Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: The Clan and the Society – a journey worth taking.

CCSI Our Journey to date 2.jpeg
Clan carruthers crest and Tartan AM in crest copy

As a Society, we are authorised by the Clan Chief; Peter Carruthers of Holmains to officially represent Carruthers and derivatives of his name worldwide.

From small beginnings, the clan has stood the test of time. Spreading out from our roots in the ancient parish of Carruthers in southern Annandale, South-West Scotland we have covered the globe.

Initiated by a Charter to Thomas Carruthers 1st of Mouswald from Robert the Bruce in 1320, the Chiefly line of Mouswald was founded. Thomas was the great-grandson of William of Carruthers, the first of our name to be recorded when he made a donation to Newbattle Abbey in the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249).

The House of Mouswald retained the Chiefship of Carruthers until 1548 when, due to the death of Sir Simon Carruthers, 10th of Mouswald and 5th Baron, the Chiefship was passed to the House of Holmains the next most senior line. The House of Holmains was descended from John Carruthers, second brother to Thomas, 1st of Mouswald and Kings Chancellor to King David II, at the time.

John Carruthers 5th of Holmains and 1st Baron, was the first to take on the mantle of Chief and this continued through the male line without interruption to John Carruthers 12th of Holmains and 8th Baron who died in 1809.  All of John 12th sons had died before him leaving only daughters, but legal provision made prior to the birth of his children ensured the line of Holmains continued through either the male or female lines. This was done  through a Royal Charter issued in 1755 and supported by a Marriage Contract of 1762.  It seems that john was well ahead of his time with regards women’s rights, although there are currently quite a few female Scottish Clan Chiefs as we speak.

The chiefship remained dormant, from 1809 to 2019, and although an individual from the Holmains line could have, no one had chosen to take on the mantle of Chief of Carruthers. During this period, Holmains left patronymic descendancy for one generation, which was through Susan the daughter of John 12th before returning to the male line again. This can be seen in the chart below.  

The Society, working from this sound history and an idea initiated by Dr George Carruthers of Fife in the early 2000’s, has allowed us in a short space of time, to cover the globe and represent the family through the auspices of our branch regions in Australasia and Oceania, Canada, Europe, UK (Scotland) and the United States of America. 

Throughout all our many years of planning and efforts, we have always tried to safeguard the best interests of the clan and family. With this in mind, we ensure that all our actions follow the official and legal routes, as our forebears did before us and any publication produced is done so on current evidence and proven facts.  

We consequently feel that as the authorised and therefore official society, we have a duty of care to all Carruthers. After all it is our Name, our history and our heritage that is at stake and we feel, based on the varied and sometimes bizarre claims being made, that it is worthwhile protecting, defending and preserving in as accurate a manner as possible for future generations.

Or Society’s aim from the onset, has always been to build something long lasting, honest and transparent for the benefit of all Carruthers, not simply a few. 

We feel that we are well on our way to achieving this and hope that you will continue to support us going forwards. Here is a summary of our progress and achievements to date.

carruthers Cadet Line Mitchell Carruthers final with chief

Pre-2007 – 2015: The Run Up.

  1. Pre-2007, based on the correlated work initiated by John J Reid in the mid 1800’s, built on by A. Stanley Carruthers and John Reid’s son, R.C. Reid in the 1920s and 30’s, and further enhanced by information gleaned from current and passed members of our family, a plan of action was formulated. It was decided to look for a way of improving the perception of Carruthers and its history in Scottish clan and family culture and in any future media.
  2. Pre-2007- 2015, Discussions were held within the family and with Scottish and Clan Historians, Genealogists (both in Scotland and abroad), members of the Lyon Court, Heraldists, Clan Chiefs and other clan dignitaries, to look at a way forward in order to achieve official Clan status.
  3. 2007, Clan Carruthers Facebook page was set up to gauge interest in our quest.
  4. Further gathering and analysis of genealogical and historical information on the family and specifically the extinct House of Mouswald and the living senior lines of Carruthers: mainly Holmains and Dormont, was undertaken.
  5. With the last Chief being John Carruthers 12th of Holmains, 8th Baron in 1809, we needed to look at the viability after over 200 years, of a Carruthers hereditary chief being confirmed by the Lord Lyon.
  6. Further historical and genealogical research was required and investigated.

