Clarification please

+4 votes
137 views
Hi Guys

I have a New Zealand Politician who has maternal scottish heritage - sources say McInnes. Would I be using the Clan MacInnes template? [On his mother's family that is...]

Thanks
WikiTree profile: Peters-7535
in Policy and Style by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
edited by Richard Shelley

1 Answer

+2 votes

I believe that that logic would suggest that such templates should only be used by those who bear the actual name in question. However, WikiTree may well have a different official policy.

Clans as such no longer exist, however there are Clan Societies whose members bear that Clan Society‚Äôs name. 

Rules of membership and admittance will vary - some allow those who do not bear the name to join.

The Clan MacInnes society has a website at https://macinnes.org.

by J G G2G6 Mach 8 (84.7k points)
Hi Julie (and nice to meet you... by the way 19th cousins)

Yes, that was why I was asking, as I was uncertain. The Clans are an unfamiliar subject to me, which is why I'm being careful about this - I do know though the linked profile would not be getting the template

Hopefully someone with more knowledge of styles and policy will be able to help you.

Personally, I find clans to be a bit of a difficult concept. Those of us who were born in Scotland tend to look upon tartans and clans as being strictly for the tourists. I was surprised to discover that most Guthries who have taken DNA tests do not actually appear to be related to the Guthries of Guthrie and Guthries of Craigie. In fact, over a dozen genetically unique Guthrie Family Groups (GFGs) have been identified, each originating from a single male ancestor.

According to Wikipaedia:

It is a common misconception that every person who bears a clan's name is a lineal descendant of the chiefs. Many clansmen although not related to the chief took the chief's surname as their own to either show solidarity, or to obtain basic protection or for much needed sustenance. Most of the followers of the clan were tenants, who supplied labour to the clan leaders. Contrary to popular belief, the ordinary clansmen rarely had any blood tie of kinship with the clan chiefs, but they took the chief's surname as their own when surnames came into common use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus by the eighteenth century the myth had arisen that the whole clan was descended from one ancestor, with the Scottish Gaelic of "clan" meaning "children" or "offspring".

My understanding was that Clans and tartans are like coats of arms and are not supposed to be adopted by everyone who just bears the surname. Clans come from specific branches of the surname, and therefore only those descended from the correct branch would be included...but I believe this has got "lost" along the way.  

 

Like Julie, I believe that it clans & tartans (like coat of arms) are aimed at the tourist market. My mum is half Scottish, and she has never mentioned anything about our ancestors belonging to clans.

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