Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: Our Society and its Journey so far.

Official Carruthers Clan Crest and Tartan

In Scottish heraldry there is no such thing as a “family coat of arms”, members of a family are assigned specific and relevant differences to the armorial bearings of an ancestor. This is to symbolise the personal identity of the owner of the armorial bearings granted to the individual to include a Chief. In Scotland, even to this day the Clan, the Family, and the Name have survived as significant entities in the social organization of Scottish society.


  • There has only ever been been and will only ever be, one Clan and Family of Carruthers.
  • We originate in the Scottish Border region of Annandale, Dumfriesshire from very ancient times.
  • We are not an Irish nor Viking clan, but 100% Scottish and are proudly represented by the Clan Carruthers Society (International).
  • The Society itself is founded on a Royal Charter to Holmains dated 1755 and is authorised to function in its role as international representative of our name by the chief, Carruthers of Holmains.
  • Holmains, are the direct and senior descendents of the extinct chiefly line of Carruthers of Mouswald through John, the brother of Thomas 1st of Mouswald (1320).
  • As such, Holmains have been chiefs since the extinction of that line through the death of Sir Simon of Mouswald, last chief of Mouswald who was killed in 1548.
  • To ensure Carruthers is represented at the highest levels, the Society is in membership of CASSOC (Canada), COSCA (USA), SAHC (Australia) and our Chief represents us on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (Scotland)

The Society

The efforts of our Society are based on the hard work and time consuming efforts to follow the official and legal routes to have our Chief and our clan recognised in Scots law for the benefit of all, not simply the few. We chose to take this path in order to ensure long lasting credibility and sustainability for the name Carruthers in Scottish clan culture, wherever it is celebrated worldwide.

Any publication we produce is based solely on current evidence and proven facts. It is after all our Name, our history and our heritage that is at stake and therefore we strongly feel that it is worthwhile protecting.

As a Society our aim was to build something long lasting, ensuring both respectability and a positive reputation for our clan and family, for many generations to come and we feel that we have achieved that.

This has all been built on the bedrock that is our Scottish roots, our Scottish culture and our well documented history. As such and under the authority of our hereditary Chief, Peter Carruthers of Holmains we remain the official organisation representing our clan and family worldwide.

With the work successfully in hand, our representation has expanded from Scotland to the four corners of the earth with our Clan Commissioners in place regionally in Africa, Australasia and Oceania, Canada, Europe, UK and the USA, commissioned by the chief himself.  

We therefore hope that you will continue to support our efforts, not only for us as Carruthers but for the pride in our family which we hope will be appreciated for generations of Carruthers to come.

Here is a brief summary of what we have achieved to date.

Arms of Holmains in use as the chiefly arms since before 1672

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 his son, R.C. Reid in the 1920s and 30’s, and further enhanced by information gleaned from current and passed members of our family, action was initiated. 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 and 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.

Official Carruthers Clan/Family Tartan

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, to have his personal arms granted.
  3. Again on the advice of a Scottish historian, and to differentiate our Clan from anyone else, including Bruce, a visual signature in the guise of a ‘Carruthers’ tartan was deemed necessary.
  4. Dr George Carruthers commissioned a design by Brian Wilton MBE, tartan historian and designer to reflect our Reiver past in protecting our family, our homes and our country 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.
  6. The commission to weave was given to the House of Edgar, Perth, Scotland, where it remains to this day.

Clan Badge


  1. Gathering support through on the ground networking, the Facebook group and the webpages, the Clan Carruthers Society International (CCS (I)) was finally fully formed in Jan 2017 and the Carruthers Tartan adopted as the ‘Society’ tartan.
  2. Arms were granted by the Lord Lyon to Dr George Carruthers, Clan Convenor. The first Carruthers armiger since Carruthers of Dormont in 1913.
  3. The CCS(I) web page was launched and David Newton (Carruthers) became 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Membership of the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA) was applied for and after being admitted, the Clan was represented by Dana Caruthers Norton, CCS(I) Vice Convenor.
  8. Dana Caruthers Norton was appointed Senior Clan and Society Genealogist, Gary Carruthers appointed as her deputy, the latter covering Australasia.
  9. 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.
  10. An important marriage contract dated 1762 between John 12th of Holmains and Charlotte Laurie was finally located confirming that succession would be passed through either the male or female lines.
  11. Two petitions, one from James Carruthers and one from Peter Carruthers with their respective evidenced proofs, were presented to the Lord Lyon for his analysis and approval of a confirmation, after over 200 years, of a Carruthers Chief.
  12. 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.
  13. At this point, as stated above there were two challengers for the Chiefship: one from the Cadet line of Dormont, one from the Chiefly line of Holmains.
  14. 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.

