Journal Blog

Crest Meaning: Barclay

Crest Meaning: Barclay

admin 08/07/2020 0
 A surprisingly aggressive crest for a family famous for its Quakers. Here we have a hand holding a dagger emerging from a cap of maintenance. The dag...
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Crest Meaning: Bannerman

Crest Meaning: Bannerman

admin 03/07/2020 0
 Unsurprisingly, this family were the bearers of the royal standard in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Here we have a knight in armour holding a swo...
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The Lordship of the Isles – Part 1

The Lordship of the Isles – Part 1

admin 02/07/2020 0
The Lordship of the Isles – Part 1 The Western Isles have always been a distinct part of Scotland. Where the sea dominates communications, the culture...
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Crest Meaning: Bannatyne

Crest Meaning: Bannatyne

admin 01/07/2020 0
 Another griffin, although this one’s tooled up with a little sword. Aside from being really cool, this will be a representation of the chief holding ...
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Crest Meaning: Baird

Crest Meaning: Baird

admin 29/06/2020 0
 A gryphon’s head. The griffon had the body, tail and legs of a lion, and the head and wings of an eagle… so we just have the eagle bit here, but take...
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Crest Meaning: Baillie

Crest Meaning: Baillie

admin 26/06/2020 0
 The first of many severed boars’ heads, perhaps the single most popular symbol in Scottish heraldry. A major cluster of boar-head heraldry could be f...
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Crest Meaning: Arnot

Crest Meaning: Arnot

admin 25/06/2020 0
 A surname from the place in Kinross-shire. The crest is an upturned crescent. In modern Scottish heraldry this symbol is often used as a mark to indi...
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Crest Meaning: Armstrong

Crest Meaning: Armstrong

admin 24/06/2020 0
 Not much subtlety here. A strong arm, or Arm-Strong if you will. The ‘Invictus Maneo’ literally translates as ‘I remain unvanquished’, but there’s so...
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Irish Crests

Irish Crests

admin 23/06/2020 0
In Scotland, the chief of a clan/kindred will have their own coat of arms, consisting of the shield, supporters, crest and so on. Followers of that ch...
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Crest Meaning: Arbuthnott

Crest Meaning: Arbuthnott

admin 22/06/2020 0
 Named after the lands in the Mearns, this is the first crest whose motto is a command rather than a brag: the Latin ‘Laus Deo’ meaning ‘Praise God’. ...
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Machine or Hand Stitched Kilt?

Machine or Hand Stitched Kilt?

admin 19/06/2020 0
 Above you can see a machine-stitched kilt on the left, and a completely hand-stitched kilt on the right. What’s the difference? Both have their own a...
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St Andrews and its Tartan

St Andrews and its Tartan

admin 18/06/2020 0
 The restrained beep blue tartan of the Earl of St Andrews has a similar story to that of Royal Stewart: initially a restricted personal tartan for ro...
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Crest Meaning: Anstruther

Crest Meaning: Anstruther

admin 17/06/2020 0
 Another surname from a placename in Fife. A good story behind this crest, with some less fun Latin grammar. Two armoured arms bringing down a pole-ax...
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Crest Meaning: Anderson

Crest Meaning: Anderson

admin 16/06/2020 0
 The sons of the unknown Andrew. The arms of Anderson of Sterheuch, the leading line, are well recorded from at least 1563 in the Forman Manuscript, b...
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Crest Meaning: Ainslie

Crest Meaning: Ainslie

admin 15/06/2020 0
 This surname comes from Saxons who fled to Scotland from the Norman Conquest of England. The crest here has a naked arm wielding a scimitar – a state...
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The Book of Deer

The Book of Deer

admin 12/06/2020 0
When it comes to early art from Scotland, most attention is usually turned either to the enigmatic Pictish carvings, or the glorious Book of Kells, wh...
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Crest Meaning: Agnew

Crest Meaning: Agnew

admin 11/06/2020 0
 Two possible origins for this surname, either the Norman de Agneaux or the Ulster O’Gnyw. Either way, this crest comes from the Agnews of Lochnaw. He...
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Crest Meaning: Abercromby

Crest Meaning: Abercromby

admin 10/06/2020 0
The Abercromby surname comes from the place in Fife. Here we have a falcon and the Latin motto 'Petit Alta'.  The meaning behind this is nice and stra...
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What is a Sgian Dubh for?

What is a Sgian Dubh for?

admin 09/06/2020 0
 First and foremost, a sgian dubh is not a weapon and never was. Of course, it could be used as a weapon, and no doubt often was when the desperate ne...
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Clan Maps of Scotland

Clan Maps of Scotland

admin 08/06/2020 0
St Kilda offer two clan maps of Scotland. One version is online and can be found here the other is available to buy as a print, by the artist Hugh Dia...
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A little history of the Quaich

A little history of the Quaich

admin 05/06/2020 0
Properly pronounced with the guttural ‘ch’ (like loch), the word quaich comes from the gaelic cuach, literally meaning cup. Yet this isn’t the sort of...
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Finding the Name of a Tartan using our Colour Search

Finding the Name of a Tartan using our Colour Search

admin 04/06/2020 0
It happens to us a lot: you find a piece of tartan, but can’t for the life of you remember what one it is. Is that a MacDonald of Clanranald, or a Cam...
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A Short History of Clan Crest Badges

A Short History of Clan Crest Badges

admin 02/06/2020 0
A few things to make clear first – there is a big difference between Arms and Crests. Crests are taken from a chief’s Coat of Arms, and are the featur...
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Cockades!

Cockades!

admin 01/06/2020 0
Have you ever wondered about the black rosette worn on the bonnet? Often cap badges are mounted on these, indicating either an organisation, pipe band...
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A Short History of Sporrans

A Short History of Sporrans

admin 29/05/2020 0
Sewn-in garment pockets are a relatively new invention, only appearing, it seems, from the 1600s. Now they are more or less universal in every type of...
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