Search This Blog; Clan Gunn


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Concerning George Gunn, Chief of the Clan Gunn - his tea service and early use of Clan Gunn 'arms'

It is important to recognise that Lt George Gunn 1787-1859 had a very good claim to be Chief of the Clan Gunn and he was recognised as such by the first Clan Gunn Society and is described as such in Mark Rugg Gunn's Clan Gunn, see page 236.

A family tree for George Gunn can be found on

Now I have discussed the issue of female Clan Gunn Chief inheritance with the Lyon Court and there is no real problem with it (even after significant periods of time), so long as the family takes on the name Gunn and are otherwise eligible to inherit. I am aware that male inheritors of George Gunn's line have died out but female lines certainly exist. It would be an interesting issue if Lord Lyon was to accept that George Gunn should be accepted as the last Clan Gunn Chief...

If he did the key genealogical point is -

Lt. George Gunn 1787-1859 and Margaret MacDonald had six children. The oldest child was Christina M. Gunn. .

  1. Christina M Gunn 1826- (marries John Gordon), they have at least one child Jessie Gordon 1846-1904 who marries Charles Campbell 1837-1912 and have a dozen children. Jessie dies on Campbell Island Mississippi in 1904, Charles Campbell dies Mississippi 4 April 1912.

The children are, in order, Christine, Jessie 23.11.1876-24.1.1913 born Mississippi dies Texas, Alexander 23.2.1877- 28.7.1928 Mississippi for both birth and death, Mary Campbell b Mississippi 1877 d.  Georgia,  John Campbell b. 1878 Mississippi, Archibald C. Campbell b Hancock County Mississippi November 1879,  Gordon Campbell, Hancock County Mississippi b. September 1883, Gracie Campbell Hancock County Mississippi b. March 1885, Edith Campbell Hancock County Mississippi b. September 1886, d. Standard Mississippi 24 February 1913, Edna Campbell Hancock County Mississippi b. 1 September 1886, d 1955 Jacksonville Duval Florida (married Augustus H Jones 1890 Ohio) and Robert Campbell b. 1887 Hancock County Mississippi.

Now Americans - I believe - can inherit Chiefship if they inherit the right from sometime in 1870 or after as the relevant Westminster law altered from that year. George Gunn had siblings whose descendants can also be found which might complicate matters.

Certainly the idea that the Clan Gunn Chief line has died out is totally wrong, as I have said many times before.

Anyway to the main point of this entry. I thought people would like to see the silver tea pot, matching sugar bowl and milk jug given to George Gunn of Rhives by the Marchionness of Stafford. In particular I think people will be interested to see the Clan Gunn motto and 'sort of arms' on the teapot. It is probably the earliest known version of the unofficial Clan Gunn arms and motto in use today.

The three items

The inscription

Perhaps the earliest known version of the Clan Gunn motto and 'badge'

For more information about the probable origin of the never supported by Lord Lyon Clan Gunn crest, badge and motto see The key point is that the upraised hand and sword is 'interestingly' similar to part of the coat of arms matriculated for George Gunn Munro of Braemore; Lord Lyon has never matriculated a coat of arms for a Clan Gunn Chief so legally such items do not exist.

Peter Grant, who provided me with these images, also provided the following wording -

Sterling silver tea pot, with matching sugar bowl and milk jug, which belonged to Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland (1765-1839) when Marchioness of Stafford, the tea pot engraved with her initial and coronet. Presented by her to George Gunn of Rhives, her factor, with the tea pot bearing the inscription “PRESENTED BY ELIZABETH MARCHIONESS OF STAFFORD, TO GEORGE GUNN ESQR. FACTOR OF SUTHERLAND 1832”.  The other face of the tea pot bears the Gunn crest with motto “AUT PAX AUT BELLUM”, no doubt added by George Gunn. Tea pot hallmarks are for London 1825, maker “I H”.

Tea pot 270mm x 170mm.
Sugar bowl 215mm x 145mm
Milk jug 160mm x 125mm

In possession (2015) of Peter and Morag Grant of Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Co-incidentally, one of Morag’s ancestors Hugh Matheson (from Shinness in Lairg, Sutherland), was the Sutherland estate ground officer in Assynt from around 1809 until his early death in 1817.  He would have reported to George Gunn as the Assynt under factor before Hugh’s death.

I note George Gunn's daughter Margaret Gunn married Malcolm Charles MacHardy in 1861 and they emigrated to Australia - this might explain why these items are in New Zealand.

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Musical Map of Caithness - Gordon Gunn and Friends

I've just listened to 'The Musical Map of Caithness' by Gordon Gunn & friends. (The friends 

include the poet and playwright George Gunn whose work I have admired for a 

long time.) It's excellent - it is sort of a 'travel book' with Celtic folk music, and introduces 

traditional Clan Gunn land / history / culture, given Caithness is a significant part of where

 the Clan Gunn began. 

   See - and it has samples -

I particularly liked tracks 15/16 where Neil M. Gunn is explored - being a Gunn, listening to Gunns explore the works of another Gunn was very 'post-modern'... And I also enjoyed tracks 19/20 which are about Old Pulteney whisky and the Pulteney Distillery. My reasons for that enjoyment I shall keep private but could be guessed...

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Clan Gunn history and Clan Gunn genealogy rediscovered - Scottish Archives Vol. 19, 2013

The recently published journal (yes, 2013) of the Scottish Records Association has a detailed article on  material which is discussed in the 'Appendix' of Thomas Sinclair's The Gunns and part of which I have called the 1868 and 1870 trees of Aeneas Gunn of Edinburgh. The article is called ''Beyond Rubies and Pearls and Diamonds'; a Manuscript Collection Recovered' and is by Peter Gunn of South Australia. I note that a Clan Gunn history is in this collection, as well as three draft family trees of which, as said, I have examined two.  The provenance of the documents is beyond question as the material is held by the family of Aeneas Gunn of Edinburgh.

The idea that all Clan Gunn history and all Clan Gunn genealogy is known, is wrong - here is material briefly seen in the 1890s and which is now able to be fully explored...

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Key issues for a Clan Gunn history - libraries, Orkney islands

I just thought I would mention that I have donated copies of my Key issues for a Clan Gunn history to the Orkney Islands library service - a copy is meant to be available from the Kirkwall library and the other will be at Stromness library. For other places of public access of the text see

Clan Gunn origin; a little more support for the Pict idea

It may yet be possible to throw further light on the possibility that the Gunns are a remnant of the Picts...'

Page 43, Ian Grimble, Chief of Mackay, 1993 edition

As I have often discussed, the Gunns do not have an Orkney / Norse / Viking origin but are far more likely to be part of the original Pictish inhabitants of Sutherland / Caithness / Strathnaver.