Family Surname vs Clan

Definition of Clan

Wikipedia provides the following definition of the word Clan


“A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent”


The word clan is derived from the Gaelic clann meaning children or progeny but not from the word for family in the Irish language and theScottish Gaelic languages. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label

for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highland. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans preceded more centralised forms of community organisation and government and are in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan.


Family Surname vs Clan 

We are a Scottish based business and were originally focused on Scottish culture. Clans are often associated with Scottish family hence we used the term Clan History Books. When we prepared the range for Irish names the Clan Books still seemed appropriate. However when we developed some English family surname history books, then Welsh we decided to rename the range Family Surname History Books to keep consistency.


For some reason the world clan does not often get associated with English or Welsh Family names though they are equally entitled to use the word clans. So Clan History and Family History are real the same thing: technically they are interchangeable. How you see it depends on your perception, understanding and view of the entire family/clan structure.



Surnames from around the world

In our quest to complete the world largest name history book collection we have started on the first Indian Family Surname History. Any guesses what most popular India family surname is?…….. Correct: it is indeed ‘Singh’. The Singh family history book has already been published by Lang Syne. 


Like wars with the most popular Chinese surname: Li  


We are continuing to develop our range of surnames from the UK but also from other regions such as Spain, France, Germany Poland, Italy.  If you don’t see your name on out list please contacts us and we’ll do our best to see if we can arrange to publish one.