The Clans of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond
The Villages and Towns of The Trossachs and Loch Lomond

The Clans of The Trossachs and Loch Lomond


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The Trossachs is an area steeped in history, famous historical events and individuals. The Clans of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond have played an important role in the history of the area and in fact still do today. If you are researching your clan history and your origins lie in the Trossachs or Loch lomond then we have listed some basic information about the important clans of the area.


A clan means "descendants" or "family" and has been loosely based on a geographical area where a particular Clan Chief's family was the most dominant in that area. Many people took the clan chiefs name as their own to gain protection and sustenance from the chief and would rally to the call for the taking up of arms against other clans in return. Likewise many family names are associated with a particular clan for the very same reason. We have listed under each clan name other names that can associated with a particular clan.


Many historic events and battles have seen the clans divided and often on opposing sides, either against the government of the day or themselves. Some excellent films have been made over the years, some in The Trossachs, such as Rob Roy (1953 and 1995) and Braveheart (1995) which showed the infighting that took place for the gaining of land or power or both. This infigting often suited the government as it made the control of the Highlands easier to manage and dispense the rule of law.

The Clans of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond
The Clans of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond

Battles such as the Battle for Stirling Bridge (September 11th, 1297) Bannockburn (23 June, 1314), The Battle of Glen Fruin (February 7, 1603) along with outlaws such as Rob Roy MacGregor have added to the colourful history of the Trossachs and its clans.


Another historical figure from this area is George Buchanan who was born in Killearn around 1506, he is perhaps most famous as the tutor to Mary Queen of Scots and her son James VI.

Ross Priory near Gartocharn, Inchallioch Island on Loch Lomond and Buchanan Castle ruins are historic places to visit and have various ties to the Clans of The Trossachs through the ages. The current site of Buchanan Castle near Drymen has no ties to Clan Buchanan but in fact is the seat of the Duke of Montrose, which is a Graham Clan title.


Nowadays, Clan meetings through Highland Games and Shows are events that take place throughout the Trossachs and Loch Lomond area and beyond and are great days out, and also a chance to see a great variety of Tartans and Highland Dress. The Whats On Pages list the dates for all of the Highland Games taking place each year.


Highland Games are popular clan gatherings each year
Highland Games take place all through the Summer in The Trossachs and around Loch Lomond

Below are some of the Clans which  have been associated with The Trossachs and Loch Lomond area

The Buchanan Tartan

The BUCHANAN Family Clan:
It is said to come from a grant given by King Malcolm II to Anselan O Kyan, who was thought to be an Irish prince. Anselan O Kyan came to the city of Argyll after fleeing from the Danes in 1016.The name Buchanan comes from the Gaelic term “Buth Chanain” which means House of the Canon. These Buchanan’s may have connections with the Celtic Church. Throughout seven centuries the Buchanan’s kept their land. It wasn’t until 1682 that their estate had to be sold in order to pay back debt. read more..... 

Colquhoun Tartan

The COLQUHOUN Family Clan:
Malcolm, Earl of Lennox granted the lands of Colquhoun to Humphrey of Kilpatrick during the time of Alexander II. These lands are located in the county of Dunbarton. The old Earls of Lennox continued to possess Luss until, Sir Robert Kilpatrick of Colquhoun, wed the only daughter and child of the laird of Luss. Thus, their leader has since been referred to as Chief of Colquhoun and of Luss. In 1602 the Colquhouns battled the MacGregors in Glenfruin. The Colquhouns had 500 men, 300 of them on horseback. The MacGregors came with only 400 men. read more..... 

The Graham Clan's Tartan

The GRAHAM Family Clan:
It has been said that the Roman Antonine Wall was crossed by a Graham and that wall is at times referred to as “Græme’s Dyke.” However, no proof has been given about that theory. Records do show the listing of the Graham name in William the Conqueror’s Doomsday book.  Sir William of Graham was one of the knights who accompanied King David I as he came to Scotland to claim his throne. He was a witness to the building of the Abby of Holyrood in 1128. read more..... 

