Museums for Family Historians – Clans

The word ‘clan’ derives from the Gaelic for ‘children’. A clan was a mainly self-sufficient social, economic and political organisation governed by a chieftain and his close kin. The clan members could be kindred, tenants or dependants often using the same surname. They were associated with specific areas of Scotland, often where the clan chief held land and property.

The clans existed in Scotland from the 12th century to 1746, when the last major Jacobite rebellion was put down at the battle of Culloden. The following outlawing of the system and the Highland Clearances resulted in thousands of Scots emigrating to the New World, where the clan culture was revived and flourishes to this day.

Clan Cameron Museum

Clan Campbell (Archive Collection)

Clan Colquhoun/Lamont International

Clan Donald Museum

Clan Donnachaidh Centre

Clan Grant Museum

  • Address: Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust, Burnfield House, Burnfield Avenue, Grantown- on-Spey, Morayshire PH26 3HH
  • Tel: 01479 872478
  • E-mail:
  • Website:

Clan Gregor Museum

Clan Gunn Museum and Heritage Centre

Clan Mackay Room at Strathnaver Museum

  • Address: Clachan, Bettyhill, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7SS
  • Tel: 01641 521418
  • E-mail:
  • Website:

Clan Macpherson Museum

Clan Murray (Blair Castle)

Clan Ross Centre

[Image Eilean Donan Castle by Sorin Tudorut on Unsplash]

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