Believed to have been derived from the Brythonic word ‘irafon’ meaning ‘green water’, the first lands bearing the name of Irvine appear to have been in Dumfriesshire.
The clan would eventually move to their traditional home in Aberdeenshire after being rewarded following a close friendship with the Bruce family that culminated in William de Irwyn becoming the armour bearer and secretary to Robert the Bruce for 20 years.
It was after this 20-year period that King Robert rewarded the family with the Royal forest of Drum – the place where they would build their traditional clan seat at Drum Castle and from where they would often be involved in feuds with their rival clan, the Keiths.
Despite being attacked twice during the civil war in the 17th century, Drum Castle still stands today and was in possession of the family until 1975 when it was handed over to the National Trust.
The current Innes Clan Chief is Alexander Irvine of Drum, 27th Baron of Drum.