Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia, 3rd Edition

If you only buy one book to cover Scottish clans and Families, this is it and it comes highly recommended. It has been published by a team of experts and researchers commissioned by St Kilda Publications based in Scotland and is full of information, and colourful plates that brings the history of Scotland and its clans and families to life.

It covers with accuracy at the time of publication, the the clans and families in Scotland, which as we can understand with our own surname, is dynamic in nature. It is therefore not simply a book, but most certainly a ‘must’ have treasured possession to pass on down the line, or simply sit on a coffee table to be picked up at leisure.

Each edition is genuinly better than the last and they are now on the third edition. Sadly it doesn’t include the updates on Carruthers, Pringle or Buchanan chiefs etc although we understand that this information is now on file for a potential 4th edition. The information below is published with permission of St Kilda Publications c/o 45 Grovepark Street, Glasgow, G20 7NZ

The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of Scottish research and expertise and includes our very own tartan designer and advisor Mr Brian Wilton.

As Carruthers has never had a tartan of its own registered, Brian was commissioned by Dr George Carruthers FSA (Scot), Clan Convenor to design and register one in the Carruthers name. After consultation, the Clan/Family Tartan of Carruthers (STR 11700) was registered and open for use by all of our name. However, it was officially adopted by the Chief in 2019 as the tartan of his clan. It is available to kiltmakers worldwide, through our weavers, the House of Edgar in Perth, Scotland.


Sheriff George Alexander Way of Plean, Solicitor Advocate, SSC, FRSA, FSA (Scot) is Baron of Plean in the County of Stirlingshire and Falkland Pursuivant Extraordinary. Educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, he practised before the Supreme Courts of Scotland, latterly as Senior Partner at Beveridge and Kellas SSC Leith, until his elevation to the bench in 2009. A past President of the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Court, in addition to being a Past Convenor of Civil Justice at the Law Society of Scotland, between 1984 and 2003 George was Secretary to the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. Between 2003 and 2009 he served as Procurator Fiscal to the Court of the Lord Lyon. He is currently HM Sheriff at Dundee. George is a member of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem and has been decorated for services to Heraldry and Genealogy in Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and by Ecclesiastical authorities.

The late Romilly Squire of Rubislaw
OStJ, GOSE, KNN, DA, FSA Scot, FRSA, SHA, et al. was Laird of Rubislaw in the County of Aberdeen and for over twenty years, a Herald Painter in the Court of the Lord Lyon and a consultant to the Chief Herald of Ireland. He was a fellow and past Chair of the Heraldry Society of Scotland and Limner to the Most Venerable Order of St. John Scotland. He was deputy Secretary and then succeeded George as Secretary of the Standing Council of Chiefs in 2003. An alumnus of the Glasgow School of Art, Romilly was considered by many to be one of the finest heraldic artists and calligraphers of his generation, and in addition contributed to numerous publications on Heraldry and Genealogy. He had an international impact upon heraldic art and science and received many awards, including the prestigious Corel Prize for Outstanding Achievement. He was advisor to many Royal Houses and was appointed to the most distinguished ranks in orders of knighthood from Italy to as far away as Ethiopia. This was his last work.

The late Patrick Bardon
SBStJ, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, FSA (Scot) was formerly Chair of the Heraldry Society of Scotland and a noted Heraldic Flagmaker. He was credited with a ground-breaking approach to flag design, including the re-introduction of the medieval style square banner.

Alistair Campbell of Airds was formerly Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms and one of Her Majesty’s Officers at Arms for Scotland; a Member of the Court of the Lord Lyon and Chairman, Advisory Committee on Tartans to the Lord Lyon, in addition to formerly being Chief Executive, Clan Campbell and Archivist to the Duke of Argyll at Inverary Castle.

The late Kathleen B. Cory FSA (Scot) was a professional genealogist, who was the author of Tracing your Scottish Ancestry (1990) and who served as Chair of the Heraldry Society of Scotland.

Eilidh Hillcoat is a graduate of North Glasgow College of Art and has a degree in graphic design. She was employed by St Kilda to complete badge designs and also the encyclopedia layout. She is due thanks for her patience with the many changes that occured during its evolution towards the final print.

Dr Miles Kerr Peterson MA (Hons) MLitt PhD is a recognised authority on Scottish society and nobility in the early modern period. He is co-editor of James VI and Noble Power in Scotland and has published widely on many aspects of Scottish history. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2016 and is a member of the Scottish Medievalists. As well as contributing a new introductory section on the Lowlands, Miles researched graphics and worked on layout and editing over a period of years.

Charlie Edward Lynch MA (Hons) MLitt PhD is a cultural and social historian with special interests in the contemporary histories of Scotland and Ireland, and a practitioner of oral history. For seven years he was employed directly as a research assistant by St Kilda in support of George and Romilly. He contributed a significant number of updates, amendments and new entries to the third edition. At the time of publication, he was completing his PhD at the University of Glasgow and is a member of the Social History Society, the Heraldry Society of Scotland, and Secretary of the Scottish Secular Society.

Professor Allan Macinnes was formerly Burnett Fletcher Professor of History at the University of Aberdeen and is at present Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Strathclyde, and has published widely on Scottish history and its international contexts.

D. Richard Torrance B.Sc is a professional genealogist who has been involved with the Scottish Genealogy Society for over four decades, including ten years as Chair and is currently Vice President. He is the author of the MacLellans in Galloway (1993) as well as several other works. Richard contributed an extensive update to the chapter on genealogy in this Encyclopaedia.

