During the many years and in both our genealogical and historical research, we have come across many false claims in relation to our family history, ancestry and status.
Compiling some of the most obvious and in fact frightening, we have responded to some of those claims based on the current evidence available. This is done purely in an attempt to dispel the myths and the claims being made where the main protagonist seems to be a business (LLC) run out of the US.
However, how you the reader chooses to intepret this information is a personal choice, but we feel as a Society that as a member of our family, all choices being made should be in an informed and educated manner and based on easily verifiable facts:-
Is Winston Churchill of Carruthers descent:- The answer is sadly No.
Accepting as humans, we are all related to each other, descendency or the ability to claim someone was a Carruthers rather than a Churchill, Morrison or Bruce, is dictated by the strength of the lineage rather than simple tenuous links.
Within his ethnicity Winston Churchill, as compiled by his grandson, Winston S. Churchil, has mainly English, some Scottish, small amounts of Welsh, French Huguenot, Ulster-Scots, Irish, remote French and a little native American (Iraquois). But his main line it seems is Anglo-Saxon. This easily negates him from being of a Carruthers dominant line. One can’t simply suggest that someone has ‘Carruthers’ blood, without strong evidence to support it.
Sadly Winston Churchill was not a Carruthers
Is John Wayne of Carruthers descent:- The answer is again, sadly No.
John Wayne, or as he was known before his fame, Marion Morrison, was born in Winterset, Iowa. His family emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland, in 1799. The Morrison family, like so many families in Counties Antrim and Donegal, were of Hebridean ancestry (the islands off the west cost of Northern Scotland) and the Morrisons were Scottish Gaels that came to Antrim from the outer Hebrides (Not a Border Scot).
His immigrant ancestor was Robert Morrison born in 1782, son of John Morrison. The Morrison family were active in the United Irishmen movement and their decision to emigrate was brought about by a British warrant issued for the arrest of Robert Morrison. Once again Carruthers is not dominant in his line , which again suggests that he is not of ‘Carruthers’ descent.
Do Carruthers currently have a Chief and/or Chieftains?
After 12 long tears of research and investigation, as of 19th August 2019, Dr S Peter Carruthers of Holmains was confirmed Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. We as a Society, nor in fact as a clan in general, therefore recognise the following individuals in their claims of being a Chief or Chieftains of Carruthers:
Patrick E Carrothers (Chief)?
Keith Carruthers (Chieftain)?
Jeff Carrothers (Chieftain)?
Harold J Carruthers (Chieftain)?
Chris Carruthers (Chieftain)?,
These individuals, hailing from the US and Canada, were chosen through a business currently being run out of Minnisotta in the US under the registered name: the ‘Ancient and Honourable Carruthers Clan Int (LLC)‘. (now known as the Clan Carruthers International Society, and one wonders why?
They therefore do not represent us nor our family in general and have no credibility nor recognition for the same.
Are Carruthers descended from a race of giants or fallen angels (nephalim) from between 15′ and 35′ tall:- Again No.
This is one of the most bizarre claims we have had. This is duly covered in an article by James Owen for National Geographic who states: “The National Geographic Society has not discovered ancient giant humans, despite rampant reports and pictures.The hoax began with a doctored photo and later found a receptive online audience—thanks perhaps to the image’s unintended religious connotations”.
Even if it were remotely true, a Carruthers somewhere and potentially on more than one occasion, would appear as being exceptionally and unnaturally tall, literally being seen as a genetic throwback specific to our family, and there would surely be some potential commonality in our line.
The tallest man ever factually recorded was often known as the “Alton Giant” because of his Alton, Illinois hometown. Robert Wadlow reached 8 feet 11.1 inches (272 cm) in height and weighed 490 pounds (220 kg) at his death. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood was “due to hypertrophy of his pituitary gland“, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He was not a Carruthers nor was there any evidence that he was directly descended from Giants or Fallen Angels!
Carruthers is a Royal line in its own right:- No, every person of European descent is descended from royalty, it is not specific to us, nor does it make us a royal line.
