THE GORDON CLAN
FAMILIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE GORDONS (SEPTS)
Clan comes from the Gaelic word for children, "clann". Therefore, clan literally means
family and is a family organization. The various surnames of a clan represent the main
family and the various surnames adopted in the changeover from the Gael to English
naming system, as well as the allied and dependent families of the Clan Chief. Names
reflect relationship, local origin, occupation, marital alliances, physical or personal traits,
Although the terms sept and septsmen have become familiar in general use to refer to
the various family surnames of a Scottish Clan, its use appears to have been introduced
in Scotland during the Victorian era. There is much debate on the origins of the term.
Some claim it is of Irish origin. Oxford English Dictionary states it is "a clan, originally one
in Ireland. Origin early 16th century: probably an alteration of sect." Miriam- Webster
dictionary cites it's earliest known use to 1517 and defines it as "a branch of a family;
especially : clan." Webster also denotes that it most likely derives from the Latin septum
meaning enclosure or fold. This actually makes sense in that the septs are affiliated
families that came into the clan for various reasons, either through the adoption of
various surnames in the name changeover of actual blood kin to the chief, marriage
alliances, or by a bond of manrent to come under the protection of the clan and be
"adopted into the fold." There are many scholars who have claimed it was a term
borrowed from the Irish, which seems to be the view held by those who created the
Oxford Dictionary, whereas some Irish scholars claim it was not in use in Ireland until the
19th Century and is an English term. Whether of Irish or English origin, the term sept
came into use in Scottish clans in the 19th Century and refers to the affiliated family
names of the clan. Historically we would have referred to GORDON and his Clann, not
Gordon and his septs.
Clan Surnames As Listed by the World Organization:
Adam, Adams, Adamson, Addie, Adie, Addison, Atken, Atkin, Atkinson, Connon, Cromb,
Crombie, Cullen, Culane, Darg, Darge, Edison, Eddie, Edie, GORDON, Gardiner, Gardner,
Huntley, Huntly, Jessiman, Jopp, Jupp, Lawrie, Mallett, Mill, Mills, Miline, Milner, Morrice,
Macadam, Teall, Todd.
Additional Surnames As Listed by the House of Gordon USA:
(families with historic ties to the Clan Gordon who self identified as Gordon clansmen)
Aiken, Aitken, Atkins, Aitchison, Badenoch, Barrie, Boyne, Brisbane, Connor, Craig,
Dorwald, Dorward, Duff, Durward, Eadie, Esslemont, Garioch,Garrick, Garriock,
Geddes,Gerrie, Laing, Lang, Laurie, Leng, Ling, Lowry, Manteach, Mar, Marr, Maver,
Mavor, Meldrum, Milles, Miln, Milne, Milnes, Moir, Moore, More, Morris, Muir, Mylne,
Steel, Steele, Teal, Tod, Tough, Troup.
Any persons bearing or descendants of those bearing of any of the above mentioned
names are welcome to become members of the House of Gordon. If you are interested in
joining the House of Gordon USA, Virginia Division are invited to print our membership
form, or visit our membership page for more information and an online form.