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Why Belong to the Clan Society in Scotland?
In essence, the job of the Society in Scotland is to be the trunk of the tree from which the branches spring. Its health depends on support from clansfolk who wish to preserve and enhance their heritage.
A yearly Clan Annual. The Annual includes information about the Clan and reports from the various Clan Branches around the world. Articles relating to clan history, archaeological digs with a Clan connection are featured as well as articles about battles, and various aspects of Scottish life.
Your dues help to maintain the Clan Centre and Museum which preserves and promotes the Clan’s heritage and artifacts. Located at Bruar in Perthshire, although the Clan Museum, built in 1969, was the first purpose-built clan museum in Scotland, it is now an antiques shop but a new museum are has been made within the Centre and also, in addition to the artifacts preserved, there is a Reading Room where members can discover more about the Clan, the Society and its history. A Gift Shop contains souvenirs featuring the surnames and crests of all the clans of Scotland plus many gift ideas in a wide price range. Exquisite handmade silver jewelry and other items made by Scottish craftsmen are also featured.
The International Society gives grants to various bodies which have a bearing on the Clan. Examples include sponsorship of the Poet Chief’s archery medal at St. Andrews and a Donnachaidh memorial stone at the recently opened Visitor Centre at Culloden.
The Clan Secretary and Membership Secretary both work in the Clan Centre by answering queries from members and non-members alike, helping to spread the word about Clan Donnachaidh, “the Children of Duncan”. Their emails are:
The Clan Society Newsletter edited by Clan Council member, Stephanie Robertson, which updates us on events and activities held in our clan country in Scotland. Stephanie also provides important information on the Clan DNA Project.
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each year, attended by Clan members from the four corners of the earth. A report of the year’s accomplishments is given and plans for the new year voted on. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Chief and his family, Donnachaidh cousins from around the world, and to experience the joy of being in Scotland, to bask in the joy of being “home”.
- In summary, the job of the Clan Society in Scotland is to maintain the heart and spirit of our heritage. This affords us a unique view of our family roots as more than an excuse to don a kilt. Your annual dues are needed to preserve this evidence of our heritage for our children and grandchildren.
Visit the Clan Society website: www.donnachaidh.com
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Why we belong.....
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HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY
(Reprinted from Clan archives)
“The Clan Donnachaidh Society was inaugurated at a dinner in Edinburgh in 1823. Struan (the chief) was in the chair and his deputy was Capt. Duncan Robertson of Kindrochit who substituted for General Robertson, Struan’s heir. The Chief’s piper piped and Nathaniel Gow, son of the great Neil and almost as distinguished a musician, provided the band. Nine months earlier Gow had entertained the king at Dalkeith House.
“In June that year, Struan called a meeting of ‘Clan Robertson in Athole’ at which he suggested ‘that it would be a most desirable event to form an association with the Clan Stewart within the bounds of Athole, as in ancient times, for the purpose of promoting and cementing a generous, manly, and Brotherly friendship between the two Clans, such as subsisted between their ancestors, also to revive and cherish a proper Highland spirit and feeling among the members of the two Clans, and give encouragement to every species of industry, for which this part of the Country is well adapted, and especially the manufacture at home and the general adoption of those fabricks which have ever been peculiar to the Highlands, namely Tartans, Plaids, and Bonnets’.
“The meeting ran with the idea and formed the Association of Atholemen the following November. This eventually evolved into ‘The Gathering of the Men of Athole’ which still meets in the grounds of Blair Castle each year. The original committee shows that both Stewarts and Robertsons were still substantial landholders:
Capt. Robertson of Strowan Dr. Stewart of Bonskeid
Col. Stewart of Garth Capt. Robertson of Edradynate
Mr. McInroy or Robertson of Lude Mr. Stewart of Derculich
Mr. Stewart of Foss Mr. Alex Robertson of Auchanree
Mr. Robertson of Auchleeks Capt. G. Stewart of Allain
Capt. Stewart of Shierglass Capt. Robertson of Kindrochit
“Of the Clan Donnachaidh names, James McInroy, descended from the Reid-Robertsons of Straloch, was son of an Atholl farmer. He made a fortune based on West Indies sugar and bought Lude under the nose of the Duke of Atholl. The MacInroys also bought Shierglass, the estate on the opposite hillside across the river Garry, and held it until 1939. Auchleeks was sold out of the Clan in 1962, Edradynate in 1969, Kindrochit in1883, Blairfettie in 1821. Auchanree in Glen Errochty and Allain on Loch Tummel were owned by the Duke of Atholl by 1826.
“There was another Clan Donnachaidh lunch in Edinburgh in 1824. By the following year this had developed into the Clan Donnachaidh Society with activities also taking place in Glasgow and at least one overseas member in the shape of Dr. William Robertson in Montreal. The last formal dinner of this earliest incarnation of the Society seems to have been held in 1842. The outstanding funds were turned into a trust and used to pay the schoolmaster of Struan and today the trustees, direct descendants of the cadet families of Kindrochit and Invervack who were instrumental in founding the Society, still support the school at Struan and others in Highland Perthshire.