Carruthers Chief’s Badge with 3 feathers

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 on the international stage.
  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) and James Andrew Carruthers of Dormont, while the Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers attended both as an observer.
  4. 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.
  5. The Clan Convenor Dr Carruthers, was honoured by being made a Burgess and Freeman of the City of Glasgow
  6. 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.

Carruthers Chief’s small arms

2019: A Chief is Confirmed and Official Recognition.

  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 was confirmed Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers with additaments. The first recognised Chief of Carruthers in over 200 years.
  2. 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.
  3. Clan Convenor Dr George Carruthers was recognised and confirmed by the Clan Chief in his roll.
  4. Both Vice-Convenors were confirmed in their posts by the Clan Convenor.
  5. Process was initiated to change the category of tartan from Personal to Clan/Family.
  6. CCS(I) 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.
  7. Executive Secretary for Australia, Craig Monument (Carruthers), was appointed.
  8. Clan Carruthers and the CCS(I) are recognised as a Society by the Scottish-Australian Heritage Council.
  9. 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.
  10. CCS (I) Executive Secretary, Graham Carruthers was voted onto the Board of CASSOC in Canada as a Director.
  11. 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.
  12. The Chief was also granted his banner and pinsel and a sprig of gorse in flower (Ulex europaeus) was officially recognised and recorded at the Lyon Court as the plant badge of Clan Carruthers.
  13. Clan Carruthers announced it would be in attendance, at the Fergus Scottish Festival, Ontario, Canada , represented by CCS-Canada. (Cancelled due to COVID 19).

Full Arms of the Chief of Carruthers

2019: Moving Forward

  1. Led by William Carruthers, Executive Secretary – CCI-USA, Steve Colburn, yDNA Research Director and Dana Caruthers Norton, interim Clan Commissioner to the USA, 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 Queensland, Australia was to become the latest Carruthers Armiger with arms granted by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh.
  5. Gary Carruthers, Clan Commissioner for the Australia, confirmed in his role by the Chief.
  6. CCS(I)Journal, ‘Promptus et Fidelis’, first issue since our Chief was confirmed is circulated to all society members
  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. MacPhail Kiltmakers in British Columbia, become the first suppliers of Carruthers tartan outside of Scotland.
  12. December 2019, the Clan Carruthers Facebook Page has, from small beginnings, achieved over 3500 engagements in a month, with 72 new members joining.

