Chattan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Clan Chattan or ' Clan of the Cats' was a powerful confederation of Scottish clans united in the year 1609. Originally composed of the Mackintoshes, Davidsons, Macphersons, MacGillivrays and MacBeans, it was later strengthened by the addition of the Farquharsons and other smaller clans that joined for protection. All these clans share the same Clan Crest and Motto, but have an individual Coat of Arms. Gillechattan Mor is claimed to have been the clan's first chief.

Early Origins of the Chattan family

The surname Chattan was first found in on the lands of Chatto in Roxburghshire came a family bearing this as a surname. But records also reveal that the Chattan Clan originated in Warwickshire where they were recorded at Bromwich with manor and estates in that shire. They were originally of Chatou in Normandy. They moved northward at 1150 at the invitation of David, Earl of Huntingdon, and were granted lands on the Kale Water in the parish of Hounan, Roxburghshire, which they named Chatto. One of the first notables on record was Alexander Chatto, Constable of Roxburgh. Sir Adam Chatto rendered homage to King Edward I of England during the latter's brief conquest of Scotland in 1296, as did William and Robert Chatto. A later Sir Adam Chatto of Kelso was Sub Prior in 1531, and Richard Chatto was Sub Prior of Melrose in 1534. The Chattos family intermarried with the two distinguished Northumbrian families of Percy and Potts, and became involved in border warfare.

Early History of the Chattan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chattan research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1672 is included under the topic Early Chattan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chattan Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Chattan has appeared as Chatto, Chattoo, Chato, Chatoo, Katto, Cato, Schatto, Shatto, Chattow, Chattone and many more.

Early Notables of the Chattan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Chattan family

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them: Lewis Chatto who arrived in New York in 1820.



The Chattan Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omnibus amicus
Motto Translation: A friend to everyone.


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