2016: The Preamble.

  1. Clan Carruthers webpage was formulated and launched. This would act as an evidenced based site for those interested in the Clan and Family of Carruthers.
  2. On the advice of our heraldist, a petition for arms was made to the Lord Lyon by Dr George Carruthers from Fife.
  3. As all tartans associated to Carruthers were registered to Bruce, and again on the advice of a Scottish historian,  a visual signature in the guise of a ‘Carruthers’ tartan was deemed necessary. This was done to differentiate our Clan from anyone else, including Bruce, as no Carruthers ‘named’ tartan had existed nor had ever been registered to date.
  4. Dr George Carruthers commissioned a design by Brian Wilton MBE, tartan historian and designer to reflect our Reiver past. The colours were to represent the part we played in protecting our family, our homes and our country in our homelands in the Scottish West March.
  5. 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.
  6. The commission to weave was given to the House of Edgar, Perth, Scotland, where it remains to this day.

2017: Formation of Clan Carruthers Society-International (CCS-I).

  1. Gathering support from networking, the Facebook group and the webpages, the Clan Carruthers Society International (CCS-I) was finally fully formed in Scotland, Jan 2017. It was built around a Royal Charter (1755) to John 12th of Holmains which stated: ‘and his heirs and assignees heritably and irredeemably‘ (meaning to his heirs and to his daughters and their heirs). It was also believed that a Marriage Contract existed to support it. The latter was yet to be found.
  2. The Carruthers Tartan was adopted by the Society.
  3. Arms were granted by the Lord Lyon to Dr George Carruthers, Clan Convenor. The first Carruthers armiger since Carruthers of Dormont in 1913.
  4. The CCS-I web page was launched and David Newton (Carruthers) becomes Webmaster to the Clan. Its purpose would be, in conjunction with the Clan page, to factually inform and educate all those interested in Clan Carruthers, its heritage, pedigree and history.
  5. The Society’s Executive Council was formed. Dr George Carruthers (Scotland) was elected as interim Convenor with Dana Caruthers Norton (USA) and Cecilia Mitchell-Carruthers (France), as interim Vice-Convenors. It was further agreed that no external finances would be sought until a Chief was confirmed.
  6. The interim regional Clan Commissioners: Dana Caruthers Norton (USA), Cécilia Mitchell-Carruthers (Europe,) Graham Carruthers – (Australasia & Oceania), and Michael Carruthers (Canada), were appointed by the Convenor.
  7. 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.
  8. Membership of the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations in the USA (COSCA) was applied for and after being admitted, the Clan was represented by Dana Caruthers Norton,  CCS-I Vice Convenor.
  9. Dana Caruthers Norton was appointed Clan and Society Genealogist, Gary Carruthers appointed as her deputy, the latter covering Australasia.