Because of the way genetics work and the misuse of DNA to fit agenda, according to many many writers, to include an excellant piece by Adam Rutherford of the Guardian based on current research, we are all descended from Royalty. Does that make us a Royal line, of course not. Rutherford writes– “It is therefore easy to lay claim to direct descendency of someone of greatness to include royaly: Charlemagne, Carolingian King of the Franks, Holy Roman Emperor, the great European conciliator to us all. But if we are all special, this means simply that none of us are”.
“If you’re vaguely of European extraction (which Carruthers are), you are also the fruits of someone like Charlemagne’s prodigious loins. A fecund ruler, he sired at least 18 children by motley wives and concubines, including Charles the Younger, Pippin the Hunchback, Drogo of Metz, Hruodrud, Ruodhaid, and not forgetting Hugh.
This is merely a numbers game. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. But this ancestral expansion is not borne back ceaselessly into the past. If it were, your family tree it would harbour more than a billion ancestors – more people than were alive then.
What this means is that pedigrees begin to fold in on themselves a few generations back, and become less arboreal, and more web-like. In 2013, geneticists Peter Ralph and Graham Coop, writing in Nature, showed that all Europeans are descended from exactly the same people. Basically, everyone alive in the ninth century who left descendants will be the ancestor of every living European in existance today”.
This is supported by the work from a professor at the Dublin City University, Mark Humphries who suggests that even without a documented connection to a notable forebear, experts say the odds are virtually 100 percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal personage or another.
“Millions of people have provable descents from medieval monarchs, the number of people with unprovable descents must be massive.”
Take King Edward III, who ruled England during the 14th century and had nine children who survived to adulthood.
Among his documented descendants are presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor, both Roosevelts), authors (Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning), generals (Robert E. Lee), scientists (Charles Darwin) and actors (Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Shields).
Interestingly some experts estimate that 80 percent of England’s present population descends from Edward III. So are we Carruthers royalty, no, but are we of a royal line, it seems that everybody is.
On a side note and very importanly this of course does not allow us to misappropriate parts of the British Royal Arms for a badge, and claim it as our own. It is illegal and offensive and based on the information we have, that same badge is not registered through the Smithsonian nor any other respectable heraldic authority.
Robert the Bruce and his father married a Carruthers:- Historically the answer is an emphatic No!
In early 1296, Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) married Isabella of Mar, who was was born circa 1277, at Kildrummy Castle, Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire. She was the daughter of Donald, or Domhnall, Earl of MacDonald, Earl of Mar and Ellen or Helen ferch Llywelyn (1246-1295). The mother was the illegitimate daughter of Prince Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd (Wales) and the widow of Mormaer Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife. However Isabella died the same year after giving birth to their daughter Marjorie Bruce (1296). Six years later in 1302, Bruce married his second wife Elizabeth de Burgh, the daughter of Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, and Margarite de Burgh and went on to win the throne of Scotland. They had three children who reached adulthood and she died in 1327. One of the children was the future king of Scotland David II.
Roberts the Bruce’s father (1243-1304), again Robert (Robert de Brus) whose mother was Isobel de Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, married Marjorie, Countess of Carrick (1245-1292) in 1271. She was the daughter and heiress of Niall, Earl of Carrick and Margaret Stewart. Robert and Marjorie had twelve children together, of whom 10 survived childhood. Her first husband was Adam de Kilconquhar, who died during the Eighth Crusade in 1270.
None of them were ever named as being Carruthers.
William the Conquerors biological mother was Mary Carruthers:- Again No!
All the historians agree that Herleva, the name being early Germanic in origin, was the mother of William the Conqueror. She was the daughter of a tanner and mistress to William’s father Robert the Magnificent, Duke of Normandy. Her name is often spelt many different ways Herleva, Herleve, Arlette, Arletta, Arlotte and Harlette but never Carruthers. She was born c.1003-1010 in Falaise, Normandy and her father was Fulbert the tanner.
