MacTavish History

Carved footprint at Dunadd Hillfort, thought to have been part of the Dal Riata's coronation ritual. This is the land of the early MacTavish.

Carved footprint at Dunadd Hillfort, thought to have been part of the Dal Riata’s coronation ritual. This is the land of the early MacTavish.

The History of Clan MacTavish Names

The following two PDF links examine the family names and variations associated with Clan MacTavish


The History of Clan MacTavish


The ancient Highland Clan MacTavish was legally restored to its standing in 1997 with the ascension of the current chief’s father, E.S. Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry, being formally recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1997, as “Chief of the Name and Arms of MacTavish”, and “Chief of the Clan MacTavish”, declared in the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland, Volume 82, Folio 36.

The prior and last recorded chief of the MacTavishes was William MacTavish (29 March 1815 – 23 July 1870), Hudson’s Bay Company Governor of Assiniboia and Prince Rupert’s Land (Manitoba), Canada, who is declared heir to his father in The Retours of Services of Heirs records on 8 March, 1858. The Matriculation of William’s grandfather, Lachlan MacTavish of Dunardry, occurred in 1793. Lachlan being the last matriculated chief of the MacTavishes until 1997, posing a dormancy of the Clan MacTavish which lasted just over 200 years. With this dormancy some other clans claimed the whole of Clan MacTavish and associated names as their own, causing much confusion among clan members as to where their origin and loyalty might be placed.

As of 1997 The Clan MacTavish is officially resurrected, and its ancient status as a Pictish people has been confirmed by exhaustive research, which has been published in an insightful and enlightening book, titled, History of Clan MacTavish.

The current and 27th Chief of Clan MacTavish, Steven Edward Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry, as well as the supporting members of the clan, invite the World community of MacTavishes, Thomsons, Thompsons, and their septs to support and celebrate their common heritage. There is a renewed sense of pride and dignity among the MacTavishes for we are members of a very ancient race.

The Honorable Clan MacTavish was brought out of a 200-year dormancy through the matriculation of the late Chief Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry in 1997 via formal affirmation by the Court of Lord Lyon.

Clan MacTavish is an ancient Highland Clan with origins in the period known as the high middle ages.  Having roots that trace back to the early middle age royal families of Ireland and the Dal Riada settlements in the Pictish world that would become known as the Coastal Highlands of Western Scotland. 

The MacTavish families share a heritage rich in the early history of the Irish and Scottish Clans, lands, and migrations. Many associated families are enjoying anew or have discovered their Scottish heritage in the fellowship offered through our Clan activities. 

We are fortunate to enjoy the services of our Clan Chief’s Seannachie (Historian), Patrick Thompson, to assist our understanding and appreciation of MacTavish History

Chief’s History Documentation

The Bloodline provided is of a maternal nature and not the direct male line. Much of the descent in The Bloodline of MacTavish Chiefs is based on mythical texts.

The direct Male lineage is provided separately in a PDF, Royal Pedigree-Cenel nDuach and The MacTavish Chiefs, below, found in the book “History of Clan MacTavish”. It was developed and verified from a variety of Irish and Scottish historical texts. This lineage may be found at HM New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Links to Historical Documents are in PDF Format)

Celtic Kings Documentation

(Links To Historical Records are in PDF Format)


MacTavish Migration Map

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MacTavish Migration Map

“Sons of Steven” Migration Map

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Sons of Steven Migration Map