MacArthur Tartan

The MACARTHUR Family Clan:
According to legend the MacArthurs are descended from King Arthur and the name was first referenced around the 6th century. Suggestions that the MacArthurs were formerly a branch of the Campbells, with whom the MacArthurs feuded with for much of the 13th century, are more plausible. During the Wars of Independence the MacArthurs of Loch Awe supported the cause of Robert the Bruce and fought at the crucial Battle of Bannockburn. From the King’s (and Scotland’s) success the clan prospered, gaining estates read more.....

MacFarlane Tartan

The MACFARLANE Family Clan:
This clan traces its lineage back to Gilchrist son of Alwyn, Celtic Earl of Lennox. Gilchrist’s son Malduin fought with Robert the Bruce. It was Malduin’s son who was named Parlan which became MacPharlin and eventually MacFarlane. The 6th clan chief, Duncan gained the Arrochar land in 1395 from Earl of Lennox. Duncan also acquired other land around the area through marriages. When King James I killed Earl of Lennox the land was passed down to the Earldom of Sir John Stewart of Darnley and not the MacFarlane’s. read more..... 

MacGregor Tartan

The MACGREGOR Family Clan:
The history of the Macgregors or Gregors is one fraught with defiance and conflict, beset by events that have made the clan one of the most colourful in all of Scotland. The clan motto of ‘my race is royal’ is a reference to claims of descent from Giogar, son of the first king of Dalriada. While these claims have proved difficult to substantiate, what can be said for the MacGregors is that they held lands in Argyll and Perthshire and held a longstanding feud with the neighbouring family, the Campbells. read more..... 

MacLaren Tartan

The MACLAREN Family Clan:
This clan is thought to come from the Argyll area and descended from Lorn, son of Erc in 503. But other recordings from the 12th century show the family line comes from Perthshire. Three clansmen claim the MacLaren name and they are: Maurice of Tyrie, Conan of Balquidder, and Lauring of Ardveche in Strathearn. The clan motto, “Creag on Tuirc” means ‘The Boar’s Rock.’ This rock can be found in Balquidder therefore, giving physical evidence that the clan didn’t come from Argyll but from the Balquidder area.  read more..... 

MacNab Tartan

The MACNAB Family Clan:
The territory of Clan MacNab lay historically between the south-western shores of Loch Tay and the village of Tyndrum. The clan’s name derived from the Gaelic Mac an Aba, meaning son of the Abbot. Its founding chiefs were based around Glen Dochart and descended from Kenneth McAlpine, first King of Scots. The first mention of MacNab in written documentation is found in 1124 during David I’s reign. During the Scottish Civil War, a protracted conflict which took place alongside the Wars of Independence, the MacNab clan upheld the claims. read more..... 

MacNaughton Tartan

Can show links to Moray’s ancient Pictish rulers, descendants themselves from the Nachtan Mor clan which lived around the 10th century. Nachtan of Moray was awarded lands in either Strathay or Strathspey by Malcolm IV as part of a policy designed to pacify and develop Scotland’s northern, remote counties. It would be during the reign of Alexander III, in 1267, that the MacNachtan’s settled in the county of Argyll after their chief Gilchrist was tasked with with maintaining the King’s castle on the island of Fraoch Eilean.  read more.....

Napier Tartan

The NAPIER family Clan:
One story suggests the clan is derived from the ancient royal families of Scotland and Ireland. It is believed that the officer in charge of the linens, called the “naperer”, took the occupational name. Another tale tells the Napier name came when a young knight of Earl of Lennox illustrated himself at a battle during the reign of William the Lion. As the battle came to an end, the king honored the young night as having “nae peer.” The first time the Napier name appears in records was in 1280 when John De Napier is recorded as receiving lands in. read more.....

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