have been a number of questions from members of the
Social Network about how they can trace "The Known Living
Armigers of the Armigerous Clan", as required under our
Constitution to elect an armiger to become a full member of the
Council. This Article intends to give prospective Armigerous Clans
some helpful notes and guidance on how to achieve this. You can
discuss this article on the
Tracing The Known Armigers of The Armigerous Clan
In each case it is the responsibility
of the Clan Society, or when this is not possible, the Armigers to
co-ordinate the search for the known living Armigers of the
Armigerous Clan. It is understood and accepted by the Council
that in the case of certain Armigerous Clans they will be able to
trace all living armigers with ease, whereas for others this may be a
resource intensive and long term project. If the Clan falls into the
latter category, providing the Clan Society or the Armigers of the
Clan can demonstrate to the Committee of the Council that they have
taken all reasonable efforts to trace their armigers. this will not
preclude them from electing a Council member.
The Council will not undertake
genealogical research to trace armigers under any circumstances as
this is the sole responsibility of Clan Society. In addition, this
article is for guidance, it is up to Armigerous Clan Societies to
trace their living armigers by appropriate means.
Tracing Recent Armigers
The only place which contains details
of all arms granted by the Lyon Court since 1672 is The Public
Register of Armorial Bearings which, in the case of recent arms
granted (since 1973), must be done in person (see
details). It is possible to search the register of arms to identify
the Armigers of your armigerous clan. Where these armigers have been
granted arms recently, the first source of recent armigers is by
searching the internet. Although we advise that you be careful where
you look. Web-sites such as
full of inaccurate entries. Instead we would recommend the following
Tracing the Descendants
of Historical Armigers
At various times in history persons of
each Armigerous Clan, since 1672 may have been granted by the Lord
Lyon. The general rule is that arms should be re-matriculated or
re-registered with Lyon Court at least every three generations.
Unfortunately, the heirs and successors of persons granted arms
historically may never have re-matriculated arms. If the original
grantee of arms matriculated arms it may be extremely difficult to
ascertain who is the lawful successor to the arms. If the original
arms were granted in 1902, it may be relatively easy to identify the
successor to the arms by carrying out genealogical research using
basic principle is that they go to eldest son to eldest son, but
succession is an area of Scots Law which needs to be examined on a
case by case basis. If there are only daughters, the eldest daughter
would inherit the arms, but again each case must be examined on its
own merits. It would then be for the Clan Society to contact the few
individuals who are most likely to have a claim to the arms and
encourage them to re-matriculate. Once the paper trail has been
established between the original grantee of arms and their successor
it is possible for them to send this information to the Lyon Court
with their petition for arms. Under
Constitution, it is not sufficient for the Clan Society to present
the paper trail to the Council Committee and nominate the person the
paper trail leads to for membership of the Council.
This is because it is up to the Lord
Lyon and not the Council as to who is the rightful claimant to arms.
Until this is decided by Lyon, the Council cannot intervene.
It is now possible to search for
historical arms using
under coat of arms search. A scanned image of each letters patent
detailing a painting of the arms and the descent of the person to whom
they were granted is available at a price of £10 per entry.
help find armigers of your Armigerous Clan, we recommend the following
James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms (1969, first published
1903). An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All
Arms and Bearings in Scotland, (2nd edition, paperback reprint).
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.
David Reid of Robertland and Vivien Wilson (1977). An Ordinary of
Arms, volume 2 [1902-1973]. Edinburgh: Lyon Office.
The first entry above contains all
armorial bearings granted by Lyon Court between 1672 and 1903 and the
second covers the period 1904 until 1973. Unfortunately, there is no
ordinary which covers the period 1973 until 2010.
are good web-sites to buy reprinted versions of these books