We've condensed much of the information down into popular topics, making it easier to find what you are looking for, without having to hunt through several pages. If you still can't find what you need or wish to know more, then contact us for further details.
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Alexander Fergus Matheson of Matheson, 8th Baronet of Lochalsh and 28th Chief of the Clan, succeeded to the baronetcy and to the chiefship on the death of his father on 27th January 2017. He was born on 26th August 1954, the only son of Major Sir Fergus and The Hon Lady Matheson. His father had succeeded in 1993, following his elder brother, Torquhil, who in 1975 had succeeded to the chiefship by tanistry on the death of Colonel Bertram Matheson of Matheson MC, 25th Chief and last of the Bennetsfield branch of the Clan.
Sir Alexander was born at Birdsall in Yorkshire, the home of his mother's family. He was educated at Sunningdale School, Eton College and Durham University. He followed his father, grandfather, three uncles, three first cousins and both godfathers into the Coldstream Guards in which he served as a regular officer from 1973 - 2001, seeing service in England, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, The Gambia, Belize, France, Germany and Hungary. From 2001 - 2005 he was the Executive Director of the British Schools Exploring Society, and from 2005 - 2014 he was Secretary, Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at St James's Palace, being appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 2013. Since 2015 he has been a Gentleman Usher to HM The Queen.
In 1983 he married Katharine, only daughter of Sir Michael Oswald GCVO and The Lady Angela Oswald CVO. Katharine has been a lecturer at law since 1987. They divide their time unequally between Berkshire and the Isle of Skye, and have three children: Andrew, Archie and Louisa.
If you would like the contact details of officers specific to a branch of the Society, e.g. the Chief's Lieutenant for the Australian branch, the Hon. Secretary for the New Zealand branch, or the Hon. Secretary for the UK branch, then please select the "Branches" option on the main menu, and choose the appropriate branch for further information.
To join the Society, you need to contact your nearest global branch, where the relevant officer or secretary will be able to provide you with further instructions.
Each branch has its own overheads and costs, so fees may well vary from one to another. Please contact your nearest global branch for further details.
If you would like to become involved in the Clan DNA Project, please see the "Genealogy" topic elsewhere on this page where there is a lot of useful information. As noted there, we are unable at the moment to provide clear advice on the best choice of test.
Each branch publishes details of forthcoming events on its own website, or you can contact your branch directly for further information. International gatherings are usually well publicised and will also be featured on this, the main international site.
The Clan Society Newsletter is published annually, and some branches may issue their own Branch Newsletters on a more regular basis. Clan Newsletters are only available to paid-up members of their Branch. To obtain a copy of current or past editions, please contact your Branch Secretary.
This is a three-part downloadable PDF document, available to existing paid up members of the Society. Prepared over several months, following painstaking research by John Faid (Clan Genealogist), it represents the three historic Matheson chiefly lines.
To obtain a copy, please contact your branch secretary, who can email you the relevant files as an attachment. It is recommended that you print out all three parts, in order to view the genealogical structure correctly.
The septs of Clan Matheson are MacMath, MacPhun and Mathie.
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In general, you can browse through our website without telling us who you are, or providing us with any information about yourself. However, there are one or two exceptions, such as when you send us an email. In such instances, we only retain the information that's needed, to enable us to provide a service to our members. Any identifying information gathered, is kept in the strictest of confidence and only for as long as it is required. Thereafter it is securely erased.What Happens To Your Information?
If you choose to submit personal information, it is retained by the Society and will only be used to support us in assisting you. We will not add you to any mailing lists or newsletters, and will only contact you if further information is required for us to take care of your needs. We do not share, rent, or sell any personally identifying information provided through our website (such as your name or email address), to any outside organization for its own marketing purposes.Third Party Links
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We've greatly simplified our site by cutting down on the number of unnecessary pages and incorporating some of those retained within our new multi-topic pages, so that you can now access a wealth of information from just a handful of locations. The site has been re-designed with the objective of making it more of a portal to the global branches and a central point of reference to all. Set out below, is an overview of the layout.Home: Main index page of the website Membership: General information on membership Branches: Links to global branch websites and/or contact details History: Multi-topic page with a wealth of historical information Information: Multi-topic page featuring nine topics
There are three main emblems of the clan. The first is the Chief's Crest. The crest is a hand, holding a scimitar, emerging from a five-pointed crown; the correct heraldic description of this is "issuant from an eastern crown or, a dexter hand holding a scimitar, in fess all proper". The Chief's Crest is the exclusive personal property of the Chief and can solely be used by him. The second is the Clansman's or Clanswoman's Badge. This badge may be worn by the Chief's clansmen or clanswomen and differs from the Chief's Crest, as it is surrounded by a strap and buckle carrying the Chief's motto or slogan "Fac et Spera" (Do and Hope) as shown below. The third is the Chief's Coat Of Arms. Comprised of 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 as described earlier. Beneath the shield is the Chief's other motto or slogan "O'Chian" (meaning "of Old"). The Chief's Coat Of Arms is the exclusive personal property of the Chief, and can solely be used by him.
