Clan Ross

Clan Ross Association of the United States


The Clan was erected in 1160 under Malcolm. In old Gaelic, ros means promontory, which is the dominant feature of Easter Ross. (A typical scene in Easter Ross area is seen at left.) From this, the ancient Earls and the people took their name, but the clan is known to Highlanders as Clann Aindrias - the sons of Andrew. In 1234, the traditional progenitor of the clan, Farquhar Mac an t-Sagairt, (translated as "son of the priest") lay abbot of Applecross, was created the first O'Beolan Earl of Ross by Alexander II of Scotland for suppressing the uprisings in Moray and Ross. The Earls of Ross became the most powerful of all the Highland chiefs in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the Earldom one of the most influential in Scotland.

The last chief of the clan Ross to hold the earldom died in 1372, having fathered no sons. His daughter tried to claim the earldom, but it passed to the MacDonalds of the Isles and subsequently into the hands of the crown in 1476. The once proud Ross estate of Balnagowan became heavily burdened by debt in the 18th century and it was purchased by a lowland branch of the Ross family who, although bearing the family name, were genealogically complete strangers to the Celtic Earls of Ross.

In the early 20th century the chiefship of the clan Ross was restored to the true line. 

The current chief, David Ross of Ross and Balnagowan, traces his lineage to the first Earl of Ross, and is the 34th chief in an unbroken male line. While he resides in Scotland, his interest and enthusiasm and support of the Clan Ross Association of the United States is welcomed and appreciated by all clan members. He has visited many Ross gatherings in this country.