The Pistol of the “Gentle” Lochiel Restored

Donald Cameron of Lochiel was the 19th chief of Clan Cameron. Soon after Prince Charles Edward Stuart set foot on the Scottish mainland Lochiel raised the greatest number of men willing to fight for the Jacobite cause from Lochaber.

Lochiel, 19th chief of Clan Cameron

On the 19th August 1745, he led his regiment for the Gathering of the Clans and with pipes playing and banners flying, arrived at Glenfinnan with 827 men.

He was one of Prince Charles’ most trusted advisors and commanders. His honourable Nature in ensuring that prisoners of war were always well treated earned him the name of “Gentle” Lochiel.

He commanded the Lochiel Regiment throughout the 1745/46 campaign and personally led the Cameron men and the Stewarts of Appin in the Highland charge of the Jacobite right wing on the field of Culloden 16 April 1746.





Cameron of Lochiel Flags of the ’45’

He was within ten paces of engaging the British Army Regiments of Barrel’s and Munro’s with his sword and stopped briefly to fire his pistol. In the act of drawing his sword, he was seriously injured in both ankles by a blast of grape-shot fired by enemy cannon.

Lochiel was carried by his men from the field, along with the Cameron banner, which was bravely saved that day. He later joined Prince Charles on the ship that sailed with them to France.

The pistol of Lochiel which he fired that day on Culloden field has been recently restored by Paul Macdonald of Macdonald Armouries.

It is one of the finest examples of a scroll-butt Scottish steel pistol, crafted by Alexander Campbell. Alexander was one of the best craftsmen working in Doune, a village famous for production of Scottish pistols throughout the C17th and C18th.

The pistol is crammed with hand-engraving, etching and inlaid silver scroll-work and badges. One of the silver badges on the grip bears the engraved decoration of the Cameron Clan crest. The five arrows represent the five cadet branches of Clan Cameron. These are surmounted by UNITE, an Anglicised version of the original Gaelic motto “Aonaibh Ri Cheile”.

One of the retaining screws for the belt-slide was missing, necessitating the hand-crafting of a period-style replacement and an overall refurbishment of all metalwork.

The pistol is a rare national treasure and testament to our unique martial culture, aspirational craftsmanship and the fearlessness of our forebears.





It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Valerie Cairney, a great lady and mother of the Scottish Banner publisher and editor Sean Cairney.

Valerie, along with husband Jim, came up with the idea of a Scottish publication in the 1970s. Under Valerie’s stewardship, and now that of son Sean, the Scottish Banner has helped to bring together the global Scottish community with her love of Scottish heritage and culture.

In the September edition of the Scottish Banner Sean writes of Valerie’s passion for and dedication to celebrating Scottish culture and its people and of the joy she had in attending Highland games across the world and connecting with the people, many of whom became life-long friends.

Clan Cameron in Australia wishes Sean and the family our sincere condolences.

Another link has been added which may be of value to those seeking clarity regarding some Scottish place names and terms.

I have included a few below as an indication of what one might find useful.

Go to Links on the website Header.

Run rig

Run rig, or runrig, also known as rig-a-rendal, was a system of land tenure practised in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and islands. It was used on open fields for arable farming. Strips of land allocated to tenants.


Crofting is a traditional social system in Scotland defined by small-scale food production. Crofting is characterised by its common working communities, or “townships”. Individual crofts are typically established on 2–5 hectares (5–12 1⁄2 acres)  for better quality forage, arable and vegetable production. Each township manages poorer-quality hill ground as common grazing for cattle and sheep.

Highland Clearances

The Highland Clearances were the evictions of a significant number of tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in the period 1750-1860.

Factor: In Scotland a factor (or property manager) is a person or firm charged with superintending or managing properties and estates—sometimes where the owner or landlord is unable to or uninterested in attending to such details personally, or in tenements in which several owners of individual flats contribute to the factoring of communal areas.


