Many people interested in the Clan are actively exploring and researching their family history. We’re here to help!

Our sennachie

The Chief appointed Grahame Thom from Australia to the role of Clan Sennachie in May 2010 and he will try to give advice to Clansfolk researching their family trees.

Centuries ago each Highland community and clan had its Seanachaidh, Shenachie or Sennachie who was a recorder and reciter of family history and genealogy. Proper respect for one's genealogy and ancestors was important in all dealings and in warfare between Highlanders.

The Clan's Sennachie is a personal appointment by the Chief. Today he or she is the custodian of genealogies, records and histories of the Clan and its Chiefs, and members within the greater clan family. His or her responsibility is to ensure the myriad ties of the lines and families of the clan family are both secure and accurate as they progress and evolve through the fullness of time.

Photo:  Doug Irvine

Golden rules for researching your family history

  1. Define what you want to achieve, such as to establish the names of all your direct ancestors as far back as possible.

  2. Always research back from the known to the unknown, such as from yourself, to your parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc.

  3. Talk to all your living relatives as they may hold important documents and know of oral family history.

  4. Always consider when, where, how and why, about an event.

  5. Obtain a good “how to book” on family history research. Also this information can be found on web sites.

  6. Join at least one family history society, either where you live or in the district where your ancestors lived.

  7. Where possible, always obtain proof from an original source, such as official birth, marriage and death records. The aim should be to have at least two sources proving one event.

  8. Information from a secondary source, such as a web site or books, should always be verified.

  9. Always check the spelling of given names, surnames, and place names. You should never assume your surname has always been spelt the same.

  10. Always write down the results of your research even though you may have found nothing; note the date, place, name of record, and result.

  11. Always create a copy of important documents. That is, photocopy documents and place originals in a safe place, and copy data on your computer to a backup facility.

  12. Advertise your research interests through clan societies, family history societies, web sites, etc. Share your research with your family.

Photo:  Gary Kane

Photo: Gary Kane