Clan Scott Society
SOME COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE IN SCOTLAND WAS THE CLAN ORIGINALLY LOCATED?
Originally, the Scotts were located in the Borders region of Scotland in the middle and eastern Marches areas of West Teviotdale, Ewesdale, Eskdale, and Liddesdale, around the towns of Hawick, Selkirk, and Melrose in the district of Roxburghshire. The heart of the Clan area was at Bellendaine, a meeting place for the Scotts. There have been major migrations of Scotts from this area to areas throughout the former British Empire for centuries.

ARE THE SCOTTS HIGHLANDERS OR LOWLANDERS?
While the Borders region is located in the Lowlands of Scotland, families from this particular area prefer the distinction of being known as Borderers rather than the term Lowlander.

ARE THE SCOTTS A CLAN OR A FAMILY?
The Scotts were one of the six major riding Clans of Scotland, and "one of the most powerful families in the entire Borders, active as both reivers and officers" reaching their peak in the 16th century. Border clans are more like loose family associations than those from the Scottish Highlands. Nevertheless, our Chief stresses that feelings of kinsman ship and family ties are no less strong than those of the Highland groups.

WHAT DOES THE NAME SCOTT MEAN?
There are many answers. Early sources indicate a Gaelic origin; A geographic description designating one from Scotland; The earlier race of 2nd century invaders from Ireland called Scoti; Blue Men B One who colors the body blue (with tattoos); Another meaning is "one not from here." Early records spell only one t; use of a second t became common in the 17th century to distinguish a member of the Scott family from "one from Scotland." It is said that Clan Scott lent its name to the sovereign country.

WHO DID THE ORIGINAL SCOTTS SUPPORT AND WHO WERE THEIR ENEMIES?
The history of border warfare is very complex. They fought at Flodden with King James IV. Many families or clans shifted alliances to benefit their needs and our ancestors were no different. The most notable episodes for Scott feuds occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries with the Kerrs, Elliotts, Charltons, and others. George MacDonald Fraser's book The Steel Bonnets describes this era and is a good source to learn about the way of life in these times in the Borders.

DOES THE CLAN HAVE SEPTS?
There are normally a few septs for any clan. Clan Scott is a Border clan and generally refers to these as associated families. Historically, the Laidlaw, Langlands, Geddes, and Napier families, with varied spellings, have long-standing relationships and are listed as septs of Clan Scott although Napier is clan in its own right. Additionally, there are other family place names such as Harden, Balwearie, Raeburn, and, of course, Buccleuch which have been substituted for the Scott surname. In Scotland, a person may have been known as William Scott of Harden to distinguish him from William Scott of Buccleuch. Once the individual left his homeland, he may have become known as William Harden. We have several members with related surnames such as Harden or Buckalew.

Clan Scott Badge - Stag surrounded by a belt embazoned with the motto Amo WHAT DOES THE CLAN BADGE MEAN?
This is not a coat of arms.  Coats of Arms in Scotland are registered to individuals, not families.  This badge signifies allegiance to the Chief.  The Scott clansman's badge bears the crest and motto of the clan chief's coat of arms:  a Stag Trippant, encircled in a leather strap inscribed with the chief's motto “Amo” meaning “I Love” - ironically, a somewhat romantic motto for a strong feudal border clan.  Another interpretation is that “Amo” is a Scots word meaning among or  in the middle.  This theory is supported by the history of the Scott family's dominance of the Middle March of the Borders of Scotland.

WHO IS THE CHIEF OF CLAN SCOTT?
The Clan Chief of the name Scott as recognized by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms in Scotland, is his Grace, The Duke of Buccleuch, who resides at his borders home, Bowhill, near Selkirk, Scotland.

AM I ELIGIBLE TO BECOME A MEMBER AND HOW DO I JOIN?
Membership is open to anyone over age 18 who shares an interest in the heritage of the Scotts, associated families, and the Scottish borders region. To join, simply complete the application form and submit it together with the appropriate dues to: Membership Secretary, Clan Scott Society, PO Box 13021, Austin, TX 78711-3021. An online application with payment by credit or debit card may be made on our website. Questions? Please send an email to: Membership Secretary.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY FAMILY HISTORY?
The best sources are your own relatives. Question older members of your own family and start collecting information. Try to locate family bibles, obituaries, wills, birth, baptismal and death certificates. Visit local courthouses and search records in the clerk's offices, state, and federal archives offices. Another source of information may be our own Clan Genealogist and Genealogy Committee.  The Clan Scott Society also sponsors email inquiry distribution lists for the surnames  Scott, Laidlaw, Langlands, Harden, Buckalew, Bucklew, Buccleuch, and Balwearie (and their spelling variations) through the RootsWeb.com, a free user-supported subsiduary of Ancestry.com. Please contact our list administrator for more information on how to subscribe to these free surname genealogy inquiry email distribution lists.

