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Another link has been added which may be of value to those seeking clarity regarding some Scottish place names and terms.

I have included a few below as an indication of what one might find useful.

Go to Links on the website Header.

Run rig

Run rig, or runrig, also known as rig-a-rendal, was a system of land tenure practised in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and islands. It was used on open fields for arable farming. Strips of land allocated to tenants.


Crofting is a traditional social system in Scotland defined by small-scale food production. Crofting is characterised by its common working communities, or “townships”. Individual crofts are typically established on 2–5 hectares (5–12 1⁄2 acres)  for better quality forage, arable and vegetable production. Each township manages poorer-quality hill ground as common grazing for cattle and sheep.

Highland Clearances

The Highland Clearances were the evictions of a significant number of tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in the period 1750-1860.

Factor: In Scotland a factor (or property manager) is a person or firm charged with superintending or managing properties and estates—sometimes where the owner or landlord is unable to or uninterested in attending to such details personally, or in tenements in which several owners of individual flats contribute to the factoring of communal areas.


A person who holds a lease and sublets land to others. (Tacksmen were found mostly in the highlands from the 17th century, and were often a close relative of the chief. Although some of them farmed the land themselves, most lived off the difference between the low rent they paid to the chief and the rents they charged to sublet the land.


The term for a peasant farmer. They occupied cottages and cultivated small land lots.

Highland Cottars (including on the islands, such as Mull) were affected by the Industrial Revolution. Landowners realized that they could make more money from sheep, whose wool was spun and processed into textiles for export, than crops. The landowners raised rents to unaffordable prices, or forcibly evicted entire villages. This resulted in the mass exodus of peasants and cotters, leading to an influx of former cotters into industrial centers, such as a burgeoning Glasgow.

The Statutes of Iona

Passed in Scotland in 1609, required that Highland Scottish clan chiefs send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. As a result, some clans, such as the MacDonalds of Sleat and the MacLeods of Harris, adopted the new religion. Other Clans, notably the MacLeans of Morvern & Mull, MacDonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, Glengarry, and Glencoe, remained resolutely Roman Catholic.


Often mistakenly called “plaid” (particularly in the United States), but in Scotland, a plaid is a large piece of tartan cloth, worn as a type of kilt or large shawl. The term plaid is also used in Scotland for an ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.

The Dress Act of 1746 attempted to bring the warrior clans under government control by banning the tartan and other aspects of Gaelic culture. When the law was repealed in 1782, it was no longer ordinary Highland dress, but was adopted instead as the symbolic national dress of Scotland.

Declaration of Arbroath

The name usually given to a letter, dated 6 April 1320 at Arbroath, written by Scottish barons and addressed to Pope John XXII. It constituted King Robert I’s response to his excommunication for disobeying the pope’s demand in 1317 for a truce in the First War of Scottish Independence. The letter asserted the antiquity of the independence of the Kingdom of Scotland, denouncing English attempts to subjugate it.

Generally believed to have been written in Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning (or of Linton), then Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, and sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles, the letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I, and a letter from four Scottish bishops which all made similar points. The Declaration was intended to assert Scotland’s status as an independent, sovereign state and defend Scotland’s right to use military action when unjustly attacked.

“As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”


Landless farm labourer or servant. Rustic.

Authority of the clans (the dùthchas and the oighreachd)

Scottish clanship contained two complementary but distinct concepts of heritage. These were firstly the collective heritage of the clan, known as their dùthchas, which was their prescriptive right to settle in the territories in which the chiefs and leading gentry of the clan customarily provided protection.[14] This concept was where all clansmen recognised the personal authority of the chiefs and leading gentry as trustees for their clan.[14] The second concept was the wider acceptance of the granting of charters by the Crown and other powerful land owners to the chiefs, chieftains and lairds which defined the estate settled by their clan.[14] This was known as their oighreachd and gave a different emphasis to the clan chief’s authority in that it gave the authority to the chiefs and leading gentry as landed proprietors, who owned the land in their own right, rather than just as trustees for the clan.[14] From the beginning of Scottish clanship, the clan warrior elite, who were known as the ‘fine’, strove to be landowners as well as territorial war lords.[14]


In reference to the history of Scotland, a township is often called a toun (the Lowland Scots word for a township), although before the Anglic language Scots became widespread in Scotland the word baile was more commonly used.

(Bhaile) a town, village, hamlet, township or homestead. [Gaelic]


You will notice a change in the layout and options in our Cameron Genealogies site due to The Next Generation software update that powers our Cameron genealogies database.

Family Charts and Group Sheets have embellished images and layout for example, and a PDF of the display can be downloaded.





Clan Cameron NSW Inc. is fortunate to have genealogist Dr Robert Cameron continuing his work managing and updating the data base for the benefit of all Camerons not only in Australia, but across the world.

The continued operation of the website and related genealogy database software is funded by the members of Clan Cameron NSW Inc.

Your donation to help maintain this site, which comes at a cost to the members of Clan Cameron NSW Inc., is welcome. The Donation Button can be found on the website Home Page.

