As we approach the Scottish celebration of Hogmanay and ‘the Bells’, it is time for us Scots to reflect on the past and look positively towards the future.
Many people are still not fully aware of the work that goes on behind the scenes by their Society. Although we have great support, some still retain their own agenda, some simply choose to believe falsehoods and lies and some simply could not care. For this reason, it was felt that a brief synopsis of the Clan Carruthers Society International’s (CCSI) current state of play and achievements was necessary.
Again we all remain intelligent and educated individuals and have a choice but as is the Society’s want, we wish to offer the facts regarding our organisation and its successes. We therefore take a look at our works from before the CCSI’s inception, to its formation in January 2017, finishing to date on the 31st December 2019.
Although the society has only been functioning as an entity for a period of 24 months, we feel proud of our achievements. All this work has been tirelessly carried out by a few individuals from across the globe, with two sets of people in mind: the hereditary Chief and the Clan in general. We therefore remain proud of who and what we are and how we have reached our goals through tenacity, evidence and hard work. We also remain a proud and ancient Border Clan of the West March of Scotland with all that that entails and the legacy we will leave behind.
The last recognised Chief of Carruthers was John Carruthers 12th of Holmains, 8th Baron, who died in 1809. The records show that he ‘resettled’ the Name and Arms of Carruthers to his heirs, both male and female, and although the line continued, no member of the family officially took up the Chiefship and Carruthers remained Armigerous.
After discussions with his father, and progressively much support from many within the Clan Community, Dr George Carruthers began the search into Carruthers history and then for a Carruthers Chief. He was further spurred on after his father’s demise in 1994 with his research being helped greatly after attaining a copy of the 1934 publication by Carruthers and Reid, ‘The Records of the Carruthers Family’.
Carruthers Family research has been on-going in Scotland at least as far back as the early 1800’s, perhaps beyond that. This culminated in 1924 with a limited publication of ‘Carruthers Records’ from Arthur Stanley Carruthers FSA (Scot), which included, in chronological order, all the published records he was aware of, of the respective Carruthers families both in public and private hands.
Because of its popularity, and with the assistance of the author and historian R C Reid, the publication of the ‘Records of the Carruthers Family’ was produced. The analysis and gathering of information, although based on the first publication, required a total revision to ensure accuracy. Some of the subscribers of information to the 1934 edition included:
The Rev William Mitchell-Carruthers who gave access to the documents in the Holmains Chest; Lieut-Col Francis J Carruthers of Dormont for permitting ‘History of the Dormont Titles’ to be published; S W Carruthers Esq MD PhD of Norwood and William R Carruthers of Brooklands Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, for information on the Carruthers of Woodfoot and Milne and other families, whose notes were prepared by George Carruthers Thompson Esq; John Carruthers Esq, Solicitor, for the Genealogical chart of Carruthers of Breckonhill and Major Carleton Salkeld of Holm Hill, Dalston for information on Carruthers of Wormanbie. As one can see this was to become an extensive piece of work.
It is believed that only 100 of these excellent pieces of Carruthers history were ever published; sadly not all have survived to this day.
From this starting point and being introduced to social media, a Clan Carruthers Facebook group was formed by Dr Carruthers in 2007. This was specifically to communicate with other members of the Clan and Family worldwide in the hope of bringing unity to the diaspora. It progressively attracted many like-minded people, and some not so much. One of the mainstays of this process from the very beginning was Dana Caruthers Norton, a Genealogist from Kansas USA. She has been there throughout the highs and lows of our chosen path, and for that we remain eternally grateful.
Through the Facebook page, the family research continued but was now international in its approach, and through the auspices of social media and the support of many others worldwide, it continued to flourish. Its sole purpose had always been to locate, through the facts and evidence available, the senior of our line. They would then be approached, and if amenable, would petition the Lord Lyon for the right to bear the Chiefly Arms of Carruthers. A Scottish clan Chief can only be officially confirmed through the authority legally able to do so, the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Initially, like many others, the belief was that Carruthers of Dormont would be the obvious starting point based on their lineage, however this was to proved not to be the case.