It is written that Fulbert may have been an embalmer or an apothecary, some even say he may have belonged to the burgher class. Herleva gave birth to William as a bastard son in around 1027/1028. She died around 1050. As an aside, the surname of Carruthers would not have been known in Normandy prior to the Norman Invasion in 1066, if even then.
Carruthers can lay claim to the ‘Bruce’ tartan:- No, the clue is in the name!
During their time as a sept of the Clan Bruce, Carruthers have with their permission, worn the chiefly Tartan, patented, registered and owned by the House of Bruce. We can of course continue to wear it, and in fact any other tartan we chose but the Bruce tartan is not ours, irrlevent how it is being sold to you and whetever suffix or prefix it has. Tartans are registered and copyrighted through their colours and sett, with each one having a pattern specific to the owners, in this case Bruce. It is not ours!
The Carruthers clan tartan was registered with the Scottish Tartan Register in 2017 STR 11700. It was designed to reflect the thread count of bruce and the colours chosen for the blood our famil spilt in defence of our family, our homes and our country.
Did the Tartan Register get destroyed in 2003:- Again and presuming this is linked with the above, No!
As tartan is a major pert of the Scottish heritage, it is inconceivable that no one in the media would have heard about this. We contacted tartan experts as it seemed very strange unless you link it with the bizarre claim to the Bruce tartan. This is the reponse by one of them, Mr Brian Wilton MBE, tartan designer and historian:-
“Having been involved with the world of tartan now for over 30 years, the suggestion that ‘the tartan Register’ was destroyed by fire in 2003 belongs in the realm of fiction. The Scottish Tartans Society around 1987-1990 established the first electronic directory of what they termed ‘all known tartans’. In 1995 the affairs of the Society descended into chaos and a group of academics and trade leaders established the Scottish Tartans Authority. I was involved with them from the start and established what we called the International Tartan Index – the basis of which was the existing database from the Tartans Society. I maintained and expanded that database until very recently. The only other tartan database in existence at that time was a smaller one also based on the Tartan Society d/base and maintained by Keith Lumsden and grandly called the Scottish Tartan World Register. That register attracted very few applications as designers/weavers much preferred the more efficiently administrated and rigorously maintained Tartans Authority one.
In 2007 the Authority provided a copy of its d/base to National Records of Scotland as the basis for the new and official Scottish Register of Tartan (SRT). In spite of that, the Authority continued to maintain its own version since it was very much larger and more comprehensive than the official one and, more importantly, it also added any new tartans that it came across that had not been registered with the SRT.
During this whole period, I was in sole charge of the Authority d/base and in close and constant touch with the SRT and Keith Lumsden. I can assure you that there was no other known tartan register in existence and none of the known ones ever had any such calamity as a fire. So . . . where that myth came from, I have no idea. I also have no knowledge of a fire affecting any other set of historical records.”
William the Conqueror gave us the colours red and gold and our two chevrons for supporting him in two crusaded :- No he didnt.
There is literally no evidence that William the Conqueror ever met our family nor that he gave us the colours red and gold. The first colours used by our ancestors in Mouswald were recorded as Or (Gold shield) two Chevrons engrailed Sable (black). It wasn’t until 1672 that the arms we know as Carruthers were registered by Holmains. There are however armorials of the last Chief of Mouswald up to his death in 1548, using a red shield and gold charges but there is also a record of a red shield and silver charges. It was for reasons such as this that the Lyon Act of 1672 was introduced.
With regards us supporting William the Conqueror on two crusades, he lived from 1028–1087. In all, eight major Crusade expeditions occurred between 1096 and 1291. William died before the first crusade, the dates, agreed by all respectable historians, speak for themselves.
Carruthers have a 75000 year old specific gene in our DNA:- For all sorts of reasons, No.
