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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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The surname Cattanach was 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.

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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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


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 Ameri ca. 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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Citations



    Other References

    1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    2. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
    3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    5. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    6. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
    7. 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).
    8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    10. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    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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