“The Society continued in a desultory fashion and was re-formed in 1893 with district secretaries in Canada and Australia as well as throughout the UK. Life members came from across the British Empire as well as New York, Chicago, North Carolina and New Jersey. With the enthusiastic support of the 20th Chief the Society met annually and flourished until 1914 and the catastrophe of the Great War. It continued in a truncated form between the two wars with Clan dinners being held in various Scottish towns but it sprang to vigorous life again in 1948.”
The Clan Donnachaidh* Society is a Guarantee Company organized in Scotland under the Companies Acts 1985-1989.
A Guarantee Company, affording limited liability, is often referred to as a ‘not-for-profit organization’. As such, it is ideally suited to many charitable and community initiatives, where its purpose and assets remain in the charitable or community domain, rather than in the hands and ownership of individuals.
* Translates from the Gaelic as ‘Children of Duncan’ and pronounced " Donna - Key "
Clan Slogan: "Garg'n uair dhuisgear" (Fierce when roused)
Clan Motto: "Virtutis gloria merces" (Glory is the Reward of Valor)
(excerpted from an article by Jean Munro in the 1979 Clan Annual)
“Ten years ago, on 30th August, 1969, the Donnachaidh Museum was opened by the Duke of Atholl. Since then the Society has recruited many new members. – a considerable portion of them having joined at or through this natural centre of the clan – and even those of us who were members before 1969 find it hard to believe the days when the museum was only a pipe dream.
“At the opening Sir Edward Reid said that the real pioneers were Charles Guthrie,W.S., Edinburgh, who died in November 1962, and Senator Wishart McLea Robertson, Canada, who retired from the office of Honorary President in June 1963. From the time of the re-founding of the Society after the Second World War it had been hoped that one day a clan house in the clan country might be acquired, and small sums of money were set aside for this purpose in what was called the Struan Fund. The project was taken a step further at a council meeting held on 9th August, 1962, when it was agreed that ‘to have a small cottage with ground sufficient for tented meetings in the Struan, Calvine, Blair Atholl or Kinloch Rannoch areas might be the most suitable proposition’
“In the following March the council heard that the chief was strongly in favour of having such a house if possible and that Mr. Guthrie had bequeathed some items to add to the small but interesting collection of exhibits kept in the clan office.
Local landowners were asked to inform the Society if they knew of a suitable cottage, and over the next two years a sub-committee looked at several possible cottages, going in one case as far as applying for planning permission for the necessary development. In spite of hearing that Perth County Council had refused this permission, hope continued and the annual meeting in June 1965 gave the clan council authority to purchase a house in the clan country if anything suitable was offered.
“Four months after getting their authority the council endorsed the views of a sub-committee that the projected clan house should be primarily a museum and only secondarily a residence for visiting clansmen, that it should be situated on or near the A9 Perth to Inverness road in the clan country, and finally if no cottage became available within six months a site for building should be acquired.
“By June 1966 the site next to the Bruar Falls Hotel, generously offered at a nominal sum by the Duke of Atholl, had been chosen. The Struan Fund, standing at about £6,000, was renamed the Museum Fund and registered as a charity for which an appeal was to be launched. Council was authorized to approach an architect to prepare plans and obtain planning permission in principle.
“The council saw the preliminary plans in May 1967 and approved them. Meanwhile a world-wide appeal was launched for £30,000 with which to build, equip and endow the project, and numerous fund-raising events took place. One of the most ambitious was a performance of ‘Going for a Song’, a popular radio and television programme on antiques, staged by the series’ chairman Max Robertson with Arthur Negus as one of the experts. A thousand tickets were sold for the evening in Leith Town Hall and the profit was more than £800 and much publicity for the appeal.
“With £12,000 in hand the architect was authorized to start the construction of the buildings by Thain Construction (Northern) Ltd. And on 4th May 1968, the first turf at the site was cut by Miss Lorna Robertson of Struan as representative of her brother the chief.
“The next 16 months were filled with problems and worries but also with increasing pleasure at the overwhelming response to the appeal by members and friends led by the outstanding example, enthusiasm and drive of Sir Edward Reid. This response not only took the form of the essential cash but included the most welcome offer of the gift or loan of exhibits. In March 1969 Alec MacRae, then proprietor of a garage in Blair Atholl but known to clansfolk as honorary piper and accredited guide to clan country, was appointed curator by the council which unanimously agreed that he was the man for the job.
“And so, at last, on 30th August the museum doors were thrown open to illustrate, through exhibits dating from all ages between the fourteenth century and the present day, four interwoven themes – the clan history, including the principal families; the clan country, its past, present and future; the work of the clan society; and the life and achievements of individual clansmen and clanswomen.”
For a 2009 Society Brochure click here ...........
1. Membership Benefits
2. History of the Society
3. About Us
4. Clan Centre
5. Society By-Laws
6. Society Brochure
7. Minutes of 2010 AGM - pdf