In my time writing up these clan blogs, the Chattan Confederation has come up time and again. Being a shiftless millennial, I didn't bother to find out anything about this group, deeming it too much work. When I started researching Clan Davidson, I was dismayed to learn that they are a part of the Confederation. Therefore it seems that I can't put it off any longer, I must get my glove and address the Cat.
The Chattan ConfederationNowadays Scotland's clans are like social clubs for people with a common ancestry, global communities for like-minded people. However, the clans did have a useful function back in the day. In exchange for swearing loyalty to the local chief, the clansmen benefited from greater security through a stronger community. the clan chiefs also benefited from having a greater number of troops to call on in times of battle. Many clans formed alliances in order to further consolidate their power and promote their own interests. The Chattan Confederation, however, stands alone in Scottish history. The Confederation is a collective of 12 clans, each with their own chief who were in turn, subordinate to the chief of the Confederation. The origins of the Confederation are widely disputed but a common view is that it descends from Gillichattan Mor. The name Gillichattan means servant of St. Cathan - a 6th century Irish monk.
Clan Davidson and Clan ChattanAlthough this information about Clan Chattan is very interesting, I'm sure you want to get to the point. Well, the aforementioned Gillichattan Mor had two sons. One of his sons founded Clan MacPherson while the other founded Clan Dhai - also known as Clan Davidson. Perhaps because of their shared history, the two clans formed the Chattan Confederation. Their membership of the Chattan Confederation was the making and, unfortunately, the breaking of Clan Davidson. While membership of the Confederation brought early prosperity to Clan Davidson, their fortunes began to fade fairly quickly. In 1370, Clan Davidson were part of the Chattan Federation forces in the Battle of Invernahavon. Owing to a dispute about which clan would ride on the right-hand side of the Confederation Chief, Clan MacPherson left the battlefield. This left the Chattan forces severely depleted and the ensuing battle almost wiped out Clan Davidson. Furthermore, In 1396 the Clan took part in the Battle of the North Inch. Clan Davidson was participating as a member of the Chattan Confederation who were ultimately victorious. The victory can't have been sweet for the clan; they fled their native lands and settled in Tulloch. Clan Davidson stayed fiercely loyal to the Chattan Confederation as the years went by. In the 1700s, the Confederation, and therefore Clan Davidson, were strong supporters of the Jacobite movement. While there is a certain romanticism attached to the Jacobites, they didn't come out too well in the end. After the battle of Culloden, the Chattan Confederation were convicted for supporting the Young Pretender and many of its members were sent to the North American colonies.
Clan Davidson TodayThanks to the Clan's atrocious luck over the years, the clan is spread across the globe. There are Clan Davidson societies in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. It was in the USA that a descendant of the clan made a lot of noise, and I mean a lot of noise, by founding the Harley-Davidson company.
If you know of any interesting, funny or topical Clan Davidson stories, don't hesitate to get in touch. Speaking of getting in touch, embracing your family tartan is a great way to get in touch with your heritage - check out or Davidson products here.[socialpoll id="2429139"]