2017 Continued: Finding a Chief

  1. After over 10 years of genealogical investigation and networking, the senior member of the Chiefly House of Holmains, Dr S. Peter Carruthers, was located and approached.
  2. The legally important marriage contract, dated 1762 between John 12th of Holmains and Charlotte Laurie, was finally found within the National Records of Scotland, confirming that succession would be passed through either the male or female lines. It stated; himself and the heirs male of his body to be procreated of this marriage and the heirs whatsoever of their bodys Whom Failing the heirs male to be procreated of the said John Carruthers of any other marriage and the heirs whatsoever of their bodys Whom Failing to the Daughters of this marriage and the heirs whatsoever of their bodys Whom Failing to the said John Carruthers his other heirs and assignees whatsoever the eldest daughter or heir female during the whole course of succession, always succeeding without division. (ie down the male or female lines).
  3. Two petitions, with evidenced proofs were presented to the Lord Lyon for his analysis and approval of a confirmation, after over 200 years, of a Carruthers Chief.
  4. As descendants of Carruthers Chiefs were still alive, an election/family gathering/derbhfine under the auspices of the Lyon Court, would not be allowed. This was simply because an evidenced petition by the ‘heir’ needed to be put before the Lord Lyon for his perusal and consideration. If however, dismissed, an ection/family gathering/derbhfine could be held
  5. At this point, there were two challengers for the Chiefship who petitioned the Lord Lyon: one from the chiefly line of Holmains and one from the cadet line of Dormont.
  6. Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers received the Order of the Scottish Samurai (OSS) from Charles, Lord Bruce, Mr Ronald Watt OBE ORS and the Consulate General of Japan to Scotland, for his work.

2018: Preparing for a Chief.

  1. The majority of the workload in 2018 was in networking, continued research and support, while securing and solidifying our status and representation both at home in Scotland, as well as internationally.
  2. Meetings throughout the year were attended by the Clan Convenor in Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Lochmaben, Birmingham and Glasgow, in order to publicise and garner support for our cause.
  3. The petitions for Chief previously presented to the Lyon Court for consideration required two court hearings. One of these was attended by both of the petitioners; Dr Simon Peter Carruthers (Holmains), James Andrew Carruthers of Dormont, while the Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers attended both as an observer. Dr Simon Peter Carruthers was the only petitioner who attended the second hearing and was represented by his legal counsel, Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw QC.
  4. The Clan Convenor Dr Carruthers, was honoured by being made a Burgess and Freeman of the City of Glasgow
  5. The Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers FSA (Scot), was elected into Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries, in Edinburgh for his work on the Clan.

2019: A Chief is Confirmed.

  1. After 20 months of investigation and deliberation by the Lyon Court and over 12 years of research by the Clan Society, Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains 4x Great Grandson of the last Chief, John Carruthers of Holmains and 8th Baron, was confirmed Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers with additaments. The first recognised Chief of Carruthers in over 200 years.

2019: Official Recognition of the Society.

  1. Clan Carruthers Society – International (CCS-I) was confirmed and authorised by the Chief as the only official Society representing the Clan and Family of Carruthers and its derivatives worldwide.
  2. Clan Convenor Dr George Carruthers was recognised and confirmed by the Clan Chief in his roll.
  3. Both Vice-Convenors were confirmed in their posts by the Clan Convenor.
  4. Process was initiated to change the category of the Carruthers tartan from Personal to Clan/Family.
  5. CCS-I Executive Secretary, Graham Carruthers and Zelda M Carruthers attended Fergus Festival to represent Clan Carruthers, meeting and speaking with the Lord Lyon on the day on different matters.
  6. Executive Secretary for Australia, Craig Monument (Carruthers), was appointed.
  7. Clan Carruthers and the CCS-I are recognised as a Society by the Scottish-Australian Heritage Council.
  8. A Clan Society Genealogy Research Group was set up to bring together our senior researchers under one banner. Based on the badly researched information available, this group offered all Carruthers Society members factual and evidenced based assistance with their own research. 
  9. CCS-I Executive Secretary, Graham Carruthers voted onto the Board of CASSOC,  as a Director.
  10. November 2019, additaments were 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.
  11. The Chief was also granted his banner and pinsel and a sprig of gorse in flower (Ulex europaeus) was officially recognised as the plant badge of Clan Carruthers.
  12. Clan Carruthers announced it would be in attendance, at the Fergus Scottish Festival, Ontario, Canada, represented by CCS-Canada. (Cancelled due to COVID 19).

2019: Moving Forward.