A person who holds a lease and sublets land to others. (Tacksmen were found mostly in the highlands from the 17th century, and were often a close relative of the chief. Although some of them farmed the land themselves, most lived off the difference between the low rent they paid to the chief and the rents they charged to sublet the land.


The term for a peasant farmer. They occupied cottages and cultivated small land lots.

Highland Cottars (including on the islands, such as Mull) were affected by the Industrial Revolution. Landowners realized that they could make more money from sheep, whose wool was spun and processed into textiles for export, than crops. The landowners raised rents to unaffordable prices, or forcibly evicted entire villages. This resulted in the mass exodus of peasants and cotters, leading to an influx of former cotters into industrial centers, such as a burgeoning Glasgow.

The Statutes of Iona

Passed in Scotland in 1609, required that Highland Scottish clan chiefs send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated in English-speaking Protestant schools. As a result, some clans, such as the MacDonalds of Sleat and the MacLeods of Harris, adopted the new religion. Other Clans, notably the MacLeans of Morvern & Mull, MacDonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, Glengarry, and Glencoe, remained resolutely Roman Catholic.


Often mistakenly called “plaid” (particularly in the United States), but in Scotland, a plaid is a large piece of tartan cloth, worn as a type of kilt or large shawl. The term plaid is also used in Scotland for an ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.

The Dress Act of 1746 attempted to bring the warrior clans under government control by banning the tartan and other aspects of Gaelic culture. When the law was repealed in 1782, it was no longer ordinary Highland dress, but was adopted instead as the symbolic national dress of Scotland.

Declaration of Arbroath

The name usually given to a letter, dated 6 April 1320 at Arbroath, written by Scottish barons and addressed to Pope John XXII. It constituted King Robert I’s response to his excommunication for disobeying the pope’s demand in 1317 for a truce in the First War of Scottish Independence. The letter asserted the antiquity of the independence of the Kingdom of Scotland, denouncing English attempts to subjugate it.

Generally believed to have been written in Arbroath Abbey by Bernard of Kilwinning (or of Linton), then Chancellor of Scotland and Abbot of Arbroath, and sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles, the letter is the sole survivor of three created at the time. The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I, and a letter from four Scottish bishops which all made similar points. The Declaration was intended to assert Scotland’s status as an independent, sovereign state and defend Scotland’s right to use military action when unjustly attacked.

“As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”


Landless farm labourer or servant. Rustic.

Authority of the clans (the dùthchas and the oighreachd)

Scottish clanship contained two complementary but distinct concepts of heritage. These were firstly the collective heritage of the clan, known as their dùthchas, which was their prescriptive right to settle in the territories in which the chiefs and leading gentry of the clan customarily provided protection.[14] This concept was where all clansmen recognised the personal authority of the chiefs and leading gentry as trustees for their clan.[14] The second concept was the wider acceptance of the granting of charters by the Crown and other powerful land owners to the chiefs, chieftains and lairds which defined the estate settled by their clan.[14] This was known as their oighreachd and gave a different emphasis to the clan chief’s authority in that it gave the authority to the chiefs and leading gentry as landed proprietors, who owned the land in their own right, rather than just as trustees for the clan.[14] From the beginning of Scottish clanship, the clan warrior elite, who were known as the ‘fine’, strove to be landowners as well as territorial war lords.[14]


In reference to the history of Scotland, a township is often called a toun (the Lowland Scots word for a township), although before the Anglic language Scots became widespread in Scotland the word baile was more commonly used.

(Bhaile) a town, village, hamlet, township or homestead. [Gaelic]


You will notice a change in the layout and options in our Cameron Genealogies site due to The Next Generation software update that powers our Cameron genealogies database.

Family Charts and Group Sheets have embellished images and layout for example, and a PDF of the display can be downloaded.





Clan Cameron NSW Inc. is fortunate to have genealogist Dr Robert Cameron continuing his work managing and updating the data base for the benefit of all Camerons not only in Australia, but across the world.

