The Clan Watson Society

Connecting Watsons Around the World

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Watson History

The aim of this section of the website is to cover all aspects of Watson history, from the development and spread of the name and its variants in the UK and Ireland, through the appearance and subsequent disappearance of the Scottish clan that bore it, to its more recent spread across the globe.

As this area of the site grows, we'll talk about the ancient migratory patterns in north western Europe, we'll look at the various tribal societies in the UK and Ireland, the development of the clan system and how the Watsons fit into all that.

We will pull together all research on the Watsons performed by the society as it gets up and running. Initially, data will be a little sparse and there may be a good number of hypotheses, but as more research is conducted hopefully we can fill in the gaps and reduce the amount of guesswork and assumption.

I’d imagine one of the main things driving people to this site and to the society is them exploring connections to their own past, so there will be quite an emphasis on the genealogical side of things, including some how-to guides for those who are unsure how to start their own research. I will continue to populate the two databases (one for the family of the clan chiefs, and one for all other Watsons), so please feel free to check regularly for links to your own family history research and do keep sending in your data. Please also think about joining the existing Watson Y-DNA project on FamilyTreeDNA, as the more Watsons that submit their results, the more we'll be able to investigate links between us!

Current and future areas of research are listed in the sections below. Those underlined are links to dedicated pages. The other topics are either being actively researched or are on the to-do list, so please bear with us and do check back frequently as we continue to populate the site.

If anyone else is researching any particular aspects of the Watson name, especially any of the below, please let me know if you would like your work to be covered here by using the Contact Page.

The Watsons as a Clan

  • The origins and spread of the Watson name in the UK
  • Were the Watsons a clan? Does it matter?
  • Were the Irish and Scottish Watson clans related or did they arise independently?
  • Were the Watsons border reivers?
  • Links to Other Clans

    The Watsons are often quoted in connection with other clans, and they are listed as septs of both Clan Buchanan and Clan Forbes. Towards the west of Scotland, particularly near Loch Lomond and Dumbartonshire, we see the association with the Buchanans, although we know that the Buchanans also owned land in Midlothian by the 17th Century. From Fife up to Aberdeenshire, the Watsons are associated with the Forbeses. This section will explore some these connections.

  • The Watsons as a sept of the Buchanans
  • The Watsons as a sept of the Forbeses
  • Variants and "Septs" of the Watsons
  • Watson Heraldry

    The subject of heraldry relates to coats of arms. We see Watson armigers (arms holders) in Scotland, England and elsewhere as we study the family history. In this section, we give an introduction to heraldry for those new to the subject and then present our research on the various Watson coats of arms.

  • An introduction to heraldry
  • Watson heraldry
  • Watson Clusters

    As we research historical Watsons, we see clusters of Watsons appearing in the records. In this section, we will look at some of these clusters in more detail, starting with the Watsons of Saughton who held the chiefship.

  • The Watsons of Saughtonthe Clan Chief and the Watson Mazer
  • The Watsons of Muirhouse
  • Other Watsons of Edinburgh
  • The Watsons of Aithernie
  • The Watsons of Craslatt/Cros(s)let
  • The Watsons of Lamington
  • The Watsons of Glasgow
  • The Watsons of Dundee
  • The Watsons of London (England)
  • The Watsons of Rockingham (England)
  • The Watsons of The Carribean
  • Associated Families

    This section will cover some of the prominent families that intermarried with the Watsons, as is it sometimes through these families that we see hints of relationships between different Watson clusters. Note that this section only covers families for which we find documented evidence of a connection through blood or marriage; septs and other non-document relationships are covered in the Links to Other Clans section above.

  • The Bairds of Saughtonhall
  • The Carnegie Earls of Northesk
  • The Dalmahoys
  • The Douglas Earls of Morton
  • The Dundases of Arnistoun
  • The Gibsons of Pentland
  • The Hamiltons
  • The Hope Earls of Hopetoun
  • The Ramsays of Barnton
  • The Stenhopes
  • Genealogy

  • The Watson One-Name Study
  • Researching your own family history - how to get started
  • An introduction to DNA in genealogy
  • The Watson Y-DNA Project (external link)

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    Maintained by Shane Watson.

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