We thank the following who have enabled the association to manage and update the site and the genealogies database, which is not without complications, with considerable time and expertise donated by Hawkesbury Websites and Darrin Lythgoe, TNG, updating our database at a very reasonable cost to the association.


Thank you to all Clan Cameron NSW members who have continued their membership of the association and supported our work promoting and sustaining our proud Cameron traditions and activities in Australia.

Your membership also assists the continuation of this website.

Donations, regardless of the amount, are also welcome.

NSW Annual Subscription Renewals 2020/21 are due by 30 September 2020.

Membership Renewals can be paid by either Direct Deposit or by Cheque or by the online Annual Recurring Membership Subscription via the links on this website.

Applications for membership of Clan Cameron NSW Inc. are also welcome from new members who can trace their ancestry to Clan Cameron or who are connected to the clan through marriage or partnership or who are from a family accepted as a Sept of clan Cameron.

The Application for Membership can be found via the Clan Business and Membership portal on the website home page or in the following download.

We look forward to continuing to promote the unity and welfare of members of Clan Cameron New South Wales Inc. and to ensure a growing and active membership of the Clan Cameron association in our state and across Australia.

The Scottish Highland Clans: Origins, Decline and Transformation

University of Glasgow



Discover the important history of the Highland clans

The Highland, Gaelic speaking clans are a vital part of Scotland’s history. They also shape how the world imagines Scotland today.

This course uses the expertise of University of Glasgow academics to explain the structure, economy and culture of the clans. It covers the centuries between the fall of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in 1493 until around 1800, when the clans dissolved away as a result of social economic change. It then discusses how the legacies of clanship shaped global images of Scotland up until the present.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1: Defining the Clans: Meet the chiefs and the clan gentry. See how different forms of family, kinship and strong links to land helped bind a clan together. Learn about the ‘professional clans’, those families who provided bards, doctors and judges for Scottish Gaelic society. Explore how archaeology and history can help explain the castles, churches, defensive sites and overall function of the clans.
  • Week 2: Clan Society and Culture: Explore daily life for ordinary people living under the authority of the chiefs. Using the case study of the Macgregors and Campbell, learn why and how clans feuded, and what made the Scottish Crown seek to ‘civilise’ the Highlands? Learn about Gaelic musical culture, poetry and dress. Discover how clan involvement in the religious and civil wars of the seventeenth century was high profile and traumatic. Lastly, consider how new cultural and social-economic changes resulted in a slow decline of the clans as a form of community.
  • Week 3: Decline and Transformation: Assess the debates around clan involvement in the Jacobite risings between 1689 and 1746. Discover the latest thinking on the Battle of Culloden and the ‘Clearances’. Finally, appreciate how the literature of Walter Scott, the romantic poets, as well as Highland Games, theatre and film reinvented the clans as a romantic Scottish and global emblem.

This free 3 week online course is readily accessible and free by accessing the following link:

Clan Cameron NSW Vice-President John Cameron and wife Lynne and the writer have accessed this course and we have found it very informative.

Parts can be skimmed over if needed.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Learn at Home initiative

Historic Environment Scotland has launched free online learning resources to help support home educators and learners during the Coronavirus lockdown.

While seemingly mainly aimed at young people and educators there is something here for everyone interested in bettering their knowledge and understanding of things Scottish I believe.

The Learn at Home resource areas are:

  1. Welcome
  2. Gaelic
  3. Play
  4. Make and Create
  5. Draw and Colour
  6. Explore
  7. Investigate
  8. Educators’ Area

While primarily aimed at educators and young people I’m sure that you will find something of interest here. After all, we all probably aim to be better educated at whatever level!

Access to SCRAN (Learning Culture Heritage) is also free until 31 July but I didn’t find this all that useful or easy to access.

SCRAN is a volunteer organisation that aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing Scottish culture and history.



A sobering photograph doing the rounds on social media is serving as a stark reminder of how devastating the Great War was for Scots regiments sent to fight in France and Belgium.

First photo shows the Cameron Highlanders at Edinburgh Castle on August 12, 1914 before leaving for France.


The second photo allegedly shows the same battalion at Edinburgh Castle in 1918 after the war or depending on the source, in 1918 after the armistice, however this photo has been photoshopped, but this photo conveys a telling story.

The first photo is apparently printed in Dugald MacEchern, The Sword of the North: Highland Memories of the Great War (1923) p.150: captioned as taken on 12.8.1914, the day they started for France. Officers are named. There is no corresponding post-war photo of the 1st Battalion in the book.

MacEchern writes that by Christmas 1914 only one officer and 27 men remained “unscathed” – possibly including those wounded as well as killed. In the first photo we can see 27 officers and about 1,000 soldiers.

Apparently the original photo was from the Kildonan Museum on South Uist and was part of an exhibit which states: “The 1st Camerons sustained heavy losses in the early months of the war with the result that by Christmas 1914, all but one officer and 27 men were killed or wounded of the 27 officers and 1,000 men whose tartan had swung down the Lawnmarket from Edinburgh Castle on 12 August.”

The second photoshopped picture is accurate in that it shows 27 soldiers and the one “unscathed” officer. Perhaps it was created as a representation of the devastating losses of the battalion.