The continued operation of the website and related genealogy database software is funded by the members of Clan Cameron NSW Inc.

Your donation to help maintain this site, which comes at a cost to the members of Clan Cameron NSW Inc., is welcome. The Donation Button can be found on the website Home Page.

We thank the following who have enabled the association to manage and update the site and the genealogies database, which is not without complications, with considerable time and expertise donated by Hawkesbury Websites and Darrin Lythgoe, TNG, updating our database at a very reasonable cost to the association.


Thank you to all Clan Cameron NSW members who have continued their membership of the association and supported our work promoting and sustaining our proud Cameron traditions and activities in Australia.

Your membership also assists the continuation of this website.

Donations, regardless of the amount, are also welcome.

NSW Annual Subscription Renewals 2020/21 are due by 30 September 2020.

Membership Renewals can be paid by either Direct Deposit or by Cheque or by the online Annual Recurring Membership Subscription via the links on this website.

Applications for membership of Clan Cameron NSW Inc. are also welcome from new members who can trace their ancestry to Clan Cameron or who are connected to the clan through marriage or partnership or who are from a family accepted as a Sept of clan Cameron.

The Application for Membership can be found via the Clan Business and Membership portal on the website home page or in the following download.

We look forward to continuing to promote the unity and welfare of members of Clan Cameron New South Wales Inc. and to ensure a growing and active membership of the Clan Cameron association in our state and across Australia.

The Scottish Highland Clans: Origins, Decline and Transformation

University of Glasgow



Discover the important history of the Highland clans

The Highland, Gaelic speaking clans are a vital part of Scotland’s history. They also shape how the world imagines Scotland today.

This course uses the expertise of University of Glasgow academics to explain the structure, economy and culture of the clans. It covers the centuries between the fall of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in 1493 until around 1800, when the clans dissolved away as a result of social economic change. It then discusses how the legacies of clanship shaped global images of Scotland up until the present.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1: Defining the Clans: Meet the chiefs and the clan gentry. See how different forms of family, kinship and strong links to land helped bind a clan together. Learn about the ‘professional clans’, those families who provided bards, doctors and judges for Scottish Gaelic society. Explore how archaeology and history can help explain the castles, churches, defensive sites and overall function of the clans.
  • Week 2: Clan Society and Culture: Explore daily life for ordinary people living under the authority of the chiefs. Using the case study of the Macgregors and Campbell, learn why and how clans feuded, and what made the Scottish Crown seek to ‘civilise’ the Highlands? Learn about Gaelic musical culture, poetry and dress. Discover how clan involvement in the religious and civil wars of the seventeenth century was high profile and traumatic. Lastly, consider how new cultural and social-economic changes resulted in a slow decline of the clans as a form of community.
  • Week 3: Decline and Transformation: Assess the debates around clan involvement in the Jacobite risings between 1689 and 1746. Discover the latest thinking on the Battle of Culloden and the ‘Clearances’. Finally, appreciate how the literature of Walter Scott, the romantic poets, as well as Highland Games, theatre and film reinvented the clans as a romantic Scottish and global emblem.

This free 3 week online course is readily accessible and free by accessing the following link:

Clan Cameron NSW Vice-President John Cameron and wife Lynne and the writer have accessed this course and we have found it very informative.

Parts can be skimmed over if needed.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Learn at Home initiative

Historic Environment Scotland has launched free online learning resources to help support home educators and learners during the Coronavirus lockdown.

While seemingly mainly aimed at young people and educators there is something here for everyone interested in bettering their knowledge and understanding of things Scottish I believe.

The Learn at Home resource areas are:

  1. Welcome
  2. Gaelic
  3. Play
  4. Make and Create
  5. Draw and Colour
  6. Explore
  7. Investigate
  8. Educators’ Area

While primarily aimed at educators and young people I’m sure that you will find something of interest here. After all, we all probably aim to be better educated at whatever level!

Access to SCRAN (Learning Culture Heritage) is also free until 31 July but I didn’t find this all that useful or easy to access.