A tartan is defined not simply by colour, but by the pattern of threads in warp and weft (the sett). The Scottish Tartans Society recognises six Matheson "setts" dating from 1805 to 1977. Of these, the Clan Chief recognises the red dress tartan and the dark green hunting tartan.
The Clan Society aims to build up a history of the Clan and its scattered representatives across the world in three main ways: research of the wider historical record; the Clan DNA project; and research and recording of Clan Society members' own histories, in which your own efforts as a Clan Society member will play a key part, alongside the work of the Clan genealogists. Data from the initial researches included in your original society application form will (unless otherwise indicated) be included in Clan Society records.Members' Further Researches
Once you have joined the society you are encouraged to extend your initial researches and submit further genealogical data for the records, where feasible. The clan genealogists stand ready to help, should you need advice or guidance on how to pursue further enquiries. They will also be pleased to deal with enquiries on the history of the Clan within their own regions. In the first instance however, you are advised to contact the Chief's Lieutenant or Secretary of your regional Branch.Extended Genealogy - Clan Chiefs
If you are an existing member, you can obtain a copy of the 'Extended Genealogy of the Clan Chiefs'. This document, which has been produced by our Clan Genealogist Mr John Faid, is an extensive and meticulously prepared insight into the genealogical structure of the Clan Chiefs and is comprised of three parts. Please refer to the FAQ topic on this page for further details.
Clan Matheson is one of forty-eight Highland clans which are undergoing genetic testing to establish their genealogical roots. We hope that this will allow us to prove or disprove some
of the traditions about clan genealogy. Like the projects looking at some other Highland clans, the Matheson project is finding traces of both Celtic and Norse origins among the people taking part, and is also
revealing other very interesting facts about the Clan. The great benefit of DNA testing is that, even when a family or surname has no recorded genealogy, it is possible for individuals in that group to trace people
with whom they share DNA. This allows them to compare and add to their own knowledge, as well as adding to the Clan's central records. Y-DNA is passed from father to son so genealogical links may be traced back in
time and is used in surname studies, such as the Mathesons. mtDNA is passed along maternal lines and was the first DNA studied for population migration. These studies involve parts of the DNA that are different from
those used for criminal and health purposes. One of the leading Clans in the field of DNA tracing is Clan Donald which, working in cooperation with the MacGregors, gaelic Livingstons and Campbells, has determined the
genealogical signature of Colla Uais, High King of Ireland. Colla Uais' descendants Fergus, Loarn, and Angus (sons of Erc) reestablished the Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada around 465 A.D. Mathesons and Mackenzies are said
to be descendants of Colla Uais through Loarn. Genetic testing of some Mackenzies has confirmed this connection to Colla Uais.
Matheson testing is just beginning and it may be that a connection to Colla Uais can be confirmed here, as well. Clans are also using genetic testing to help define the different branches of the clan. For instance, through DNA testing, Clan Matheson might be able to determine the genetic signature of Murchadh Buidhe, progenitor of many Lochalsh Mathesons. We could also see if the Sutherland Mathesons and Lochalsh Mathesons have similar genetics. Individuals who cannot trace their lines back to Scotland, may be able to match with someone else who can do so. In clans which have processed a number of tests, some individuals have been able to locate long-lost cousins. Some have given permission to have their results transferred to the Genographic Project, sponsored by National Geographic, which is tracing the migration roots of mankind. For further details you can refer to their website www.genographic.com. The clan earns no money from this processing, nor does the project administrator benefit financially. Participation is strictly voluntary and the process is simple. A kit containing two swabs and two vials is mailed to the participant who then swabs the inside of their cheek and mails the vials back to the lab for processing at the University of Arizona, USA. Personal information is protected.
To order a DNA test, click here but please note that, at the moment, we unable to offer the clear advice that we would like to on the best choice of test.
To read the latest reports from the DNA project, click here.
To email the Clan DNA Project Administrator, click here.
As yet, the Canadian branch of the Society does not yet host a website. Should this change, we will include a direct link to it, as and when it becomes available. In the interim, please contact one of the officers above, for further assistance.
We've amassed a number of photos over the years of locations and buildings with a Matheson connection, our Chiefs and Clan emblems, and from events, most recently from the Edinburgh Tattoo of 2017. Aside from the examples included in the gallery above this link (click on the images) and elsewhere on this website, you'll find a wealth of further images on the UK branch website: Click here for a direct link.
Our Facebook page is also being developed as a source of interesting and useful material and as such is a good place to view photos, submitted by both the Society and members alike. If you've any photos of your own, that you feel are notable and worthy of inclusion, then do please post them up. We would love to see them.