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Frequently asked questions

 •Does Carruthers have an official Clan Society?


– Yes, there is a Clan Carruthers Society-International, see the banner above, which holds the society crest and tartan.  They have been working hard in the background, and now after 12 long years, Carruthers has had a Chief confirmed. This ensures that our clan received official recognition. Which has allowed us to take our rightful place alongside other respected and recognised  Scottish Clans.

The CCSI’s purpose is also to work to preserve the history, culture and artifacts of our great family and attend and support gatherings and festivals as members of CASSOC (Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada), COSCA (Council of Scottish Clans and Associations – US) and SAHC (Scottish-Australian Heritage Council) in our regions, as well as here in the UK. It is the only organisation recognised by our Chief to represent our family internationally.

Does the Society function outside of Scotland?

Yes, the Society has had regional groups set up in Australasia & Oceania, Canada, Europe, the UK and the USA since 2017, with assigned representatives of the same.

Does Carruthers have any right to be a clan?

– Yes, but it remains a choice. Some see us as a family, some see us as a clan  but we are all Carruthers. The use of the term clan was interchangeable in regions in Scotland as can be seen by many ancient legal documents. In fact, in the Records of the Carruthers Family, the term clan was used to define us. Of course we were also mentioned as one of the 17 unruly border ‘clannis’ in the 1587 Act of the Scottish parliament, by James VI.

Does Carruthers have a Chief ?

chiefs arms with mantling red and silver 2– In 1548 the Chiefly line of Carruthers of Mouswald died out after Sir Simon Carruthers 10th of Mouswald and 6th Baron, was killed in a border raid. This led to the chiefship being passed to the next senior line of Carruthers of Holmains. As of 1548 John Carruthers 5th of Holmains and 1st Baron became the first Chief from that House.  The line continued until 1809 when, after financial disaster had struck, John Carruthers 12th of Holmains and 8th Baron died.  The chiefship of Carruthers went into abeyance. However, thanks to the efforts of the society, the senior existing descendant of John the 12th was found. On the 19th of August, 2019, Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains, was recognised as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers.

Couldn’t we have just picked or elected someone to be Chief?

– No, it isn’t that simple, there are legal requirements to follow. Being a Chief of a Scottish Clan is a legal entity in Scottish law and by their existence, makes the clan into a ‘Noble Incorporation’. As there were evidenced seniors of the family, we knew at an early stage in our investigations and research that simply electing a chief would not offer our family the credibility and recognition it deserved. If there had have been no one genealogically eligible to be chief, holding elections would lead to a Commander, not a chief. This process of derbhfine, also falls under the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon. Therefore for Carruthers, it simply wasn’t an option.

Does the Lord Lyon play a role?

– Yes, he does in Scotland, the country of our birthright and heritage, The Lyon is the only entity anywhere who has the legal right, on behalf of the British monarch and only after due diligence, to confirm an individuals right to bear the Chiefs Arms of a clan or family.

Does he have jurisdiction outside of Scotland?

The Lyons judgment is recognised by Scots and their descendants world wide. The process of the Lyon Court is robust and is designed to rule our fraudulent claims and charlatans. For that reason his jurisdiction, albeit within Scotland, stretches internationally by all those who embrace and retain pride in the Scottish heritage, culture and history and enjoy celebrating the same.

Interestingly, his judgments are followed anywhere there are patented heralds from the British Monarch; Ireland, England and Canada and also and just as importantly, by the main Scottish and Caledonian societies in Canada (CASSOC), the US (COSCA) and Australia (SAHC).

Carruthers has worn the Bruce tartan for years, can we claim it as our own?

– No. All Bruce tartans, which includes the thread count, colours and sett are legally registered to that family. Any claims otherwise may be challenged and at the very least are disrespectful and at worst could even be deemed fraudulent.

Did Carruthers ever have its own tartan.

– Not that we are aware of. Our family were Reivers and as such wore trousers and not kilts.

Family assigned tartan, to include highland clans  were, according to the majority of experts, a Victorian construct. Until that point any tartan would have been regional rather than family,  and dependent on the weavers chosen pattern.

Does Carruthers have their own tartan?

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– Yes, we have two, they were registered in Scotland in 2017 with the Scottish Tartan Register. The red Carruthers as above,  is the Clan Tartan authorised by the Chief, and there is a Blue, which is the private tartan of the Society Convenor.

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