Official clan Badge and Tartan

2020: Work Continues

  1. January 2020, as there was a new Chief in place adopting an existing registered tartan as his Clan tartan, the Carruthers tartan (STR11700) needed consideration by the Lord Lyon. This was given and subsequently the category and registration was changed from Personal to Clan/Family by the Scottish Register of Tartan to reflect this.
  2. January, Clan Carruthers announced it would be in attendance, at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, North Carolina, represented by CCS-USA. Cancelled due to COVID
  3. February, Liz Monument from Australia, appointed Editor of the Clan Society blog pages.
  4. February, Carruthers Clan Chief: Peter Carruthers of Holmains, is invited to join the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.
  5. February, CCS-Australia, extends its Board to include Australasia and Oceania.
  6. March, CCS-Aus & Oc are accepted as members of SAHC
  7. March, Laurie Carruthers Caron Pasher is appointed as a Clan and Society Genealogist for Canada.
  8. March, CCS-USA is accepted by the IRS for non-profit status in America.
  9. July, Clan Carruthers Society – Canada, attains registration as a Non-Profit organisation in Canada
  10. July, Andrew James Carruthers, Clan Commissioner for Canada, confirmed in his role by the Chief.
  11. July, Liz Monument, Australia, announced as joint Editor of the CCS(I) Journal: Promptus et Fidelis
  12. August, Ian Leslie Hewett Carruthers, Clan Commissioner for the Africa, confirmed in his role by the Chief.
  13. August, Andersons Kiltmakers in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire become suppliers of the official Carruthers tartan.
  14. September, International Executive Council meeting held with the Chief and his heir.
  15. September, interview by the Society Convenor with former Lyon Clerk and current Snawdoun Herald, Mrs Elizabeth Roads.
  16. October 2020, Dr Peter Carruthers of Holmains, elected onto the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs as the hereditary Chief of Carruthers.
  17. Clan Badges redesigned and produced, based on the clan crest of the Chief.
  18. November 2020, Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers FSA Scot, is honoured by an invitation to the Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh, who received their seal of cause in 1484, which he accepted.
  19. November, Harold John Carruthers, accepts role of Clan Historian for Canada.
  20. November 2020, The yDNA research group, along with our clan genealogists conjoin to set up a closely monitored archive of the Carruthers DNA map and Family Tree. This will be based on evidenced documented facts and robust DNA research.
  21. November 2020, Gary Carruthers FSA Scot, Clan Commissioners of Australasia and Oceania, elected into fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for his Carruthers Genealogy work.
  22. November, CCS(I) advised by the author Gordon MacGregor that Carruthers will be included in the Red Book of Scotland, the definitive, evidenced based and well researched academic series of historical and genealogical texts of Scottish Clans and Families. 
  23. December, CCS(I) registered as a Not for Profit Organisation with the HMRC (UK Tax and Customs).

Two reditions of the Chief of Carruthers’ arms

2021: Covid lockdown still in place, but work continues

  1. February, more suppliers offer to sell the official Carruthers tartan in Australia, USA and Scotland
  2. July, as wholesalers the House of Edgar agrees to sell the official Carruthers tartan directly from their own stock. This means that any outlet or kiltmaker can purchase the official tartan from anywhere in the world.
  3. July, USA Kilts agree to list and sell official Carruthers tartan.
  4. December, Lord Lyon issues further guidance on the Succession of Scottish Chiefs of Clans and Families. This clarifies and augments the process and legality of confirming a Scottish chief and prevents any misunderstandings, through accident or design, that may have existed.
Some of the Chiefs at the Inaguration of the Chief of Buchanan 2022. Peter Carruthers of Holmains, Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruther, is in the centre.

2022: Life goes on

  1. January, more retailers such as Scotlandshop begin supplying the Carruthers tartan and items to their customers.
  2. February, meetings in Edinburgh and Dunfermline.
  3. April, the Society supports Mr Tom Moss, Reiver author and historian in his fight against the blatent plagiarism of his works.
  4. April, circulation of Clan information now in excess of 5000 people.
  5. May, discussion with the Chief re upcoming Buchanan Inauguration and Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs meeting.
  6. June, Clan Carruthers Society-Canada gets new Banner.
  7. June, Zelda M Carruthers, member of the Board Committee, passes and is sadly missed.
  8. June, Dr Liz Monument FSA Scot (Australia) added to the Executive Committee as Executive Editor
  9. July, Convenor has repainted Arms by Quentin Peacock
  10. August, after many months, Gary John Carruthers receives his Letters Patent for his arms from the Lord Lyon.
  11. August, COSCA (USA) confirms and supports new guidance on the Succession of Chiefs of Clans and Families.  
  12. September, as members of the Society, Carruthers are listed in ‘Find a Clan’ page on the website of Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA).
  13. September, message from the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs shared at the behest of our chief.
  14. September, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth passes.
  15. September, important update on DNA snp from the Carruthers DNA Director of Research, Steve Colburn.
  16. October, Michael Carruthers, confirmed by the Chief as Commissioner for the United Kingdom.
  17. October, Clan Carruthers Society-UK gets new banner.
  18. October, as special guests of the Buchanan chief, our chief Carruthers of Holmains and his family attend his Inauguration in Stirlingshire, Scotland. (Buchanan was confirmed as Chief in September 2018, the year before our own chief, Peter Carruthers of Holmains).
  19. October, Carruthers of Holmains begins plans for his own inauguration.
  20. November, new Regional Clan Commissioner Certificates designed and await signing by the Chief.

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