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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The saga of the Cattanach family name begins among the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Cattanach name is derived from the Gaelic Cattanaich which means belonging to the Chattan or the Clan of the Cat. In Gaelic, the surname is known as Catan, but through Anglicization, the name becomes Cattanach and others.

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Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Cattanach has appeared Cattanach, Cattenach, Cattenoch, Catan, Catanoch and others.

First found in Inverness, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cattanach research. Another 154 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1600, and 1800 are included under the topic Early Cattanach History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cattanach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Cattanach: John Catanoch who settled in Wilmington N.C. in 1774 with his wife and four children. Archibald and William arrived in Philadelphia in 1855; but most of the Cattenachs settled in Glengarry county Ontario Canada with the MacDonalds, and in the census of 1852 there were 50 of the name recorded there..

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  • John Leckie Cattanach (1863-1926), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played in 1884 for the Providence Grays and the St. Louis Maroons
  • Dr. John Cattanach (1885-1915), Scottish shinty player for Newtonmore in the 1900s, the only shinty player inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame
  • Brigadier Helen Cattanach CB, RRC (1920-1994), Scottish Matron in Chief of army Nursing Services, awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal, 1963, Officer of the Venerable Order of Saint John, 1971, Colonel Commandant QARANC in 1978
  • George James Cattanach (1878-1954), Canadian gold medalist lacrosse player who competed at the 1904 Summer Olympics
  • Robert "Robbie" Cattanach (b. 1984), Australian footballer who plays for Canberra Olympic


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  1. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  2. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  11. ...

The Cattanach Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cattanach Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 March 2016 at 18:12.

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