WHERE CAN I BUY CLAN SCOTT MERCHANDISE?
Most Scottish Games and Festivals throughout the country have vendor tents which contain merchandise for all clans.  Clan Scott's web site also lists some vendor's web sites.  Other vendors run advertisements in Scottish community publications.  Members may purchase some Scott-related merchandise at a discount from specific vendors.
Scott Red Tartan
IS THERE A CLAN SCOTT TARTAN?
Yes.  Actually there are at least eleven Scott tartans listed by The Scottish Tartans Society of Comrie Perthshire.  The most typical are “Green Scott,” “Red Scott,” and “Brown Scott.”  Many are a similar sett or pattern, only different colors.  Clan Scott Society members have access in the Members Only portion of this website to a complete list of Scott and Scott related tartans complete with illustrations of each tartan.

ARE THERE OTHER CLAN SCOTT ORGANIZATIONS?
The Clan Scott Society, formerly known as Clan Scott, USA, was organized in 1971 and includes members primarily in the United States and Canada, but there are members in other parts of the world, too. The Society was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1981 later re-incorporated in Georgia in 2000 and is the oldest and largest recognized Scott surname organization. An independent organization was established in 1996 in the southern hemisphere, the Clan Scott Association of Australasia. The titular head of these organizations is the Chief, His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch KBE, FRSE.

ARE THERE OTHER CLAN SCOTT ORGANIZATIONS?
The Clan Scott Society, formerly known as Clan Scott, USA, was originally organized in 1971 and includes members primarily in the United States and Canada, but there are members in other parts of the world, too. The Society was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1981, later re-incorporated in Georgia in 2000 and is the oldest and largest recognized Scott surname organization. An independent organization was established in 1996 in the southern hemisphere, the Clan Scott Association of Australasia. The head of these organizations is the Chief, His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch KBE, FRSE.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF CLAN SCOTT?
The Scotts of Buccleuch is the primary family, but as the Clan grew and prospered, the family spread out and other branches came to be known by the location of their principal homes. Thus there are Scotts of Harden, Scotts of Balwearie, Scotts of Raeburn, Scotts of Thirlestane, Scotts of Tynedale, Scotts of Ancrum, Scotts of Synton, and Scotts of Scotstarvet, Goudilands, Gala, Melby, Malleny, Dunninald, and many more. There are also branches of the Scott family to be found in Ireland and England.

IS THERE A CONNECTION TO SIR WALTER SCOTT?
Sir Walter, novelist and historian, born to the Borders family Scott of Harden in 1771, did more to give Scots (one t) a national identity than any other and is largely responsible for the survival and popularization of Scottish culture in modern times. His home was in the Borders at Abbottsford and he claimed the 5th Duke of Buccleuch as his Clan Chief and patron. Clan Scott is dedicated to elevating his recognition in the Scottish community.

ARE HIGHLAND GAMES HELD IN THE BORDERS?
Border festivals and gatherings are more commonly known as "Common Ridings" and more accurately portray the historical character of the local region.

WHAT ARE THE CLAN SLOGANS?
"A Bellendaine" (meaning "to Bellendaine") is the rallying or war cry of the Scotts. Other associated sayings include "There'll be moonlight again!" The cry "The Scotts are Out!" struck terror in the hearts of Englishmen.

IS THERE A CLAN SONG?
Many famous border ballads have been set to popular music. Lady Buccleuch, wife of an earlier Chief, wrote the words to the most popular version of Loch Lomond. Another song about the Scotts is the old ballad included in Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border entitled Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead or Telfer's Cows, which describes the death of the Duke of Buccleuch's ancestor while retrieving stolen cattle.

DOES THE CLAN SCOTT SOCIETY HAVE A WEB SITE?
We sure do and you're there!  Pay us a return visit at www.ClanScottSociety.organd find out the latest on our activities and find links to other sites in the Scottish community and resources for heritage and genealogical research.  If you wish, you can also print out an application to mail with your dues or join online using your debit or credit card.


Return to the Clan Scott Society Home Page
To report broken links or suggest new links, please contact the Webmaster

Last updated 28April2011  dms, (c) 2000-2011 Clan Scott Society, Inc.