This has all been explained in a previous blog ‘Can all Carruthers share the same DNA’. To summerise, not all Carruthers share the same DNA, as not all Carruthers are from the same family line. As a name ‘Carruthers’ was taken by many others based simply on the region they lived or the people they worked for in that area. This is also partly answered by the piece above on whether we are Royalty. To further suggest that ‘our’ specific DNA goes back 75000 years is not even worth an answer. One has to assume that whatever DNA is there will be shared by us all as a human race.
As our family are Royal we can legally fly the Scottish Royal Standard:- Again no.
The Royal Banner of Scotland has since 1603 been a component of what is now styled the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom; both that version used exclusively in Scotland and that used elsewhere. It similarly appears in the Royal Standard of Canada, showing the close relationship of Canda and the Crown, with the Arms of Canada reflecting the royal symbols of England, Scotland, Ireland and France.
Again this has been covered more fully in another blog ‘The Flags of Scotland’ and again above re Carruthers being Royalty:- Sadly No.
Can anyone simply use the heraldic arms of our chief re the 500 year rule:- Again No
The Arms of our chief are registered to him or by permission of the Lord Lyon, to one of his descendants and is part of their visual identity. One wouldn’t try to pass a signed cheque of another as our own, that would be illegal. The claim is it seems if it is over 500 years old, it is in the public domain. Again sadly that is simply not viable. Let us look at the 500 year rule, which doesnt exit it seems, but more importantly cannot apply to our chiefs arms.
The Arms (Shield) we all know as the Carruthers Chiefs Arms (which belongs to an individual and not a family) were only registered after the 1672 Lord Lyons Act. If we therefore subtract 1672 from 2017 it leaves 345 years, which means that even if there was a 500 year rule, it doesn’t come into play until 2172. To add to this, our last Chief, John 8th Of Holmains only died in 1809 and our new chif was confirmed on 19th August 2019.
Were the CCSI in membership of the LLC and removed:- Quite simply No.
The facebook page Clan Carruthers was started in 2007, which is easily verifiable. This led, after a gathering of like minded people, to the formation of our society. We already owned the domain names of Clan Carruthers and Clan Carruthers Society International before the LLC were set up. We neither support nor condone their actions, claims nor agenda as we feel it will be detrimental to us all as a family and clan going forward.
Therefore, as a group one of our main functions was to bring our family together behind a petition for a Chief to the Lord Lyon. This is based on evidenced genealogy of the senior of our line’s right to do so. Our position is widely publicised and for that reason and if for nothing else, we cannot and would not support the LLC in their self appointment of Chiefs and Chieftains, as they have no authority to do so. We are aware that they approached the Lyon, but they had no valid or evidenced claims.
We believe strongly in building something on solid foundations and this can only be done for a Scottish Clan through the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, as a chief is a legal entity in Scottish law. We accept his jurisdiction is within Scotland and for Scottish clans, which Carruthers are, but his authority extends far beyond that. The robustness of the Lyon Court’s process to eliminate false claims is accepted wherever Scottish heritage and culture is celebrated.
We are therefore continuously working tirelessly for the many and for the future, not simply the few and the moment and to date everything we have done has been self funded.
There are only 4 recorded Carruthers Arms: No, currently there are 9 (11 based on wrong arms), excluding the heirs of the lines and the one blazon wrongly written for Sir Simon de Carruthers.
Although the Register of Arms as we know it today only came into being in 1672 after the Lord Lyons Act, there were armorials recorded prior to that which are held by he Lyon Court in Edinburgh. The first two arms shown above depict the first ever recorded for Carruthers of Mouswald, although the suspicion is there was a mistake by the then herald Willian Pont who recorded the blazon incorrectly: Azure (engrailed) Chevrons instead of Sable (black). These looked very much like the Arms of another family from the Southwest, the McClennans. This could have caused confusion on the battlefield and so they were changed by the last Chief (Mouswald) Simon Carruthers.
The next two represent the arms of Simon. There are 5 ancient armorial records, two showing charges in Argent (silver) on Gules (red) and two showing Or (gold) on Gules (red) with the 5th being recorded as a Argent (silver) chevron with Or (gold) fleur de-lys, not shown here.
