About Clan Shaw &

the Clan Shaw Society

Highland History

The Shaws are an ancient Scottish clan, which played a considerable role in Highland history, and which traces its ancestry to the old Earls of Fife and thus the royal line of the Scottish kings. Initially, prior to the general adoption of surnames and, specifically, the use of the name Shaw for that purpose, the Shaws were the first Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh. The Clan name derives from Shaw "Mor" "Coriaclich", great-grandson of Angus (6th Chief of Mackintosh) and Eva (heiress of Clan Chattan (a large confederation of Highland clans)). By tradition, he led the Clan Chattan contingent to victory at the famed Clan Battle of the North Inch at Perth in 1396 and was, as a reward, given the lands of Rothiemurchus, which became the first "seat" of the Clan. He is numbered as our third Chief. The lands of Rothiemurchus (site of the well-known castle Loch-an-Eilean), were sold and lost to the Clan in 1539.

Adam (Ay) of Tordarroch, grandson of Shaw "Mor", was the progenitor of Clan Ay, or the Shaws of Tordarroch. The Tordarroch branch of the Clan became preeminent, acted for Clan Shaw and, at Inverness in 1543 and Termit in 1609, signed the Clan Chattan bands. They supported Montrose and raised the Shaw contingent in the Jacobite rising of 1715.


The septs of Clan Shaw are: Ayson (N.Z.), Adamson, Esson, MacAy, MacHay, Sheach, Shiach, Sheath, Seith, Seth, Scaith, Skaith and Shay, with various spellings of each.

The Society

The Clan Shaw Society is a non-denominational, not-for-profit, educational organization which is based upon the Scottish Clan Shaw heritage, but welcomes all Shaws, regardless of believed national origin. The Society is the only organized entity of, by and for Shaws, and is governed by its membership. Its purpose is to offer membership to, and encourage same by, all persons bearing the name of and/or descended from a Shaw or one of the septs (including by marriage); provide opportunities for communication and socializing among members; further research, information gathering and dissemination on the lineage, heritage and activities of the Clan; provide a mechanism for the exchange of information among Clan members; and, in the course of those activities, ring credit to the Clan Shaw and to the name.

The Society has grown very rapidly, has members in most of the states of the U.S., in Canada, and elsewhere, and participates in a large number of Scottish games and festivals. It has an active genealogical program, with certainly the largest file anywhere of names associated with the Shaws, supports activities of interest to the Shaws, and publishes a quarterly newsletter. The latter contains news and pictures of Shaw activities, a schedule of coming events, genealogical information, lists of new members, and articles on notable Shaws. There are periodic gatherings of members. There is an excellent recent history of the Clan.

Joining the Society

All Shaws and the septs are warmly welcomed to take up membership in the Society, and to participate in honoring and building on the Shaw heritage. On joining the Society, new members receive a membership card, a brief history of the Clan, information on the genealogy program, certain general information, and a copy of the current issue of the newsletter.

Dues are by the calendar year, but those joining in the last quarter are credited with the entire following year. Sustaining Memberships are available for those wishing to contribute to the further development and expansion of the Society and its activities. The fee for the basic Individual or Family Membership has been held down, to make membership possible for anyone interested and eligible. Sustaining Memberships are given special mention in the newsletter and roll.

Membership Application
Return to home page
E-mail to Webmaster