  1. Led by William Carruthers, Executive Secretary – CCI-USA,  Dana Caruthers Norton interim Clan Commissioner to the USA and Steve Colburn, Board Member (DNA Project Lead) Clan Carruthers Society – United States of America (CCS-USA). becomes a legally registered entity 501(c) (3) but are awaiting non-profit clearance from the IRS.
  2. Dr George Haig appointed Treasurer to the Society
  3. Clan Commissioner for the USA, Dana Carruthers Norton confirmed in her role by the Clan Chief.
  4. Gary John Carruthers from Australia was to become the latest Carruthers Armiger with arms granted by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh.
  5. Cecilia Mitchell-Carruthers confirmed as Clan Commisioner for Europe.
  6. Gary Carruthers was confirmed Clan Commissioner for Australia and Graham Carruthers, his Deputy.
  7. CCS-I Chief Genealogist, Dana Caruthers Norton, FSA (Scot) was elected into Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland) for her work on Carruthers Genealogy in the US.
  8. Clan Carruthers yDNA Research Group was set up and the website launched. It is headed by CCS-USA Board Member and DNA specialist Steve Colburn (Carruthers).
  9. The registration and ownership of the Carruthers Red tartan was gifted by Dr George Carruthers FSA Scot, Clan Convenor, to the new Chief and the Clan for their adoption as the Clan tartan.
  10. Clan Chief confirms the adoption of the Carruthers Red (STR 11700), as the official Clan Carruthers tartan for all who support him, and the process was started.
  11. End of November 2019, Clan Carruthers Society – International opens its doors to membership in 5 categories: Founding, Life, Family, Joining and Honorary Memberships.
  12. December 2019, the Clan Carruthers Facebook Page has, from small beginnings, achieved over 3500 engagements in a month, with 72 new members joining.

2020: Work Continues.

  1.  January 2020, Clan Chief  wished to adopt an existing registered tartan as his Clan’s tartan, the Carruthers tartan (STR 11700). This required consideration by the Lord Lyon. which wa given and subsequently the category and registration was changed from personal to Clan/Family by the Scottish Register of Tartans to reflect this.
  2. Clan Carruthers Society USA, announced it would be in attendance at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, North Carolina, represented our family in that region. (Games cancelled due to COVID 19).
  3. Liz Monument from Australia, appointed Editor of the Clan Society blog pages.
  4. Carruthers Clan Chief: Peter Carruthers of Holmains is invited to join the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.
  5. CCS-Australia, extends its Board to include Australasia and Oceania.
  6. CCS-Australasia and Oceania are accepted as full members of Scottish-Autralian Heritage Council
  7. Laurie Carruthers Caron Pasher is appointed as a Deputy Clan and Society Genealogist (Canada).
  8. March 2020, CCS-USA is accepted by the IRS for non-profit status in America.
  9. Clan Carruthers Australasia & Oceania, is the first region to attend Highland Games (Virtual) since the Clan Chief was confirmed.
  10. The CCS-I Convenor and Clan Commissioner for Australasia & Oceania, interviewed for the games.
  11. After only 28 weeks, on June 2020, Founding Fellowship applications were closed. This was done in order to ensure that this category would retain credence and currency going forwards, for those who had applied.
  12. Led by Graham Carruthers, CCS-I Executive Secretary and Andrew Carruthers, in July 2020, CCS-Canada is registered by the Canadian Government as a Not for Profit Incorporation.
  13. Andrew Carruthers becomes Interim Clan Commissioner for Canada.
  14. Clan Carruthers Facebook page reaches 2000 followers.
  15. Article on the the Chief, the Clan and the Society appears on the COSCA (USA) Newsletter – Claymore

Ongoing: Carruthers Heritage Project.

To try to help the continued upkeep of the Little Dalton Church in Annandale, the burial ground of Carruthers of Holmains. The site was looked after by a Trust headed by Carruthers of Dormont, which has since been terminated.

Donations to the cause would be gratefully received, marked Dalton Church Heritage Project.

  Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey Final to use

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