Brian Wilton MBE FSA (Scot) is a past Director of the Scottish Tartans Authority and author of the 2007 book Tartans. He established the Authority’s highly regarded information service on tartan and Highland dress. He now lectures and accepts design commissions.

What’s in the THIRD EDITION

This excellent book is available from : St Kilda Store, and the information below is taken directly from their site with their full permission.

• Completely revised, updated and expanded to reflect the many changes that have occurred over the twenty years since the publication of the second edition.

• Histories and badges for 346 clans and families with nearly 200 additional Crest designs and hundreds of new images.

• Updated research by the original authors aided by leading academics in Scottish history.

• Over 500 pages with new layout allowing three times the amount of text that is in the second edition.

• New scholarly articles and all previous articles brought up to date and expanded.

This work has been 12 years in the making and history academics have unearthed previously unknown material all of which was overseen by the authors and editors. This is a must have volume for anyone interested in the Scottish Diaspora.

The most distinctive feature of Scotland’s history, nationally and internationally, is that of clanship. Although the clans are no longer the social force they once were, the continuing interest in them is testimony to the hold on the imagination that the sense of clan identity still has for very many people worldwide.

However, the desire for knowledge about the great clans and families of Scotland frequently outstrips the ability of published works to satisfy it. The Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia redresses this situation. Beautifully illustrated throughout, and featuring many specially commissioned illustrations, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative work yet published on the subject. It provides the histories and heraldic details of over 300 of Scotland’s best-known and most famous clans and families, as well as highly informative essays on key elements of clan life and society including:

⦁ the history and development of the clan system

⦁ the law of the clan

⦁ tartan and Highland dress

⦁ heraldry

In addition, an extensive collection of appendices draws together a wide range of information which has never before appeared in a single volume.

The Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia has been compiled and edited by George Way of Plean, Falkland Pursuivant Extraordinary and the late Romilly Squire. In addition to their own extensive knowledge and research, they have overseen the work of a team of renowned specialists in Scottish history.

Revised and updated to reflect changes in clan society since its original publication in 1994, the Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia is the definitive single-volume reference work on the Scottish clans and will appeal to everyone of Scottish ancestry throughout the world.

The Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia (Second Edition) was published 1998 and focused on 148 major names i.e. those with chiefs – all other names fell under ‘armigerous’ (a family name bearing heraldic arms but currently without a chief).  The number of crests was limited to the 148 and because of the layout of the book text and appendices were limited. The second edition had only minor alterations from the first edition.

In 2005 following a meeting between the authors and St Kilda a plan was drawn up for a new encyclopaedia which was envisaged would take around 3 years to complete. In outcome it has taken 12. 

With a new book layout the old 512 pages have only increased to 517 but the word count is up from 250,000 to over 800,000 and the additional substantial depth of detail has been achieved by, in addition to the authors’ own research, the input and support from an academic team over the period who have scoured a myriad of original sources. All of which has had to be checked and cross referenced by the authors.

Badge and shield and other heraldic illustrations have increased from 148 to over 350 and there are many other illustrations such as clan seats and castles. There is also a wealth of other family related images.

There are completely new authoritative texts and appendices and there are no longer two sections but a single alphabetical run of the clan and family names.

The first and second editions were highly praised and the THIRD EDITION has drawn the following praise from Dr. Joseph J. Morrow, QC, The Rt Hon.Lord Lyon King of Arms:

“I welcome the publication of the long-awaited Third Edition of the Clan and Family Encyclopaedia: a work that represents years of additional research and scholarship by a greatly enhanced and highly qualified editorial team. The introductory essays have been revised, updated and extended in scope and depth and the number of full entries has significantly increased. More coats of arms and crest badges have been illustrated than ever before.”

He further wrote in the forward to the 3rd Edition :

I welcome the publication of the long-awaited Third Edition of the Clan and Family Encyclopaedia. This accurate and well informed reference book is an essential for all who seek to understand the clans and families of Scotland. As I attend the various games and gatherings it is a book that is open at these events throughout the world.

The past two decades have seen many developments in the relationships between the Chiefs, the Lyon Court and Clansmen both here in Scotland and in the Diaspora. There are improved legal procedures, openness of communication and above all stronger bonds of community and friendship. The role of the Chief is central to the life of Scottish Clan and Families and the steady growth in Scottish heraldry, genealogy and cultural heritage owes much to the leadership of Chiefs and their Clans and Families.

The concept of a clan should never be static – it is an enduring social structure which is radically different from its ancient origins but is still a relevant part of today’s living Scotland and contributes to both our culture and economy. The new edition represents years of additional research and scholarship and is greatly enhanced by the highly qualified editorial team.

Its content has revised introductory essays, updates and expansions as well as a significant increase in the number of full entries. More coats of arms and crest badges have been illustrated. The artwork will never now be surpassed and this represents the final work of the late Romilly Squire: a consummate artist, heraldic scholar and friend. This book is his memorial and I commend it to all.

Dr Joseph John Morrow K.StJ, QC. DL,LLD

The Rt Hon. Lord Lyon King of Arms

Our Society, and that if many others, cannot recommend this book enough. Although the information regarding our clan and family is not up to date with regards out chief and tartan, it does cover interesting facts and details of all Scottish Clans and families and is well worth having as a reference, if nothing else. It is a beautiful publication that demands opening and offers bourse of pleasure if your interest lies within Scottish clan society and culture.

Dr George CARRUTHERS FSA (Scot) Convenor

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