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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VI. The Cruithne


The Buchans (Buchan) derive their name from the earldom of Buchan in northwest Scotland, and are the original "tribe of the land" in that province. The heads of the family were the original earls of the province prior to its passage to the Comyn family via an heiress in the thirteenth century. Buchan of Auchmacoy is now considered chief of the name by Lyon Court of Scotland.

The Erskines (Arascain) were originally a Lowland Scottish family of Norman origin. Robert de Erskine, a relative of Robert the Bruce, inherited the Earldom of Mar in 1435 by marriage with the heiress, granddaughter of Lady Elyne of Mar, representative of the Celtic earls. With the earldom came the dignity of the arms and chiefship of the old "tribe of the land" of Mar, and it may be assumed that many of these assumed the name of Erskine. Therefore, though the Lowland branch continues, the Highland Erskines associated with the old Earldom of Mar became chiefs of the Pictish tribe that inhabited that region, in right of their descent from Donald MacEmin, who was himself Mormaer of Mar (ca. 1014) in right of his descent from a Pictish heiress (ordinarily such chiefly inheritance as that of the Highland Erskines, being through the female line, included taking the sept-name of the male-line chief, except in cases likes this of the "tribe of Mar," where no hereditary patronymic was yet in existence). The then Erskine Earl of Mar was forfeited for having served as a leader in the Jacobite rising of 1715, the abortive attempt to reinstate the line of the ancient Kings of Scots, the House of Stewart.

The Rattrays are called after the barony of that name in northwest Perth-shire, and appear from their arms to have been a branch of the original House of Mar early in the twelfth century. They played an important role in the history of the district, and in the sixteenth century had a feud with the Stewart earls of Atholl, who were jealous of the Rattray lands in Atholl, which they had inherited from a Stewart heiress. The Earl of Atholl kidnapped the Rat-tray heiress from Rattray Castle and forced her to marry the third Earl of Atholl. The Rattrays then retired farther up Glen Ericht and built the castle of Craighall-Rattray on a strong promontory above the river Ericht. Rattray itself was recovered in the seventeenth century.

The Forbeses (Foirbe is) and Urquharts (Urchurdan) descend from a thirteenth-century noble family, originally dynastic (i.e., local sub-kings), known as "of the Aird" (southeastern Ross); a family whose earlier branches include the MacKenzies (pronounced "MacKingie") and Mathesons, and the Clan Aindreis, whose leadership was inherited by the ancestor of the O’Beolain earls of Ross. The Forbes clan inhabited the territory on the mid to upper reaches of the Don River in Aberdeenshire. They were confirmed in their ownership of these lands in a charter by Alexander III in the thirteenth century, and had their castle, castle Forbes, in what is now the barony of Forbes on Donside. Beginning in the mid-fifteenth century, their history was dominated by their struggle with the neighboring Gordons, with whom they differed in religion,


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