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Exploring clan history in the Scottish Highlands

Date published: 22/3/2024

Clan history in the Highlands

Have you ever wondered where your Scottish surname comes from, the history of clans in Scotland or tracing your Scottish heritage? Get ready to find out about clan history with a wealth of Scottish ancestry waiting to be discovered in and around Eagle Brae.

The history of Scottish clans

In Gaelic, “clan” means family or children. But not everyone in the same clan was related. Clans were more like extended communities bound by shared ancestry, traditions and territories. Cattle were their main source of wealth and disputes over land and resources often fueled inter-clan conflicts. Clan chiefs had significant power, acting as part kings, protectors and judges over their territories.

The roots of the clan system in Scotland stretch back to ancient times, blending Celtic, Norse and Norman-French influences. By the 13th century, clans had firmly established themselves in the Scottish Highlands. They played a pivotal role in Scotland’s history, both in times of peace and war.

The Battle of Culloden in 1746 marked a turning point for Scottish clans. The royal troops brutally suppressed the Jacobite rebellion, which led to the decline of the clan system. Improved trade and communication links had already begun to erode traditional clan structures and the Highland Clearances accelerated this process. Thousands of people were evicted from their land with many forced to emigrate.

Handmade welcome plaques for sale with various clans and their tartans. Ciaid Mile Failte means welcome in Gaelic
Each clan name has its own tartan.

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is a 50-minute drive from Eagle Brae and is a reminder of Scotland’s tumultuous past. In 1746, the battle of the Jacobite uprising took place at this historic site, sealing the fate of the clans. Today when you walk around the battlefield, it feels like you’re stepping back in time. There’s a huge memorial cairn and you can learn about what happened during the battle. It’s a chance to understand the past and feel close to the history of your Scottish ancestors. 

Culloden Moor was the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 near Inverness
Culloden Moor is the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 near Inverness

Clans today

Despite the changes brought by history, many clans still maintain a strong presence in Scotland. The areas around Eagle Brae have ties to names like Fraser, Chisholm, Grant, Campbell and MacIntosh. Each clan name has its unique history and heritage. For those with Scottish ancestry, visiting their clan’s homeland can be a deeply meaningful experience, connecting them to their roots.

Eagle Brae serves as an ideal base point for researching your Scottish ancestry. Guided clan tours are available from Inverness with visits to historic sites and connecting with fellow descendants. Whether you’re tracing your lineage or simply curious about Scotland’s past, exploring the clans while staying at Eagle Brae promises an unforgettable experience.

Scottish watch with chain and cufflinks with thistle design on tartan background.
Discover your clan’s history when staying at Eagle Brae in the Scottish Highlands.

So, why not go on a trip to the Scottish Highlands and find out more about your family roots in this land of clans? Eagle Brae is the best spot to stay if you’re into discovering your Scottish ancestry or just love Scottish history. When you’re finished exploring, your luxury log cabin will be waiting for you. Sit back, relax and relive the adventures of the day.

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