SCRAN is a volunteer organisation that aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing Scottish culture and history.



A sobering photograph doing the rounds on social media is serving as a stark reminder of how devastating the Great War was for Scots regiments sent to fight in France and Belgium.

First photo shows the Cameron Highlanders at Edinburgh Castle on August 12, 1914 before leaving for France.


The second photo allegedly shows the same battalion at Edinburgh Castle in 1918 after the war or depending on the source, in 1918 after the armistice, however this photo has been photoshopped, but this photo conveys a telling story.

The first photo is apparently printed in Dugald MacEchern, The Sword of the North: Highland Memories of the Great War (1923) p.150: captioned as taken on 12.8.1914, the day they started for France. Officers are named. There is no corresponding post-war photo of the 1st Battalion in the book.

MacEchern writes that by Christmas 1914 only one officer and 27 men remained “unscathed” – possibly including those wounded as well as killed. In the first photo we can see 27 officers and about 1,000 soldiers.

Apparently the original photo was from the Kildonan Museum on South Uist and was part of an exhibit which states: “The 1st Camerons sustained heavy losses in the early months of the war with the result that by Christmas 1914, all but one officer and 27 men were killed or wounded of the 27 officers and 1,000 men whose tartan had swung down the Lawnmarket from Edinburgh Castle on 12 August.”

The second photoshopped picture is accurate in that it shows 27 soldiers and the one “unscathed” officer. Perhaps it was created as a representation of the devastating losses of the battalion.

We’ve been advised that the following events have been cancelled due to current public health concerns:

  • Bundanoon Highland Gathering, NSW April 4 – cancelled. Next year’s gathering scheduled for Saturday 17 April 2021
  • Declaration of Arbroath (Scottish Australian Heritage Council)- 6 April 2020 – postponed tba.
  • Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival May 24-31, 2020 – postponed until 26 September 2020
  • Australian Pipe Bands Championships, Maryborough – postponed. 
  • MacLean Highland Gathering, NSW – Cancelled
  • Ringwood Highland Gathering, Victoria – postponed
  • Australian Celtic Festival – Glen Innes April/May 2020 – cancelled. To be held April 30 – May 2 2021.
  • Aberdeen Highland Games, 4 July 2020 – cancelled.

Clan Cameron NSW members visit the Special Collection area

Clan Cameron NSW members visited the State Library of NSW recently to learn how to access the wealth of material held in the library relating to finding information relevant to one’s family history.

The group was fortunate to have 1½ hours session lead by State Library librarians Bruce and Durgesh, who displayed a wonderful knowledge of the comprehensive holdings of the library and guided the group through the process of accessing the numerous family history resources.

Librarian Bruce leading the group

Following the talk a number of the group convened for a casual lunch at Soirée at the Wentworth. Some members then returned to the library and registered and received their library cards, and spent a further hour doing a little research.

NSW President Alistair Cameron and Librarian Bruce

Perusing some of the Scottish material

Examining some of the Scottish resources held in the library collection

About the Library

Much of the library’s material is available to download online, but some material can only be accessed on site.

The State Library is one of the great libraries of the world, beginning as a small subscription library in the 1820s for colonials who were desperate to read books

The State Library of NSW collects and preserves materials and evidence relating to our place in the world and makes them accessible to everyone in New South Wales and beyond.

Joining the Library

Joining the library is free. You can sign up for a Library card online or when you’re at the Library.

With a Library card you can:

  • request books and other collection material to use in the Library.
  • borrow some of the Library’s books and other collection material through other libraries. Speak to your public, academic or work library about requesting an inter-library loan.

You can collect your card from the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room or the Special Collections area. You will need to show identification that has your current address.

If you live in NSW the card can be posted to you. You should receive it within 10 working days.

Below is a link to the comprehensive handout provided by Bruce and Durgesh about how to access the State Library catalogue together with an outline of the range of resources held by the library.

