the wife of his elder son, John. He had two sons, Sir John and Rudolph. They supported the interest of Bruce against Baliol, and were taken prisoners in 1296, at the battle of Dunbar . After Baliol's surrender of his crown and kingdom to Edward, the English monarch, with his victorious army, marched north as far as Elgin .

On his return to Berwick he received the submission of many of the Scottish barons, whose names were written upon four large rolls of parchment, so frequently referred to as the Ragmans Roll.

This was a despicable act on the part of Edward the first. When he entered Berwick he slaughtered the population and left their dead bodies lying in the streets as a warning to the Scottish Gentry that he was a ruthless man. Most of them were dismissed on their swearing allegiance to him, among who was Rudolph de Grant, but his brother, John de Grant, was carried to London . He was released the following year, on condition of serving King Edward in France, John Comyn of Badenoch being his surety on the occasion. Robert de Grant, who also swore fealty to Edward I in 1296, is supposed to have been his uncle. Robert The Bruce also signed the Ragmans roll

At the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306, the Grants do not seem to have been very numerous in Scotland; but as the people of Strathspey, which from that period was knows as "the country of the Grants", came to form a clan, with their name, they soon acquired the position and power of Highland chiefs. Because they were in a good position financially the Grants, wanted to stay out of the political lime light. Around the time of Robert the Bruce and his historic win at Bannockburn on the twenty-fourth day of June 1314, the family kept a low profile.

In the ‘45' the Grant clan at Glenmoriston fought for the Jacobite cause at the battle of Culloden. The clan raised the grant or Strathspey Fencibles in 1793. The regiment was amalgamated with other regiments 1795.


Chief: Lord Strathspey

Clan Seat: Castle Grant, Granton on Spey

Plant: Scots Fir

Memorials : Duthil Kirk

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The Gunn clan family were originally from the land of the Vikings and were Norse. It is also said that the progenitor of the clan was a well known Pirate, who settled down in Ulbster, Caithness . His descendents and the Keith's were constantly fighting with each other over the most trivial of matters. History has it that a young girl was kidnapped form her family home by a Keith. The girl's father was called Lachlan Gunn, by the time he reached where she was being held she had killed herself by jumping from the top of a tower which was her prison. The two clans were to fight another savage battle this time near Thurso that was in the year of 1426. The guns just couldn't stop the feud from escalating and they lost the next two fights with the Keith's. Firstly there was the fight at Tannoch moor in the year1438 and secondly in 1464 at Dirlot in Strathmore.
With so much killing going on the two clans got together and decided to put the fighting to one side and try to talk to each other. The Keith's pretended to be willing but then treacherously attacked without warning and cut the undefended Gunns to pieces. The Chief of the Gunns was killed along with four of his sons; they also stole the great Coroners brooch, which had a black Celtic design. ( the Gunns were the hereditary coroners of that area) shortly after this terrible period in Scotland's history the Gunn Clan and their families moved away from their usual area and travelled to Sutherland, where they settled and began to raise their families once more in relative peace. The Henderson 's of Caithness are derived from one Henry Gunn.

The Gunns peace did not last long and the earls of Caithness and Sutherland decided that they wanted rid of the Gunns, permanently. There were quite a few attempts to get rid of the whole clan but the Gunns always managed somehow to survive to fight another day.

Gunn of killearnan married Mary sister of Lord Reay who was the MacKay Chief. This gave the Gunn clan more protection than they had thought possible. The next Gunn Chief went on to marry Lord Reays daughter and cemented the union of the two clans even further.

The Gunns were not Jacobites and indeed actually fought for the usurped monarchy against Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie prince Charlie) who was fighting for the just cause of returning the true Royalty to the Scottish Crown.

The clan is presently led by a commander appointed by the Lord Lyon and there is a procedure in hand to attempt to establish representation to the bloodline chiefs.


Chief : Dormant

Clan Seat: Clyth Castle , Caithness

Plant: Juniper or Rose Root

Memorials: None


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