What is a Clan?
The word ‘clan’ derives from the Gaelic word ‘clann’ or ‘clanna’ for children, and describes a close-knit group of relatives. However, you didn’t need to be related to the clan chief to be considered a part of the clan. Anyone who pledged their allegiance to the chief could use the clan name as their own, and this included those who worked for the clan or needed protection. When surnames came into use in the 16th and 17th centuries, many took their clan leader’s name as their own.
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