If Carruthers remained without a chief, we would have stayed armigerous and open to abuse by the unscrupulous. However, following the official route through the Lyon Court like many clans before us, albeit a long and arduous path, would ensure that Carruthers would attain official clan status and recognition both in Scotland and internationally. Once a chief was confirmed, the Clan and Family of Carruthers would itself become a ‘Noble Incorporation’ as a legal entity in Scottish law and again achieve acceptance worldwide as an officially-recognised Scottish Border Clan in its own right.
Disclaimer: Because they have always felt strongly that it would be detrimental to the evidenced-based goals of the Society and also badly affect the reputation of the whole Clan and Family, neither the Convenor, Dr George Carruthers, nor any other member of the current Executive have at any time supported nor been in membership of any other ‘Carruthers’ Clan group, LLC or otherwise, as this would have offered credibility and credence to those whose agenda, claims and actions were felt not to deserve it.
Clan Carruthers Society International – Our timeline
2007- 2015: The run up.
- Discussions held with family, Scottish and Clan Historians, Genealogists (both in Scotland and abroad), Members of the Lyon Court, Heraldists and other Clan dignitaries.
- Gathering of genealogical and historical information on the family and specifically the living senior lines of Carruthers.
2016 The preamble.
- Clan Carruthers web-page was formulated and launched. This would act as an evidenced-based site for those interested in the Clan and Family of Carruthers.
- On the advice of Antony Maxwell, a petition for arms was made to the Lord Lyon by Dr George Carruthers from Fife to have arms granted.
- Antony Maxwell has remained a rock throughout the process of finding a Chief, and a great source of advice.
- On the advice of Gordon Casely and to differentiate our Clan from anyone else, a visual signature in the guise of a ‘Carruthers’ tartan was required.
- Dr George Carruthers commissioned a design by Brian Wilton MBE, tartan historian and designer, to reflect our Reiver past and the blood we spilled in protecting our family, our homes and our country.
- Carruthers Red Tartan was born, and duly registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans (STR 11700), a Scottish Government agency in Edinburgh. Since its inception the tartan has been open for use by all Carruthers and derivations of the same, without commercial gain to Dr Carruthers himself.
2017: Formation of CCSI.
- Gathering support from both the Facebook group and the web-pages, the Clan Carruthers Society International (CCSI) was finally fully formed in Jan 2017.
- Arms were granted by the Lord Lyon to Dr George Carruthers, Clan Convenor, the first Carruthers armiger since Carruthers of Dormont in 1913.
- The Clan Carruthers Society International’s web page was launched, and David Newton (Carruthers) became Webmaster to the Clan. Its purpose, in conjunction with the Clan page, is to factually inform and educate all those interested in Clan Carruthers, its heritage, pedigree and history.
- The Society’s Executive Council was formed. Dr George Carruthers (Scot) was elected as Convenor with Dana Caruthers Norton (USA) and Cécilia Mitchell-Carruthers (France) as Vice-Conveners. It was further agreed that no external finances would be sought until a Chief was confirmed. Until then, in both time and monies, the individuals involved would support the Society.
- The interim regional Clan Commissioners: Dana Caruthers Norton (USA), Cécilia Mitchell-Carruthers (Europe,) Graham Carruthers – (Australasia), and Michael Carruthers (Canada) were appointed by the Convenor.
- Full Clan Membership of the Clans And Scottish Societies Of Canada (CASSOC) was successfully sought and Graham Carruthers, the Society’s Executive Secretary represented the Clan at its AGM.
- Membership of the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA) was applied for and after being admitted, the Clan was represented as full members by Dana Caruthers Norton, CCSI Vice Convener.
- Dana Caruthers Norton was appointed Clan Genealogists, Gary Carruthers, appointed as her deputy, the latter covering Australasia.
- After over 10 years of genealogical investigation and networking, the senior member of the House of Holmains (the Chiefly line) Dr S Peter Carruthers was located and approached.
- A petition, with evidenced proofs, was presented to the Lord Lyon for his analysis and approval towards the confirmation, after over 200 years, of a Carruthers Chief. As seniors of Carruthers were still alive, an election/family gathering/derbhfine under the auspices of the Lyon Court, would not be allowed as an option and an evidenced petition by the ‘heir’ needed to be put to the Lyon Court for his perusal. At this point, there were two challengers for the Chief-ship: one from the line of Dormont, one from the line of Holmains.
- Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers received the Order of the Scottish Samurai from Charles Lord Bruce, Mr Ronald Watt OBE ORS and the Consulate General of Japan to Scotland.
2018: Preparing for a Chief.
- The majority of the workload in 2018 was in networking, research and support, while securing and solidifying our status and representation both at home in Scotland as well as internationally.
- Meetings throughout the year were attended by the Clan Convener in Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Lochmaben, Birmingham and Glasgow.
- The petitions for Chief presented to the Lyon Court for consideration required two court hearings, which were attended by the two petitioners; Dr Simon Peter Carruthers (Holmains), James Andrew Carruthers of Dormont and the Clan Convener, Dr George Carruthers as an observer. The Dr Simon Peter Carruthers was represented in the latter hearing by his legal counsel, Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw QC. Sir Crispin has continued in this role to date.
- The Clan Convenor Dr Carruthers, was made a Burgess and Freeman of the City of Glasgow
- The Clan Convener, Dr George Carruthers FSA (Scot), was elected into fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries, in Edinburgh
2019 A Chief is Confirmed.
- After 20 months of investigation and deliberation by the Lyon Court and over 12 years by the Clan Society, Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains was confirmed Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers with additaments.
- Clan Carruthers Society International was recognised and confirmed as the official Society representing the Clan and Family of Carruthers, and its derivatives worldwide, by the Clan Chief.
- Clan Convener Dr George Carruthers was recognised and confirmed by the Clan Chief.
- Clan Chief confirms Carruthers Red as the official Clan tartan, for all who support him.
- CCSI Executive Secretary, Graham Carruthers and Zelda M Carruthers attend Fergus Festival to represent Clan Carruthers, meeting and speaking with the Lord Lyon on the day.
- Executive Secretary for Australia, Craig Monument (Carruthers), was appointed.
- Clan Carruthers and the CCSI recognised are by the Scottish-Australian Heritage Council (Australia).
- Clan Genealogy Research Group set up to bring together our senior researchers under one banner. Based on the bad information out there, this group offered all Carruthers factual and evidenced-based assistance with their own research.
- CCSI Executive Secretary, Graham Carruthers voted onto the Board of CASSOC in Canada.
- Additaments confirmed by the Lord Lyon and granted to the Chief. These were the added supporters on the Chiefs arms of two fallow deer bucks rampant Proper. Supporters are granted and are representative of a Scottish Chief of a large clan. He was also granted a chief’s banner and a pinsel.
- Clan Carruthers Society – United States of America (CCS-USA) becomes a legally registered entity. This was led by William Carruthers, Executive Secretary USA, Steve Colburn, Board Member and Dana Caruthers Norton, interim Clan Commissioner to the USA.
- Dr George Haig appointed Treasurer to the Society.
- Clan Commissioner for the USA, Dana Carruthers Norton confirmed in her role by the Chief.
- Gary John Carruthers from Australia was to become the latest Carruthers Armiger with arms granted by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh.
- Gary Carruthers confirmed Commissioner for Australia and Graham Carruthers, his Deputy.
- CCSI Chief Genealogist Dana Caruthers Norton FSA (Scot) elected into Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland).
- Clan Carruthers DNA Research Group was set up and the website launched. It is headed by CCS-USA Board Member and DNA Specialist, Steve Colburn (Carruthers).
- December 2019, the Clan Carruthers Facebook Page has from small beginnings achieved over 3500 engagements in a month, with 72 new members joining.
- January 2020, Carruthers tartan, STR 11700, having previously been adopted by our Chief, was confirmed and accepted by the Lord Lyon and registered as a Clan/Family tartan through the Scottish Register of Tartans as the official tartan of our clan and family.
We would really like to thank all our supporters to date and we promise that we will continue to work diligently on your behalf.
As we look into 2020, we sincerely hope that you appreciate the work that the few have continue to do for the many, not simply the few and further hope that you will support us in our endeavours by becoming a member of the Society.
It only remains for us to wish a very happy and prosperous New Year to you and your family, and we hope 2020 brings us all peace and good health.