The next two are recorded in 1672 when Act was enforced. At this time two Armorials were recorded, James Carruthers of Isle depicted with the Arms of Holmains in a Silver border and Holmains themselves in the centre. It was John Carruthers the 9th of Holmains, who rationalised both the Ancient arms of Mouswald, with that of Simon to form what we know today as Carruthers Chiefly arms. These arms may have existed before 1672, but we take there registration from then.
The next two are also of the House of Holmains but through the female line, one recorded by Major John Peter Wade in 1854, who quartered the Arms with Wade as dominant in the first and third quarters. The second was by the Rev. William Mitchell-Carruthers who registered arms with Carruthers dominant in 1873.
The Arms of Dormont were not registered until Major Francis John Carruthers of Dormont matriculated them in 1913. They were differenced twice to depict a cadet line by chevronelles replacing chevrons and contained within a gold border again depicting a junior line.
Also from the Dormont line was the arms in 1965 by the co-author of the book; Records of the Carruthers Family, Reverend Arthur Stanley Carruthers, They are matriculated within a Stodart style border to depict the complexity of the relationship with the Dormont line.
In 2017, Arms were granted which again were differenced twice to depict a junior line, by chevronelles rather than chevrons and a pheon in the base to replace the fleur-de-lys.
All nine arms are recognised by the heraldic authorities in Scotland. As we speak, a tenth petition for Carruthers arms will be placed, October 2018.
Did Agnes Douglas, Countess of Argyll marry John the 8th of Holmains: No, wrong Agnes.
Agnes Douglas was definitely a Scottish noblewoman born in 1574 and it is recorded that she was the first wife of Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll. She therefore did not marry a Carruthers, she died at the age of 33 just after the birth of her 3rd child.
She and her sisters were so pretty they were known throughout Scotland as the Pearls of Lockleven. Her paternal grandparents, Sir Robert Douglas, Margaret Ershire, who was mistress to King James V.
This is taken directly from Clan Douglas Archives which is solidly backed up by other historical evidence and records.
‘On 24 July 1592, she married as his first wife, Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, the son of Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll and Agnes Keith. Agnes, who was a Roman Catholic, was instrumental in her husband’s later decision to convert to the Catholic faith in 1618, eleven years after her death. Despite Agnes’s religion, he commanded the royal troops which fought against the Catholic rebels led by George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly in the Battle of Glenlivet on 3 October 1594. Argyll’s forces were defeated by the numerically smaller forces of Huntly’.
AGNES’s MARRIAGE (the only one), The marriage to the Earl of Argyll produced three children. Agnes herself died on 3 May 1607, a month after the birth of her only son, Archibald having had two daughters previously to the Earl: Annabel and Anne. Her husband married secondly on 30 November 1610, Anne Cornwallis, by whom he had three more children.
John Carruthers 8th of Holmains also married twice. His first wife in 1600 was an Agnes Douglas, but her father was George Douglas of Parkhead, not Sir Willam Douglas 8th Earl of Morton who was the father of the Agnes Countess of Argyll. John married again in 1616 after his first wife Agnes died. The marriage was to Janet Douglas, sister to Willam Douglas of Drumlanrig
Sadly with the prevalance of the internet false and alternative news is far too easy to come by but yet, backed by hard copies, it also has the advantage of giving access to reliable and easily accessable strong evidence. With that in mind you cannot rewrite history, make obscure genalogical leaps of faith, nor make claims that simply do not stand up, they are far too easily checked.
So if you take nothing away from this please question and deliberate and check all information, including what we publish and if there is any information or evidence out there that may contradict us, we will happily review this blog.
“You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time”
Abraham Lincoln (not a Carruthers either)
The Clan Carruthers Society International (CCSI) was founded in January 2017 and is officially recognised by the Chief of Carruthers as representing the worldwide Carruthers family. It is non-commercial, apolitical and non-partisan and is open to any member of the international Carruthers family and derivatives of that name. The Society is based in the United Kingdom, but is represented by an international Executive Council.