By Joanne Cameron (Co-Administrator)

The tree of mankind is possibly quite good to illustrate the position of where Group A Cameron men sit, all the numbers i.e. R-A6138 represent actual men in history! We know that the progenitor of Clan Cameron was most likely R-A6138. This tree only came to be because of those who take their testing further i.e. The Big Y-700. It will only get better!

R-M269Here is the descent (shown as SNP’s) descending from R-M269 which has 10,761 downstream branches to date! R-M269 is the most common YDNA Haplogroup in Western Europe and is thought to have originated about 9,500

R-L580 follows on from R-DF21

Here is the descent (shown as SNP’s) descending from R-M269 which has 10,761 downstream branches to date! R-M269 is the most common YDNA Haplogroup in Western Europe and is thought to have originated about 9,500 years ago in the region of the Black Sea, and then spread to Europe very soon thereafter.

**The Celtic people i.e. Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Scot (Royal Stewart) branch out from R-DF13 of which there are 4,485 current branches found to date. From R-DF13>R-Z39589>R-DF41 which dating as of May 2019 has as a male who lived in the mid Bronze Age (1700-1750 BC). This SNP is sometimes known as a Scot SNP but new testing is proving this to be not always the case**

R-A7298 is the progenitor of Clan Cameron, MacPhee and MacNab. R-A7300 is the progenitor of Cameron and MacPhee. The 10 branches underneath R-A6138 are a mixture of now named cadets (McMartin, MacGillonie and Clunes) and unnamed cadets still to be named.

It is pretty easy to categorise the Celts and Vikings as being one particular stock and therefore haplogroup. In reality, we have Norse Vikings and Danish Vikings both of which appear to be either R1A or of the I1 Haplogroup. It is pretty rare in England to see the R1A Haplogroup appear in areas that weren’t occupied by the Vikings but in the same breath Haplogroup I1 is found in high frequencies in Scandinavia so the reality is that both can be named “Viking”.

The same can be said for the “Celts”. The true Celts are the native people who most likely populated parts of the British Isles after the last ice age and whose populations appear in Cornwall, Wales and Ireland. The Royal Stewart Line in Scotland are “Celts” but they share the same Y Haplogroup (and paternal ancestor) as those who have the earliest roots in Cornwall. The so-called Celts of the British Isles.

This Haplogroup is part of R1B so if we go back even further in history all R1B men share the same ancestor, Camerons included (the lineage branched out many thousands of years ago from the “Celts”). Remember surnames are relatively recent in the history of mankind.

However, Group A Camerons certainly don’t appear to be of Norse origin. We have to also at this stage be careful with the known history of Clan Cameron, our aim of the Project is to sort fact from fiction so we treat all we know of the Clan with kid gloves. There are many layers of history to uncover. Loraine and I are very fortunate that we have a number of family historians that help us, including former Australian Commissioner Dr Bob Cameron.

However with each Group A BigY-700 test that does come in we increase our knowledge of the Clan. We are seeing real definition with the new testing that wasn’t there before. We are incredibly excited about it actually, the new SNP’s that are being found are also giving us better dating.

The only reason we can now align both Bob and Fraser (Fraser was our NZ Commissioner before Nick took over a couple of years ago) is because they took up the Big Y-700 test.

We know that with our Group A Camerons YSTR testing is unable to tell someone which cadet they belong to because a phenomenon called convergence or back mutation occurs in these men.

This is when a YSTR moves, mutates, either forward or backward over time. So with other surname projects YSTR testing is very heavily used and relied on for placement in their Project, but it is virtually useless for our Group A Cameron men. The only use we have for it is within the first 37-67 YSTRS there is a reliable signature that tells us whether or not the tester belongs to Group A or not.

This is the reason why we recommend our Group A testers to upgrade, we are aware of the expense, however, and totally understand those who cannot do so. Family Tree DNA hold your sample for 25 years in case you do want to future upgrade so don’t worry too much about that. However, if they do need a fresh sample they email you and send out a new test kit to use and send back.