07 August 2017
The Clan Matheson UK Society is part of an international network of Matheson clan societies which welcome those with the surname Matheson, Mathieson, Mathison and variants.
The international Clan Matheson Society, of which the UK branch is a member, links clan members through their own social events, newsletters and websites, as well as bringing together Mathesons around the world, and exploring the history of the Matheson clan.
Origins of the Matheson Clan
The clan has an 800-year history and the first Mathesons established their base at Lochalsh in Wester Ross (Highlands) at the head of Loch Achaidh na h-Inich, where the remains of a fort can still be seen.
The name Matheson comes from the Gaelic word Mac Mathan meaning ‘son of the bear’.One of the earliest recorded Mathesons is Kenneth MacMathan, traditionally Constable of Eilean Donan Castle, is recorded in the Chamberlain Rolls and the Norse account of the expedition of King Haakon IV against Scotland in 1263, which culminated in his defeat at Largs.
There are three main clan emblems: The chief’s crest – a hand holding a scimitar, emerging from a crown; the clansman’s badge, which carries the Chief's motto or slogan "Fac et Spera" (Do and Hope); and the chief’s coat of arms, which comprises a red and black shield with a gold lion, supported by two brown bears each with a gold crown around its neck, topped by a helmet on which sits the crest.
How to join the Clan Matheson Society
Nowadays, descendants of Lochalsh and Sutherland (Shiness) Mathesons live in many overseas countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and the U.S.A.
New members are welcome and you can find out more about joining the society on its website where you can find contact details for each of the five branches, including the UK . As well as running their own events and keeping in contact with their own communities, each branch of the Society takes every opportunity they can to get together, with international clan gatherings held roughly every five years.
The Society also has a genealogy team, which is currently compiling records of the various Matheson branches and surnames. There is also an ongoing DNA project.
(Eilean Donan Castle image copyright Bigar)