Welcome and thank you for visiting the Gathering of the Clans. Our goal is to act as a single point of reference for information about Scottish Clans, culture, history and events. But at this time, we cannot answer individual questions about family or personal genealogy.

Getting Started

I get about 300 emails a day - and many of them go like this:

My name is Jane Smith and I'm looking for information about my grandfather William Henry Smith who was born somewhere in Scotland around the late 1800's and came to Boston, then moved to Texas.
Can you help me?
So it seems like a good time to provide some help in getting started.
  1. Use the Clan Finder (

    Type the surname you're searching for in the little box. And if it shows up in the list below, it will be associated with a Clan.

    Here's the result for Smith:

    Surname          Clan*
    SMITH (1)       SMITH
    SMITH (2)       MACFARLANE
    SMITH (3)       MACPHERSON
    SMITH (4)       CHATTAN

    In this case, there are four associated Clans. Click on any of the Clan names - and you will be taken to that Clan area.

    Spelling is less important than sound. People 100 or more years ago weren't as fanatical about spelling as we are today. Also, don't be surprised if the name you're searching isn't associated with a Clan. The majority of Scottish surnames are NOT associated with a Clan.

  2. Follow up with the Clan areas

    They individual Clan areas are all organized in the same way: general information on the main page and links to Scots on the Net, Clan Contacts and Clan Message Board.

    If you're in the Clan Smith area, you'll see Smiths on the Net, Clan Smith Contacts and Clan Smith Message Board.

  3. Visit our Genealogy Section (http://www.tartans.com/genalogy.htm)

    There are useful articles here for the beginner. Read them.

    This section also contains a link to Your Ancestors - a directory of individual ancestors that other people are researching. Look through it. You might discover someone else is doing or has already done the same research as you.

    If you need the services of a professional genealogist, you'll find information under Ancestral Research. We spent nearly two years looking for a research company we could recommend. And while most people balk at the thought of paying for this sort of work, those who do quickly realize how valuable a service it is. Including the ten per cent or so who discover that because of the lack of adequate records, they are wasting their time. (And yes, we refund the unused portion of their payments.) Cheers,
    George Butters
    The Gathering of the Clans

    PS - The chances that I have personal knowledge of your ancestors is extremely remote.

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Attention visitors: Tartans.com is back. Please note that this is a snapshot of the site as it existed nearly 20 years ago and you may encounter broken links; we are still combing through the site and correcting those as we find them. Please also note that some sections are currently not functional, primarily the discussion forums/clan chat boards.

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