An introduction to… Clan Moffat

22 August 2020
Discover more about Clan Moffat with this introduction from Clan Chief Madam Jean Moffat of that Ilk.
FROM THE CLAN CHIEF: Madam Jean Moffat of that Ilk

Welcome to Clan Moffat

You may be connected to a wide variety of family names, be it Moffat, Moffet, Moffatt, Moffit, Muffet, Morphit, Mufet or Movet, sharing a common family history of which we are proud.

Our Clan’s origins are from one of the oldest families in Dumfriesshire, and Moffats have played a significant part of Scottish history, a Mufet being Bishop of Glasgow in 1268, and significant supporters of both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

Moffat family supplied forty of the skilled riders making up the 500 strong Scottish light cavalry commanded by Sir Robert Keith at the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, when a 20,000 strong English army under Edward II was defeated by a Scots army less than half this strength.

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Largely as a result of the murder of Clan Chief, Robert Moffat in 1557 the fortunes of the Clan declined, and in the 17th Century their lands fell into the hands of other Clans, and by 1672 the last Laird of Altoun was displaced and the Clan was ‘broken’ for over three centuries.

The Clan was revived and became one of the fastest growing clans in Scotland, largely thanks to my father Francis Moffat, who through 35 years of family history research was able to establish descent from the Moffat who was Feuar of Grantoun in 1342.  He was recognised as hereditary Clan Chief and as Moffat of that Ilk by the Lord Lyon in 1983, confirming to him the undifferenced Arms of Moffat and himself and his heirs as Chiefs of the Family of Moffat. On my father’s passing I was proud to inherit this historic role.

Many Moffats still remain in the Borders, whilst others sought to seek new lives elsewhere. Some achieved international renown in a diverse number of fields:

  • James Moffat, who translated the Bible into modern English
  • Robert Moffat, missionary, explorer and father-in-law of David Livingstone
  • Martin Moffat who won the Victoria Cross for gallantry in action on the Western Front in 1918
  • Billie Jean Moffat (King) who won 20 titles at Wimbledon
  • Steven Moffat, comedy/ drama writer
  • Scarlett Moffatt, television personality/ presenter

In 2020, Covid-19 has had a effect on our planned activities in Moffat for our annual Gathering particularly as we were welcoming members of the American Clan Moffat Society. However we still live out our motto of…

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‘Spero Meliora’ – ‘I Hope for Better Things’!

A little more about Clan Moffat…

There is an annual gathering in the town of Moffat of the Clan Moffat which is held over several days, where organised trips, guest speakers, community events, annual dinner and more formal meetings are held, and an opportunity to also meet with the Clan Chief. Every five years there is a gathering of the UK and US Clans.

Our Journal Moffatalia is produced for our members twice yearly in April and October. This keeps members informed of forthcoming events, there are articles on family histories, places of interest, updates from overseas and many items of interest.

The Clan’s website has recently been redesigned and we are actively uploading more items on to it. Our website address is

We have a Clan Genealogist, Colin Moffat who has created an extensive database of our Moffat ancestors which can be accessed via our website. Colin has many years of experience of helping people unravel and discover their family trees.

We are also subscribers to FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) who analyse autosomal DNA, YDNA and microchrondrial DNA to help individuals for genealogical purposes. 

Our Clan Piper is James Moffat, who attends all our gatherings and also has extensive experience working with other bands across the country.

For further information and all enquiries please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Join the virtual gathering

Find out more about Clan Moffat, meet members, view photos, messages and more! Join the fun with the Clan Moffat Virtual Gathering page…