Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Clan, a Gaelic word signifying a tribe or sept such as has existed in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland, and indeed in almost all known races at an early period of their history. The clan in theory consisted of blood relations, descended from one common founder, and acknowledging one chief, who owed the clan countenance and protection in return for fealty. The devotion of clansmen to their chief and to each other was proverbial. Scott has well pictured the working of the clan principle in Waverley, Rob Roy, and other of his novels. The lands of the clan were in some measure held in common, and doubtless much of the agrarian troubles and confusions in Ireland have arisen from the conflict between the ideas of land-holding as introduced from England and those which prevailed under the old clan system.