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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Concerning the Clan Gunn Chiefship Petition to Lord Lyon for a Family Convention / Derbhfine in 2015

Given the importance of this matter I am repeating here information which I would normally only add to my other main site. The below is a repeat from

Concerning the Clan Gunn Chiefship Petition to Lord Lyon  for a Family Convention / Derbhfine in 2015

I am amazed to read that yet another petition to Lord Lyon to hold a Clan Gunn Family Convention (to randomly choose a Chief) is underway, according to the ‘Clan Gunn Society North America –ECB Autumn 2014’ newsletter, and it’s being done by Clan Gunn Society UK ‘stalwarts’.


Consider why a previous Lord Lyon rejected an earlier petition for such a Convention –

it has become evident that there are in all probability clear and proveable lines of descent senior to that of the present Commander.

Yes, Lord Lyon’s key point for rejecting the petition was seniority of known, living people with descent from the ‘Chief’ Gunn Coroner / Gunn Crowner line, in particular the MacHamish line. And this has not changed; there are many descendants of the MacHamish line; see and I have provided Lord Lyon with much further detail for those still living. And yes, I’m one of these descendants.

The new petition ignores the reason why the earlier petition was rejected.


Consider Lord Lyon’s ‘Guidance’ on this Family Convention  issue –

(1)   Where a blood link to a past Chief or Head of Name is likely but is not conclusively proven and it is wished to propose a particular person in that situation to be recognised as Chief.
(2)   Where the main line of descent from a past Chief has died out and it is wished to recognise the Representer of a cadet line as Chief.

I have previously clarified the first point with the Lord Lyon Court; one has to be able to conclusively prove descent but one does not need to have already done so with the Court. What point (1) is really saying is that ‘when all lines from the Chief line have died out as far as can be reasonably ascertained’ then one can choose any person to be a Chief (which is what the petitioners want). But, as said, this is NOT the case with the MacHamish line; many people are descended from that line. The petitioners seem not able to understand the implication of Lord Lyon’s earlier refusal, nor (as far as I am aware) have they clarified the point with the Court. In other words, Lord Lyon has accepted the idea that many can conclusively prove descent from the MacHamish line – that’s why he rejected the first petition.

Consider point (2) – it is logical. If the main bloodline of a Chief dies out then you go to the next valid, closest bloodline for a Chief. There are many such bloodlines. Only if no descent at all from the Chiefly line exists does the Family Convention get a right to randomly choose a Chief. 


Consider the reasons for the new petition (and has this petition been discussed by any Clan Gunn Society?) as given in draft by the Newsletter –

- As there is now no claim before Lyon there is nothing to stop him granting our Petition to hold a Family Convention to discover our Chief.

Except that this comment implies that Lord Lyon must grant petitions; he has already rejected a petition calling for a Clan Gunn Family Convention (and a second which was basically a repeat of the first petition). And the reason he rejected the petitions remain valid for this petition; there are known MacHamish line descendants. So why grant this petition when the reason for rejecting others  is still valid?

It is worth noting, as well, that Lord Lyon and Family Conventions are a difficult area; Lord Lyon is not interested in contested Chiefship matters as he is legally only interested in the coat of arms question see

- No particular person is named as our proposed Chief, and the Family Convention can therefore consider anyone (or no one) for this position. There is thus no good reason why anyone should object.

But this totally misses the point - and it is the same error as in the previous petitions - just because one cannot prove to be the senior line of descent from the MacHamish line does not mean the whole ‘Chief’ line can be ignored which is the desire of this petition otherwise Lord Lyon’s point (2) above is nonsensical. The petitioners have again not closely read Lord Lyon’s pages – he is interested in the most senior descent from an earlier Chief, then he is after the most senior cadet line and only if ALL blood lines from a Chief have died out does a Family Convention get the right to choose a random individual.

And of course I have ‘good reason’ to object as the petition does not pay attention to Lord Lyon’s guidelines, nor his previous judgement.

- If our Petition is granted, Lyon will appoint a Herald to oversee the Convention and ensure that it truly represents the Clan and is not “packed”.  He will decide who may attend and vote.

Would the Petitioners insist that the Convention held a maximum of no more than half Clan Gunn Society members? Otherwise it will be ‘packed’…

- If all goes forward smoothly it is intended that the Convention should be held immediately before the International Gathering, and John Gunn - who is organising the Gathering - will liaise with the appointed Herald and agree time, place and attendees, etc. Overseas or other Participants who cannot be present may be able to take part by Video link or Conference call, etc.

The timing would be up to Lord Lyon, not the Clan Gunn Society….


I find it amazing that, yet again, Clan Gunn Society members are wasting time on this petition. The Clan Gunn Society would be much better off it got on with the real genealogical work which is tracing – in detail – all descendants of the MacHamish line to ascertain the most senior cadet line. That way the Chief will be found, but apparently that’s my job. The Clan Gunn Society is  just too eager to have a Chief, any Chief, but not do the hard work to find the real Chief...

Friday, 14 November 2014

Clan Gunn history site -

I very much appreciate the numbers of people from all over the world who use this site for finding Clan Gunn information - use the search area at the bottom of the above green heading area to check the material here. But people should also see for all the information from this site and more recent information.

I am really interested in analysing the academic base of Clan Gunn including
  • Clan Gunn history
  • Clan Gunn Snaekoll Gunn 
  • Clan Gunn chiefs
  • Clan Gunn origin
  • Clan Gunn heritage
  • Clan Gunn St Donan 
  • Clan Gunn Kildonan
  • Clan Gunn Crowner / Coroner
  • Clan Gunn Orkney Islands descent myth
  • Clan Gunn Viking descent myth
  • Clan Gunn Norse descent myth
  • Clan Gunn Westford Knight Myth - I mean that's seriously poor archaeology
  • The non-existent Clan Gunn Chiefs before the Crowner
  • Clan Gunn genealogy
  • Clan Gunn Highland Clearances
  • Clan Gunn 1800s
  • Clan Gunn motto
  • Clan Gunn crest badge
  • Clan Gunn Coat of Arms
  • Clan Gunn Lord Lyon
  • Clan Gunn Tartan
  • Clan Gunn Societies 
  • Clan Gunn diaspora
  • Clan Gunn sociology
  • And much more about Clan Gunn
I have written one short book about Clan Gunn history - see Key Issues for a Clan Gunn History and am writing a full Clan Gunn history (and with no support from any Clan Gunn Society as they are strong supporters of Clan Gunn myths as history). 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

New home page on

Thought I'd mention that I have been working on improving the look and efficiency of  especially the Home page.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Aeneas James Gunn (Australia) on the Edinburgh Gunn family trees

I have discussed - and used - the Clan Gunn Edinburgh family trees here as they had not been fully detailed in Clan Gunn histories before.

I have added further information relating to them - a letter by Aeneas James Gunn (whose wife wrote the Australian classic 'We of the Never Never'). See