Clan Buchanan Organizations

Lord Lyon, in introducing new guidelines for recognizing a clan chief (for a clan that used to be a recognized before the chiefship became dormant), has emphasized the importance of clan societies in this process.  It is very important for a clan to have a strong, cohesive, and active clan society worldwide.

There are two significant clan organizations for Clan Buchanan:

  • The Buchanan Society - the oldest clan society, and purely a charitable body
  • Clan Buchanan Society International Inc. - the clan society.

Malcolm Buchanan

The Buchanan Society, Scotland

The following information is taken from the Society's website,

The Buchanan Society is the oldest Scottish Clan Society in the world and is purely a charitable body.  The Society does not undertake genealogical research.  Clan heritage and historical Society records are located in Peoples’ Palace Museum, the University of Strathclyde Andersonian Library, and the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Its formation in Glasgow, Scotland on 5th March 1725 followed the publication by William Buchanan of Auchmar of his essay “The History of the Ancient Surname Buchanan” and Auchmar himself joined in 1726.  The essay deals specifically with four “approved” Septs of the Clan: Buchanan, McAuslan, McWattie and Risk, and both the Royal Charter of the Society and its Constitution restrict membership to those Septs only.

The Founders were a small number of successful businessmen who were concerned that some clan members coming to the city of Glasgow at the beginning of the eighteenth century, during the early days of the industrial revolution, were suffering great hardship.

The Objects of the Founders, which still hold good, were to provide support for the poor of the Clan, who may be, but do not need to be, members of the Society, and to assist their young in schooling, apprenticeship and, for those “of promising genius”, at University or otherwise.  Pensions, educational and hardship grants are still awarded.

Clairinch Island and 'Clar Innis'
The Society owns the clan's most precious possession, the heartland from which it gets its war cry, 'Clar Innis.'  This is a small island, measuring just half a mile in length, named 'Clairinch' or 'Clairinsh,' in Loch Lomond off Balmaha.  It is on this island that the clan was first recorded.  In 1225, the Third Earl of Lennox gave Clairinch to Absolon/Anselan of Buchanan for his services in return for a yearly rent of one pound of wax.  The lands were confirmed by the Earl of Lennox to Maurice de Bouchannane in 1282, giving him the right to hold courts.  Clairinch was purchased in 1682 by James Graham, Third Marquess of Montrose, and it remained the property of this family for the next two hundred and fifty years. In 1934 The Society was bequeathed the island for all time by William George Buchanan, ancestral relative of our member Claude Buchanan, a Clan Armiger and Herald at Large, CBSI.  In 1958 Clairinch was declared as the first part of a National Nature Reserve under an agreement with The Society.


Clan Buchanan Society International Inc. (CBSI)

The following information is taken from the CBSI website

The Clan Buchanan Society International Inc. is an organization established in July of 1970 as The Clan Buchanan Society in America, by an interested group of Buchanan descendants at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games near Linville, North Carolina.  In September of 1974, the Society was incorporated in the State of South Carolina.  Due to world-wide interest, in July of 1995 at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games the membership voted at their annual meeting to extend their membership by becoming the Clan Buchanan Society International, Inc.

The purpose of the organization centers on:
(1) The promotion of good fellowship among Scotsmen
(2) the preservation of the culture and traditions of the people of Scotland
(3) the development of goals consistent with our heritage and member desires.

The Society in organized into fifteen geographical regions each served by a Commissioner.  Each region covers a specified area that is served by one or more regents.  The organization is also served by five elected officers including President, First and Second Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer.  Six appointed officers include a Corporate Secretary, Editor, two Genealogists, a Quartermaster and an Attorney.  The Executive Council is the governing body of the Society and is comprised of the elected officers and living past presidents.  Annual meetings are held and the elected and appointed officers attend many functions around the geographical regions to promote and publicize the organization.

Members are eligible for the following benefits:
(1) Full use of and privileges at Clan Tents at Scottish festivals and games
(2) Receive the Buchanan Banner magazine published several times per year
(3) Genealogical service provide by the Society
(4) Use of the Society's genealogical library
(5) Fellowship with your Clan family who share your interest in Scottish history, traditions and hospitality!

Eligibility for full membership is limited to individuals and their spouses who are either direct lineal descendants or who can trace ancestry to a Scot bearing the surname Buchanan or one of its Septs.  Affiliate membership is open to those unable to trace such heritage but who are of Scottish ancestry.  Membership is also open to those meeting those requirements but living outside of the fifteen geographical regions and have interest in the activities of the Society.  There are over one hundred eligible Septs listed on the membership application each of which may have numerous acceptable spelling variations.  Requirements for membership include (1) the completion of a membership application and (2) the payment of the appropriate fee.  Dues are the same for both individual and family memberships and start at US$25.00 per year, US$75.00 for four years, or US$500.00 for a life membership.

CBSI websites: - the new, main CBSI site - CBSI on Facebook - CBSI New England Region (David Byrne, FSA Scot, Commissioner New England, and a Vice President CBSI)

Email Clan Buchanan

Send an email to Clan Buchanan at [email protected]

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