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In the context of Scottish clans, septs are families that followed another family's chief. These smaller septs would then comprise, and be part of, the chief's larger clan. A sept might follow another chief if two families were linked through marriage; or, if a family lived on the land of a powerful laird, they would follow him whether they were related or not.

The variety of surnames within a Scottish clan do not represent separate and definable sub-clans but instead reflect the vagaries of transition of the Gaels into the English naming system as well as marriages, migrations and occupations. The main family itself may have developed a variety of surnames.

We do not have a record of any clans associated with the surname "generic". Here are a few suggestions:

  • People write down what they hear, and that makes the spelling vulnerable to the speaker's accent. Many names were changed during immigration, and they are also subject to regional tendencies in spelling. Standardization in spelling is actually fairly recent. The sound of the name is more important than the spelling. Try searching for similar-sounding names.
  • Search for a clan which is connected to your maternal or any other of your family lines.

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